Sometimes that chief advantage can steal the limelight, and the main goal unintentionally becomes the understudy. Or for the non-theatrical types: that chief advantage can steal the ball, and the main goal gets benched.
In other words, we can get so excited by the positive interaction between group members that we subtly slide our focus from knowing God to knowing each other. And since knowing each other is a great thing, we might not notice the shift.
Here are some questions to help you evaluate where your group’s gaze lies.
- Do group members spend more time sharing about their problems or testifying to God’s grace in their lives?
- Does your Bible study always land on the same applications, or is there a sense of forward movement and change?
- Do people depend on the leader to do all the thinking, or do they actively engage in the study?
- Is there general agreement and affirmation on most things, or do people feel free to challenge and disagree with one another?
- If the leader had to stop leading the group, would the group have another leader trained and ready to take over?
- How long has it been since new people joined the group?
- Would someone new have a hard time fitting in?
- If any unbelievers unexpectedly showed up, is there a chance they might meet God among you (1 Cor 14:24-25)?
- Does your group see Jesus in every passage?
- If your group discussed a book other than the Bible, would the discussion be any different?
What other diagnostic questions might help you to evaluate your group’s focus?