Today we did a checkup on Sanctify! after approximately 9 months of existence (July 10, 2007 was our birthdate). Laura posted on the event the next day, primarily on our vision After reading John 17, we discussed the ministry primarily in this context this morning. We came to the following conclusions:
We're doing well here. Focus on the Word is consistent and intentional. TNBS particularly sticks to this well, and even in Collegium we make sure to validate our conclusions with scripture.
We seem to be doing fairly well here. There's no heresy taught and we intentionally have closing worshipful prayer and a "so what" time.
We definitely have this one down. TNBS is very intense, especially during prophetic and epistolic books. Collegium is usually not as intense as TNBS due to the nature of the material, but still fits the bill.
This is where those of us in attendance felt we needed some work on personal levels. Participation is good at the studies proper, with no one person dominating the conversation. However, we felt that outside participation (preparation) was weak. While we cannot speak for the group definitively, we suspected that would be the case if we asked others.
This is another area we still need work in. Although we have grown closer to one another in trust and friendship, we are still not great at outreach. We are also mostly introverted homebodies that can't really be bothered to leave our caves except for Tuesday and Sunday (and work).
Yet again, progress could be made. We took this to mean that we hold one another accountable. There's very little (possibly no) midweek checkup going on between members to check on what preparation has been done.
Although we hope we don't sounding too pompous, we feel that this one's in the bag. TNBS is the definition of paragraph-by-paragraph contextual Bible study.
Shaped by the people and the Spirit of God
There was the notion brought forth that with all of our studies and analysis, we must be wary of having a relationship with God that is all head knowledge rather than heart knowledge. This can be especially difficult for the analytically-oriented.
As before, we felt unity was not as strong as it should be and that we are perhaps meandering in the general direction rather than truly striving.
We plan to bring up our findings at TNBS, when there will be a few more in attendance. One thing we felt might help both inter-group relationships and outreach opportunities was to have more activities/hanging out apart from structured study events. These activities could include dinner together, movie nights, trips downtown (or wherever) and any other clever ideas anyone could come up with.