It was Fall 2011, I was fresh out of college, settling into my life as an “adult,” had a great boyfriend and great friends, and yet, I found myself in a spiritual funk. I felt like my faith had just plateaued and it wasn’t sitting well with me. So I decided to have a real, honest talk with my friend, Rebecca. She listened as I spilled out all that I was going through, then suggested I join her at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).
The only time I had ever heard of Bible Study Fellowship was from her & her, then, fiancé. He had been going for a while & finally convinced her to join before they got married and she was absolutely hooked. She loved every bit of BSF & knew it would be exactly what I needed.
I think I joined BSF a week or two after that talk. I remember walking in thinking…”What did I get myself into?” There was a lot more women in the entire group than I thought there would be, yet it still felt so inviting. I’ll admit that at first I was a little weirded out by the fact that they only sung hymns from the 1800s that I had never even heard of, but once I got the hang & learned the words I began to love each and every song. Then there’s small groups. I loved that I was in a group of girls my age! Being new to Atlanta, the only friends I had were Rebecca & another girl from work. This was hard because in college, every day your cup runneth over with friends. I was so eager to develop relationships with each girl & learn more about God’s Word with them. And let me just throw in the fact that the nerd in me was absolutely thrilled about the Bible Study worksheets we got at the end of each lecture to do throughout the week until next time. Can I get an “amen” from my fellow nerds? The year I joined Bible Study Fellowship, we studied Acts of the Apostles & I became a BSF group leader after my 2nd year. BSF changed my life!
But let me slow down & tell you a little bit more about what Bible Study Fellowship is. “BSF is an in-depth, interdenominational Bible study that helps people know God and equips them to effectively serve the Church throughout the world.“* It was founded in 1959 by a woman named Audrey Wetherell Johnson, former Chinese missionary. It all started when five women heard her speak at their church & asked her to lead a Bible Study. More than 50 years later, BSF has grown to over 200,000 members studying the Bible around the world in 39 nations. Each (school) year, classes from around the world study the same lesson in BSF’s four-fold approach: answering daily lesson questions from the worksheets, discussing what you learned from the worksheet in your small group, listening to a lecture each week explaining deeper what you unfolded in your lesson, & reading notes that help bring around full circle all that you learned that week. I love it because it covers pretty much all learning styles, helping to make sure that what you studied in God’s Word that week really sinks deep. There’s so much more to BSF than what I can articulate, so I definitely would love for you to check out their website to learn more!
I truly am grateful for BSF in my life! I grew up in the church, but in stepping into my own faith, I needed that guidance to truly help me understand God’s Word for myself. BSF helps me to dig deeper into the stories & verses I thought I already knew & grew so familiar with. The structure of the Bible study keeps me focused and on task when I’m studying God’s Word. The lessons are straightforward, yet challenge me to really think about what God is saying in His Word. Plus, I just love the BSF community, especially my own little small group. Those girls have become my closest friends, accountability partners, & true sisters in Christ. When we meet up each week, we can just be real about what God spoke to us through the lesson or even if He did at all. We can be real about our emotions, laugh together, question each other, & truly grow in our faith together.
From the moment I started getting deeper into God’s Word through Bible Study Fellowship, my faith started taking new heights. I was no longer on that spiritual plateau. I’m not saying that BSF made everything better in my life, but it was truly God through BSF that helped me get past what I was going through. I can see such a difference in where my faith is now from where I was before I started BSF. My prayer life is stronger. I’ve made it a daily habit to dive into God’s Word every day. I’ve really come into my own faith & understanding of the Gospel as a whole. Plus, never in a million years did I think I’d even be leading a Bible Study, but BSF has definitely had a hand in equipping me to do just that!
Starting in September, BSF is starting back up around the world with the study of Revelation. It’s the first year BSF has ever done this study….so it’s a pretty big deal! If you’re interested in digging deeper into God’s Word with BSF, I want to encourage you to find a class in your area. Just click here to get more information!
Are you already part of BSF? I would love for you to share how BSF has changed your life!
Footnote: *Quoted from the Bible Study Fellowship website