The ‘Why’ Behind the BSF Discussion Group

BY SUSIE ROWAN | BSF Executive Director

In the Acts and Letters of the Apostles study, we learn from 1 Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” This chapter teaches us that the Body has many parts, and we desperately need one another. In fact, we grow and are built up in love as people in the body of Christ come together. To be built up in love is the antidote to loneliness and withdrawal.

“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:6).

We grow together

Christian growth accelerates in community, not in isolation. That’s why we are part of a body – the body of Christ, His Church. It requires immersion. We must embrace small-group attendance in our churches and in BSF groups, whether online or face-to-face. 

As C.S. Lewis wrote, “He (God) works on us in all sorts of ways. But above all, He works on us through each other. Men are mirrors or carriers of Christ to other men. Usually it is those who know Him that bring Him to others. That is why the church, the whole body of Christians showing Him to one another is so important.” 

God uses Christian community to get us off the wrong path and onto a path of righteousness and peace.

God uses Christian community to get us off the wrong path and onto a path of righteousness and peace.

God also uses Christian community to heal our deep hurts. In community we are forgiven, we are loved, we experience grace. As my pastor said in a recent sermon, “It is through life-giving relationships that God heals the wounds of our hearts.”

The ‘how’ behind a thriving group

At BSF Headquarters, we begin each day in Bible study, sharing and prayer. We gather at tables of six to seven and share what’s going on in our lives – at home, in our families and at work.

In this safe place, I’ve shared my joys, my brokenness, my victories, my defeats. And my colleagues, whom I love more and more each day, share theirs. And we pray for one another. It is a precious time that has allowed each of us to draw closer to God and to one another.

My hope is that deep, transparent, honest and open sharing would happen in every BSF group across the globe. Together, we can find a deeper relationship with God, who heals the wounds of our hearts and compels us to “increase and abound in love for one another and for all …” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

I pray we would find friends who speak truth to one another in a way that builds us up rather than tears us down. We need to be loved, and we need to be challenged.

So, what is the cure for loneliness and isolation? Christian community! It’s essential for spiritual growth and maturity. When we focus on Christ’s righteousness in place of our shortcomings, we can build caring, encouraging and loving friendships.

So, what is the cure for lonliness and isolation? Christian community! It’s essential for spiritual growth and maturity.

What must we do? We must refuse the temptation to withdraw. Yes, questions, notes and other BSF materials are available without regularly coming to class. But what do we lose? We lose one another.My challenge to you is to show up and open up.

Together, let us experience God through one another for His majesty and our maturity!

423 Comments

  1. Jessica

    This kind of sharing is not going on in my bsf group. There is gossip and judgement and unfortunately because of this I will not return.

  2. lee

    praying that deep abiding God directed love and sharing of all our experiences whether they be joy filled or pain felt occur not only within but outside BSF.

  3. Janet Roten

    “ My hope is that deep, transparent, honest and open sharing would happen in every BSF group across the globe. Together, we can find a deeper relationship with God, who heals the wounds of our hearts and compels us to “increase and abound in love for one another and for all …” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).”

    Very encouraging!!

    • Janet Roten

      Praying yesterday, over a sense of isolation ( being new, in some areas, and longing for lunch with a friend)~~~GOD answered quickly!! While doing a return (being obedient for HIS will for me in matters of finance), there was a friend, who invited me to lunch. We had 2 good hours if uplifting, Christian discussion. GOD listens & provides!!

  4. Diane Tabb

    I Corinthians 5:8 …“ with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Sincerity means the quality of being free from pretense, deceit or hypocrisy. People who are serious, kind and truthful and therefore trusted by others. We all need a safe place to share our lives with one another.

  5. Lucy Ngechu

    Very encouraging, true with the right group of friends, sharing deep challenges halves the pain.
    God bless us all

  6. Dolores Alexander

    This just confirms our need for each other to help alleviate loneliness and isolation. God wants us to comfort others, bless others, left them up. Making someone feel special, goes a long way. This encourages them and let them feel the love of God. This could help them go just one more step in their situation trusting God. This one more step can be the step that takes them to the trajectory that is of a new and better life with Christ.

  7. Michelle MC

    I am so grateful for a community that shares each other’s joys, sorrows, defeated and victories. All while being very transparent and authentic 🙏❤️

    To be in BSF is such a joyful time. I recently missed 5 weeks of class because of an illness. I can’t begin to describe how deeply I missed my sisters in Christ😘

  8. Evelyn Chaunzwa

    Thank you very much for this program. For the fellowship it’s an eye opener to me. I used to read the Bible with out any understanding
    But now I really enjoy reading the Bible it’s now making sense to Christianity am pleased
    Regards

  9. Mary Alice

    We are continually on the journey towards true fellowship with one another. Often we fail to live up to our calling to love one another as Christ loved us, hence the wish for some to want to drop out when they feel mistreated. Dearest Susan, thank you for being so open and honest on this. This will help us correct our weaknesses, treat others better and have great fellowship.

    • Tabitha

      My prayer is that we may grow together spiritually even as we share our moments be it joyful grief or otherwise

  10. Patricia Schauer

    Thank you for your meaningful writing about the importance of Christian fellowship. As someone who has difficulty being involved in group discussions, it was helpful. However, it is even more difficult in the large group numbers of our BSF location. Groups consist of 15-18 or more people, and it is very difficult to share meaningfully in groups that size. Your writing states that your group consists of about 6 people. That is a much more manageable size for meaningful, personal discussions. If there is any way to limit the sizes of BSF small groups, I think that would be very beneficial.

  11. Reine Ishida

    One of the beauties of BSF is taking what the Lord has/is showing us and sharing these discoveries of Bible truths within a small group of people. I have learned various perspectives, encouragement, and practical applications from the group sharing and because of this bond have maintained friendships over several years.

  12. Pastor Ailene S. Toliver

    Thank you For the BSF on line information’ you are invited to my church on March 23rd at 300 p.m.

    the address is 1201 10th ave north and Coffee Street in Nashville TN.

  13. cbd for athletes

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  14. Doreen Muruli

    Ecouraged,uplifted!
    Thanks you.

  15. Analia Williams ( Tjai )

    Yes it is so true we are the whole body we need each other.. we share each other joy and sorrows .. we help each other .. we are the truth family in Christ we encourage each other we support each other we have each other back .. the most cool thing we pray for each other we ask God to help us to go thru our hardship we are not alone .. God is Holy, loving, patient , kind and safe place for us to lean on .. He is our everything .. we praise Him.. all glory belong to Him .. we love you, we love you Jesus .. you have given us the best .. the bsf , the community , all of us belong to Jesus .. we are not afraid anymore .. we have all these gorgeous ladies who is so strong for each of us.. they bsf leaders work so hard for us .. to lead us to show us .. that Jesus loves us .. thank you thank you so much Jesus

  16. Karen Ross

    I’ve been in BSF since 1982. I love it & will be in it until I’m no longer physically able to come or God calls me home. I joined it very shortly after being saved & it opened up a whole new world for me. I love it!

  17. Marjorie Eubanks

    For me, its the best thing that happen to me, I look forward to meeting with my group and when I’m away I cant wait to be back.
    Praying and sharing with these wonderful ladies is such a blessing. This is the best 10 years of my life. Just knowing we are
    there for one another, all we have to do is make one call and we have prayers going up. What a blessing;

  18. Marilyn Hyzer

    If we want people to open up, w must help them to feel like the family at BSF is more than a “ONCE A WEEK for ONE YEAR” relationship…Or, is that me being more attached to people rather to God himself. I’m not trying to be funny. This is really where I am. I’m in my 70s, and new in the area. This is my 5th year in BSF, and I have no close sisters in the Lord here. I was a teacher and am not an introvert. I attend a church with my mom who lives with me but is also new in the area. We are struggling with forming close relationships there also. I just isn’t easy with no husband or children, or career to make those connections even within the church. We are as involved as my mom’s health will allow (she is 93) and our church has sm. groups, but my mom likes the older people group and this doesn’t allow as much activity as other groups might.

    I didn’t mean to go on so much. I may be the only one in this situation, but if it helps you to know where some may be coming from…I do realize that you structure a program for a HUGE age spectrum!!! God is my refuge and He provides what I need not necessarily what I might desire. Thank you for listening to me.

    Sincerely, Mlee

    • Theresa

      I agree. I am outgoing but have built no real relationships in BSF. I would love to have a mentor or a deeper relationship but it just doesn’t seem to happen.

      • Deb M

        I am praying for you. I’m a private person and have this problem too.

    • Maria Axtman

      I am sorry you are feeling so alone. It is hard to make deep connections with people you see only once a week at BSF, regardless of how good of a Group Leader you have. Since my husband and I started our family we have moved seven times (in 18 years) and have had to make new friendships each time. One thing I encourage you to do is to ask the women in your BSF discussion group if anyone would like to go to coffee/lunch/dinner, etc. I am positive you are not alone! God may have placed the perfect friend of your heart in your group or in your church to support you. Sometimes (actually, almost always from my experience) you have to be the first one to reach out, get a phone number, and plan a get together before the closer friendships develop. I am praying for the Lord Jesus to develop close friendships for you and your mother as He draws you closer to Him.

  19. Patricia Sawyer

    I love BSF! Getting more of God’s word and seeking Him every day has meant so to me. I love sharing the word of what I have learned with others. It is amazing that I have found my importance in Christ! Seeking Him has been the most important thing to me since retirement. Praise God I am not isolated!

  20. Joselyn Gibson

    Praise God!! For his love for us and I thank him for BSF friends. I thank God that I do not feel alone or isolated my 14 month old grandson keeps me busy Monday thru Friday. My children and my other grandchildren keep me busy as well. I miss BSF and all the beautiful ladies I have met. I am in prayer about returning in September. I trust the Holy Spirit to lead me where I should be in this season of my life. So I hope it is what I want but if not I will return in 2021 hopefully. Love Joselyn

  21. Donna BROWN

    God knew that I needed to read that passage. I feel so alone right now. I’m in tears.

    • Melissa Rus

      Hugs to you Donna. I am praying right now for you to find new or dive into existing community. You are not alone when you are in Christ Jesus!

  22. Dia Bock

    Thank you for this opportunity to comment. I have long thought that the groups should be together more than one year (9 months). I find that it’s not until after Christmas or so that we start laughing together & talking together. Especially now that we don’t have the monthly fellowship luncheons in someone’s home. I would love to be more connected to a special group and I sincerely think it comes down to more time to be together. I know fellowship is one of your main goals in BSF & I hope you will consider this idea. Thank you for everything that BSF has done for me and so many of us. God-bless you.

    p.s. You have brought great attention to these issues of loneliness & isolation. They are critical issues everywhere in life. It isn’t just seniors either. For instance working & single mothers. Certainly BSF is helpful in that area but I believe just one-year together limits a lot of relationships that have perhaps just begun to flourish toward the end of the year. Thank you for listening. 💕💕💕

    • Pam

      I am somewhat new to BSF and I think it is a great organization. The discussion time is very enjoyable, and seems to pass so quickly for me. Since the lectures are now available online and are not interactive, perhaps there will be future consideration for extended discussion group time to emphasize the F in BSF (fellowship). I do enjoy the corporate worship and collective gathering time in the sanctuary after group discussion time, but I have that weekly opportunity when I attend my own church. I trust that the leadership team of BSF prays diligently about the ongoing structure of BSF and its function within the church at large. They work very hard behind the scenes to balance all the aspects of the BSF gatherings and they understand that BSF is not meant to replace our churches or our service or accountability to the Lord within our churches. I am grateful for the wisdom of our BSF leadership. Thankfully, even if nothing changes, it seems to work very well the way it is. What I experienced was a different form of isolation when the BSF year concluded in May. We lost my father in law at the end of May on Memorial Day. I really needed the support of my BSF group, but it was over and BSF was on summer break. Fortunately, some of us resumed in the fall in the same class, but it was a difficult and lonely summer without my BSF group, to say the very least, because I had grown connected to each person. Now, I need to clarify that I am very active in my church where our son is the pastor, but we have a portable church and that means we have to work extra hard to intentionally stay connected with others throughout the week. We do not have a building to gather in; so we meet for small groups in homes and coffee shops, etc. Most churches experience the usual summer breaks in bible studies, but I propose this should not be.

    • Theresa

      Agree that groups need to stay together longer. You are right, just get comfortable with your ladies and the time is over and you start all over with a whole new group.

  23. jean

    Thanks, this information was very helpful to me and I am appreciative for info. I am and have been having challenges thru deaths in family and personal illness. I love attending BSF every chance I get to attend. Thanks for your very encouraging words. Be blessed.

  24. Bertha Semu-Somi

    How inspiring! Susie you made me reflect on a time in my life when circumstances were gradually driving me into isolation. I had been away from my country for about ten long years. I was in a peacekeeping mission where visits were very restricted. It was also away from my country, different culture, people, climate, food, everything. Upon return, I found it so difficult to fit back into the life I knew; for, except for my children and one or two friends (for whom I thank God always), I was otherwise alone and very worried!
    Fortunately this didn’t last long. God in His sovereign love and mercy led me and my children to take refuge in a Church community. Through the Church we attended, we learnt of a sister Congregation that has English Service. It turned out to be a closely knit community, where we greeted each other after service, shared coffee once a month and monthly Bible study. In no time I was in this a huge family, so much joy, so much peace. And from there I joined BSF, oh, the love, the sharing, the joy and comfort; from God Himself through His people. Last Sunday a friend noted that there is nowhere, one could find the amount of rich social capital found in a Church. People from all walks of life! Thank you for leading me into this beautiful reverie!

  25. Judy Russell

    Fantastic! I’ve experienced learning, fellowship and acceptance from my BSF group.
    Many of our prayers have been answered as we pray for each other. Our leader is amazing too!

  26. Patrick Abalo Ongany

    Beautiful and well articulated, especially when I envisaged the first believers in Thessalonica being faced and surrounded with hatred. they turned to God and to each other with love. I have just retired recently from active service and I have found a lot of comfort in BSF fellowship and amongst true believers in my Church.

  27. Philip Marvel

    The question why this or that is about our need to know GOD…Hebrews 4:12-13 is to the point of it all.. The word of GOD is living!!!!!!!

  28. Joan Cepek

    Bsf has changed my life for the better . Every Monday night it gets better. Thank you all for all you do to share & increase our lives with your knowledge.

  29. Wamuyu Njogu

    These is very encouraging, will encourage others with these. Thank you

  30. Karen L.

    This is so true. And sorry… this won’t be a gushy uplifting comment. I’m struggling. God told me to join a bigger church community and BSF because I have withdrawn so much, almost to the point of being a hermit. Ironically, I am wired to be an extrovert and to be social.

    Although I love my BSF group, I still haven’t been able to forge any lasting friendships. The same is true at church. I am not asking people for anything, but it is so hard when no one has the time to cultivate a friendship. Pretty much given up trying, to be honest.

    BSF, serving hospitality at church for an hour each Sunday and occasional conversations at work are my only social activity anymore. Insert shrug here. Just waiting on God to show me how to find real Christian friends. Tired of being lonely (I’m a single mom and I’m empty nesting now too). Please pray that God leads to the right place to meet the right people, or if they are already in my ‘world’, to give them a heart to reach out. Something has to change.

    • Sue

      Karen, you are doing what The Lord has directed. Perhaps there is someone who sits alone … or a member who cannot come because of transportation problems. “Being present” is part of the equation, for certain. The Lord may be using your service in a way that is yet visible to you.
      I pray He will renew your Spirit, comfort you and encourage you in your service.
      Perseverance is a hallmark of great faith…. I pray you will soon see smiling faces, smiling back at you; familiar faces, seeking out that nice gal who serves the coffee …that you may know, be affirmed, in your service! Moreover, that you know you are ‘the blessing’, because you are aware it is so important to the fellowship of believers!

    • Connie

      Karen L., good for you for following God’s leading to join a bigger church and serving in hospitality. I am thinking about where I met my close Christian friends. The main ways are: 1) Women’s Bible study at my church (not BSF). 2) Volunteer work in the community (we already share a common interest—volunteering. 3) Senior Center classes.
      I find I meet and attract the most people when I am not focused on myself. When I go to a public event (such as a church or a class) with a mindset of, “Lord, show me to whom I can minister and bless.” I purposely look for people who are alone, new, “marginalized”. When I get out of my car, I think L L L, “Lights, Lock, Love”, “Turn off car lights, lock the car, put on God’s love.” I will be praying for that the Lord will send you some friends.

      • Bertha Semu-Somi

        Connie, thanks great for the LLL formula. Very creative, will certainly emulate and share!!!

    • Aifen

      Dear Abba Father, please direct Karen to those need a friend like Karen. Praying for you, Karen! in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  31. Betty Houghtaling

    Thank you, thank you for lifting my spirits. I have found some of my ladies falling away and this has come at a perfect time.

  32. Joyce Karissa

    This is very timely.
    Much appreciated.

  33. Sue E Masson

    What a beautiful and important message. We so often forget the human component that is essential in a full Christian experience includes encouragement and fellowship. Thank you for illuminating this most elemental Christian ethos.

  34. L S Turner

    Message is so much needed and so appreciated.

  35. Joyce Yianoukos

    It is so encouraging as well as comforting to have a group of people I can trust and discuss personal feelings with about my faith, my shortcomings and my journey with Christ. Group discussion does provide food for thought that I might not have picked up on myself when doing my lessons. Seeing and hearing about faith through others fills my heart and gives me a sense of belonging to something that certainly helps in growing my relationship with Christ.
    Enjoyed the article. Thanks for sharing .

  36. Carrie

    So apropos to what our discussion group has been sharing. It’s tempting to save time for ourselves rather than invest it in community and then we all lose out!

  37. Kathy Knight

    Great reminder to focus on Gods righteousness not our shortcomings .

  38. susan

    I have been attending BSF for almost 8 years. I love that this is a great way for me to intentionally met with the Lord daily. It is in his presence that I learn the most.

    Last year was probably one of the most discouraging years attending. The discussion lead seldom connected with us. She also participated a lot in the discussion. I don’t know if this is something new. I figure she already had her discussion as a lead and should be facilitating but she talked quite a bit. I was also placed in an older group and felt very disconnected.

    I wasn’t planning on attending this year but I knew God wanted me to continue to read his word and I am glad I stuck it out.
    Group discussions are still fair. We keep changing groups so it’s hard to develop friendships and also I attend an evening group so ladies do not stick around to chat.

    I am grateful for all the hard work that BSF is put into the studies and each lesson is so encouraging. I also enjoy praying the prayers specific to Acts that they provide 🙂

  39. Doris Rollins

    Thank you for this heartfelt sharing! I truly thank my God for BSF. IT has been a great blessing to my spiritual growth! Praying for others and sharing with them is just like taking good medicine. What a joy!!!

  40. Tassie Sumner

    Dear Susie,
    Thank you so much for writing this! I am aware of a situation that needs this message. How compassionate of you to think of others that live lonely existences.
    We are blessed to be reminded of this. Thanks to God for putting this on your heart.
    Louisville, KY

  41. Emily Wright

    I starting to enjoy BSF now, but considered dropping out about 3 weeks ago. I would enter and sit by myself. I’m very outgoing, but you walk into a big worship center and only see the back of heads. I have been taking notice of the number of ladies that sit alone. I’m not used to that. My old bible study started with coffee, hugs, social time, then the video. I was the wm leader and on the team for years and facilitated a small group. So many ladies tell me how they miss that. I’m sure BBC doesn’t want us to mess up the lobby, but a compromise would be nice.

    Also, the notes being available the week after the questions doesn’t make sense. I’m almost 66 and was basically told y’all don’t want me to cheat. Really?? If I read the notes first, then the scriptures, it helps me understand the scriptures. Imagine how it could help a new Christian. I also like to write on the notes as I study the scriptures, then I do the questions. So each week I have to go ask for the following week. You should do a survey and ask how many actually read the notes when they get them right before the speaker, then class. Why would I read them afterwards?
    It makes sense to have them together. I know they are on the computer, but unless I print all of that I can’t make personal notes on the notes. It is also so confusing when you first start. It took me awhile to figure out what week I was on since I started mid session. Just make the notes and questions match the date. Also, the speech is after the class, questions, and notes. How confusing.

    • Connie

      I feel the same way you do, Emily. I am very outgoing, but it seems like women go into the worship center, sit down with their friends and are chatting with friends, or sit alone. I often go and talk to people who are alone. Quite a few people come in at the very last minute, or late. In the past, our BSF began with discussion. This gave the group members time to visit before the discussion started. The lecture was last. Therefore, everyone got out at the same time and you could visit with people. But lots of women arrived late, totally disrupting the discussion groups, so that’s why they have the lecture first now. But the discussion groups get out at different times, making it hard to visit with people in other groups or to find friends you know from previous years. I agree, a coffee, social time right at the beginning would greatly improve fellowship at BSF.

      I am just as confused as you are about which lesson, notes, and lecture we’re on at any given time. I find it extremely confusing. What a smart idea you have…to skim the notes right before the speaker. Thanks. I hadn’t thought of that.

      • Gail

        If you have access to mybsf.org, you can print out the next week’s notes whenever you want. That is what I do; I like to read the notes after I read the scripture verses for the day. It helps me to pick out what I want to remember from the notes.

        I hope you are finding friendships in your small groups ladies! Be sure to look for ladies in your small group when you go into the lecture, so you don’t feel alone.

  42. Susie Rowann

    How courageous many of you are! When you are tempted to withdraw, instead you commit to engage. You are overcomers!

    • Carol Keske

      Everyday we come in contact with people. People we know and some we do not know.
      I have found over the years the importance of having personal Bible Study each morning before engaging with people. When I have taken time for quiet time the day seems brighter and people I come in contact with are easier to talk to. BSF has given me an opportunity to share my life with others more easily.

  43. Beverly Jean Rue

    I am learning day by day the importance of our Christian Walk. The early Church in Acts shows us so much e.g. the daily fellowship , the support of one another to persevere in times of trials and tribulations, caring for one another, telling others about The Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Plan if GOD IS UNSTOPPABLE and we as His followers have to get in the path to His Kingdom and join and help and encourage each other on the way

  44. Stacey

    “Show up and Open up” I needed that exact encouragement!

  45. Leigh

    Thank you for this encouragement! Sometimes at work and in the community I feel like an outcast or some kind of “religious weirdo” in this post-Christian world. However at BSF I feel so encouraged each week when I gather with fellow believers, women who seek to know and serve the Lord authentically. Just being with like mind Christ followers gives me the energy and right mindset to be surrounded by nonbelievers throughout the work week. It truly helps me to NOT lose my focus and trust in the Lord. When I don’t stay active in the Word with a community of fellow believers I begin to feel spiritually weak and I am easily prone to forget that God is in control.

    This is my 9th or 10th year in BSF and I will attend until the day I die, God willing. May God bless all the BSF groups across the globe!

  46. Forsure Makowa

    Thank you for discouraging withdrawal. I enjoy participating in groups at BSF yet I fail to find value in participating in the small group (section) at my church (God uses Christian community to get us off the wrong path and onto a path of righteousness and peace). This truth is teaching me to work on my attitude. what I liked is the righteousness that is instilled.

  47. Carol M. Mirara

    Thanks for sharing this.

  48. maisie chin

    I love BSF and will attend as long as I can make it…it does help me to grow spiritually…. However fellowship is a bit weak it is also because I been away a few times Hope there will be a alumni association if we can meet with bigger groups quarterly or twice a year . I also love the sharing part to see GOD vividly not only in my life as EMMANUEL and also in others and have been recommending this to a lot of people here or oversea

  49. ‘holley’ Noon

    Wow! This is so true. Praying that God will break down the walls we build in our groups and as a leader guide me to love each member of my group so much that I become the shepherd He has called me to be for each of my ladies so isolation doesn’t occur – just God’s love.

  50. Virginia Neelley

    Very good article and thoughts. Some years are just easier than others to be open, share and fit in a group.. This is my 12th year and BSF has been a blessing.

    • Jo Ann Scott

      When I was going through a bad patch in my life,I couldn’t attend bible study,I missed it deeply.Transition from another state an illness with daily treatments and not knowing where it was available.Prayer and seeking God’s wisdom was my answer.Thanks you BSF, I found a class.

  51. Julie Gram

    Interesting that BSF says they encourage fellowship, but I find it lacking in that area badly. When I went to CBS they really knew how to do fellowship. Every 5-6 weeks we’d bring in something edible to share, have coffee, and personal time together. Then 2-3 times/year we’d meet for a meal somewhere. This is discouraged at BSF from what I’ve been told and experienced.

    Also, we don’t cover the questions much anymore and now break up into 2-3 partners for discussions. Very difficult to concentrate in a tiny room with a dozen women talking at once. I’m borderline on giving up with BSF. I didn’t go with CBS since we now live quite far from the classes…

    • Ronald

      I agree. The busyness of BSF Schedule precludes a real Fellowship camaraderie while trying to cover all the queries & getting back to the lecture hall. The few times where there was some comraderie was when a BSF leader would have an extra fellowship Time outside at his home or when we had extra fellowship time. I recommend that we skip the lecture once every 6 weeks to allow the small group time be unfettered with relaxed fellowship & not be constrained by a tight schedule so participants can get to each other better & pray for one another.

    • Liz

      I agree with you…very little time for fellowship at BSF. I am in a Daytime BSF. We do the Discussion group last. I try to stay afterward about 20 minutes when I can to visit and get to know the women in my group.

      • Emily Wright

        I just stated in my comment how much I miss any fellowship. Everything has to be to the minute.
        Also, so many ladies sit alone. Just not my style. The lesson is great, but so rigid.

  52. Bruce Tebbs

    MANY HEARTS WORKING TO BE IN GOD’S WILL

  53. Brenda Clement

    Christian Community is essential for Spiritual growth and maturity

  54. Ellen

    BSF has been a wonderful opportunity to grow, heal and learn more of who Jesus is and who He intended for us to be

  55. Nancy L. Spoolman

    How very true your statements are. I love your challenge, “Show up and open up!” For the older baby-boomers, sometimes that is the most challenging thing to do. Yet, once one does open up, letting God handle the burdens, the peace within is remarkable. It truly is healing from within.

    Nancy S.

  56. Dolores Barrett

    I really appreciate this information, I am a widow, having to make a new life for myself in this phase of my life has been and continues to be challenging. With BSF I feel supportive by the teachings with the questions and notes material but mostly by the people I am surrounded by. Each day I attend a BSF discussion group, attend the lecture, I gain with friendly people around me and with potential friendships.

  57. LuAnn

    BSF has been a stronghold for me during church transitions over the last ten years. It has been a place for me to feel welcomed and encouraged while growing in God’s Word.

  58. Christina Thompson

    2 Peter 3:18 says, “ in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ….” I find that BSF is one of the places to find that growth.

  59. Durga

    Loved the challenge ; show up and open up

  60. Ashaba Winnie Kamanyire

    Iam always blessed to be part of BSF, i look foreward to the monday evening class meeting at Allsaints cathedral Kampala

  61. Victor Davi

    I whole heartily agree that the Christian community and the inter action of fellow believers with one another is the cure for loneliness and isolation. We have to stay connected to each other and share one another burden and keep pressing on. In may case I lost my wife seven months ago and if if wasn’t for BSF and brothers and sisters in Christ and my connection with my church I could very easily slip into wo is me and self pity and end up in loneliness and isolation

  62. Gayle Osborne

    Each week I look forward to studying Gods word with the most amazing women. They share their life stories and how they navigate their joys and hurts through searching Gods Holy Word. Thank you BSF for making this happen for me each week.

  63. Marilyn Deans

    God has used the BSF discussion groups and Fellowships as times of great blessing and encouragement in my life. Developing relationships, sharing our challenges, joys, and sorrows, and then praying for one another have provided precious spiritual jewels in my walk with the Lord. We truly are designed to be in community, sharing our lives with one another.

  64. ruth

    A very good reminder that we need others. Even God the Father desires our fellowship. And if that is so how much more do we need to fellowship with not only Him but each other

  65. Patty Lewis

    Susie,

    Thank you for your timely words of God’s wisdom! As a new GL in a satellite that has a regular attendance of fourteen to fifteen, this article was profoundly helpful! I was jotting down notes as if I were at a lecture, fast and furious!
    I deeply love my group of ladies and sense their fatigue and weariness after the holidays and flu season but I cannot just “feel their pain” and leave it at that. I have been called to a greater bedside manner, my bedside, as I kneel and pray for them. (Sometimes it’s literally drop and pray!)
    The ‘How’ behind a thriving group was just what I needed at this point of the study and of the year as it encouraged me to help my ladies to see that not only are they building a deeper relationship with God through Christ but deeper relationships with one another!

    Again, I say, thank you and “Praise the Lord!!”

  66. Micke Hughston

    I needed to hear this today. I thank you for sharing.

  67. Doris

    This is so true & profound. Thank you for sharing.

  68. Jin Liu

    Thank you very much! I had good time and learned a lot from BSF i past several years. I miss it! I will consider to re-join when my schedule is fit.

  69. Jessica

    Good morning. I can testify too how important having the body of Christ and Christian friends can be. I would add that it is necessary to keep going to your BSF group even if at first you feel you don’t fit in or feel this s group is not for you. The Lord is there and He wants you there. He chose the group for you!
    Jessica

  70. Michelle

    Withdrawal is a sin of usually pride or bitterness. It says God is not able to handle my problems. Jesus did not suffer enough for me. I have the power to cut off the Holy Spirits’ work through me AND others.
    I’ve been there and it is the plan of Satan to get a Christian just out of the will of God enough to begin to feel sorry for ourselves. Withdrawal is crying on the devil’s shoulder.
    Praise the Lord it does not have to be that way! Praising God for His victory over sin and the deception of withdrawal through sending a person, Jesus! And conquering death and hell ultimately giving us the power of the Holy Spirit to live as His people without void.
    BSF is a safe place to learn how to live the ABUNDANT life God has promised to every believer through the good and the bad, lifting one another up in prayer!
    I praise God for my fellow Christian friends as I know when God calls me to Heaven, there will be people at my funeral and my family will be cared for – God provides that. Prov. 17:17 and Prov. 18:24

    • Tassie Sumner

      Well said!

  71. Tom Miller

    I’ve experienced great comfort and inspiration from participation in BSF. Whether it’s insight gleaned from shared discussions of scripture, commiseration and support with life’s challenges, or inspiration gained from others’ testimonies of faith, I’ve found a rock-solid foundation in this vibrant and varied community of fellow Christians.

  72. Peledina

    Waw. It is true we need each other. Through testimonies, one is able to learn that whatever he is going through, he is not alone and neither is he the first one to suffer. That coming together helps us encourage each other and of course God is always in the midst where we are gathered in his name. I keep on asking myself what I would have done without BSF. God bless you abundantly.

  73. Susan

    I was going to withdraw from my BSF class because I am not finding time to do my work because of not attending class regularly as I would wish to. I am challenged that of course withdrawing is not the solution but I should show up and open up.

  74. Piano Ng

    I am so glad that I am in the group and get the support from each other 🙂

  75. Rosalyn Brown

    Susie, this is absolutely true. We really need each other. We need to touch. We need to look into each other’s eyes. We need to pray out loud together! Every part of a BSF day is blessed but the Holy Spirit in discussion group time? The BEST.

  76. Fran Goetz

    Tank you for sharing this article.

  77. Leong Wai Cheng

    Christ never fail us, HE is faithful and I appraise you!!
    It’s good to be in watchful community so we are alert of any wrong doing, need to be open minded with comments and don’t be offended or feel attacked. Truth is always at time hard to digest. Trust Our Lord is guiding and teaching us!

  78. Heide

    So true… Sharing in a safe and caring environment is so important for spiritual growth and strengthening community. I’m so thankful for my BSF sisters who were integral to my healing from deep wounds. Let us all be that “safe” place for others to heal and grow.

  79. Hattie Gildon

    Thank you for this.
    I SO NEEDED THIS TODAY!!!!

  80. Linda

    I like your last statement “
    Together, let us experience God through one another for His majesty and our maturity!”

    I just heard a sermon on being vulnerable. The definition of vulnerable is someone who is completely and rawly open , unguarded with heart, mind and soul. To be seen and known to others.

    Isn’t that what we all want in relationship? I am not good at it but I pray to be and press on.

  81. joni

    No its never too late! Pls get in and do the best you can and don’t compare here to there. God has you where you need to grow and draw closer to him. I went for my first time ever during the last 3 weeks of classes. I knew no one but I know Jesus and I know He wants me in the Word. Praying for you to get plugged in

  82. Denise

    It’s interesting that this questions has come up. My friend in AZ had just told me about her unfortunate experience in BSF. When she moved to AZ she thought BSF would be a great place to meet other Christian women and begin some new friendships. She is a very outgoing, friendly and talkative person. Her faith means a lot to her. Her BSF leader pretty much discouraged her from getting “too friendly” with the other ladies in her group and that they were there to discuss the Bible questions. I encouraged her to perhaps talk with someone in charge to see if they could be of help. The discussion leader came over to her house to talk. After their discussion, my friend said she felt even more alienated from the group. My heart was so sad for her because I have never felt that way in any of my groups within BSF. Not sure if some areas of the country are a little more strict about forging friendships. I would love for her to give BSF another try but not sure how to approach this.

    • Laurie Carson

      Perhaps a better fit could be CBS instead…less rules oriented but deep in the word…? It could be she needs to talk more than listen right now. Maybe there is something serious going on in her life

    • Globe Mallow

      I’ve joined BSF in AZ for a year now and realized that it is a great place to dig into God’s word and learn. However, because the lessons are quite fast pace, there is just not enough time for socialization and people to get to know each other during discussion time. Time is very limited and the group leader has to go through all the questions and there are a lot to discuss! Personally, I would love to see more time in and out of class to get to know people. Sadly, even though I’ve joined for a year now, I still have not made any good friends from BSF. But I’ve definitely grown in my understanding of God’s word. I wish BSF would place more emphasis on members building relationship with each other because getting support from fellow christians is as essential as knowing God’s word.

      • Marie

        I am not familiar with other BSF groups and this is my second year with my satellite group in FL. Our teaching and group leaders are always encouraging gatherings with each other and plan a monthly fellowship either a 1/2 hour prior to the lesson or on an alternate day and time. And the teaching leaders often come to the social/fellowship gatherings in the satellite groups. I attend them as often as possible. At last evenings class we studied 2 Thessalonians and I had found it a challenging study at home, but in the group got in touch with the hope and joy of the scripture. I am thankful for my fellow students and their encouragement and their prayers.

    • Sherry

      Oh that is so sad! Might there be another BSF group in the area? I know there is not a lot of time to get to know others during the time together, but maybe someone would be willing to meet for coffee or lunch on another day. I pray she doesn’t give up. If BSF doesn’t work out, maybe she can find a women’s group in a local church.

  83. Terri Tighe

    Just moving here in November and not knowing my way around yet. I plan on starting up this fall. I miss the fellowship and moving discussions! I did find the church it’s held at, but am assuming it’s late to start for this year.

    • Beth Elder

      Not at all, Terri! We are Studying Acts of the Apostles this year, so we are jumping around from the book of Acts to other books. Anytime this year would be a great time to start! Especially being new to town, I think it would be good for you Spirit.

    • Sherry

      My understanding is that you can join at any time. I would call someone to verify that, but it’s worth a try.

    • Carol harvey

      It is not too late to start. We are having a mini study on Thessalonians and ladies are welcome to sign up for the rest of the year if they so wish.

  84. Rick Taylor

    Our sermon today was on exactly the same passage with a similarmessage: grow roots in your church and know that you are a part of a bigger body.

  85. Mary Lewis

    I’ve found that my BSF Christian community has aided me during numerous trials and tribulations over the last 8 years and prior to that, because I was holding on to so much. Members in my group have prayed with me, especially when I felt alone while engaging in battles. Over the years, I’ve seen miracles take place and numerous prayers answered, but most important, the deepening of my faith and strengthening of my personal relationship with Jesus. I can honestly say that I’ve acquired a peace that surpasses ALL understanding and have learned to let go and let God.

    Each year, I have had the opportunity to be in a group of fabulous broken women at BSF, who fed each other with their life experiences and how seeking the potter, aided in mending them. This made me feel so much a part of the family and learned that from our tests we obtained testimonies. By sharing with each other, we learned that we never have to feel alone anymore. It also seems that our group leader is always on point in reaching out to us, when we need it.

    God is with us through it all and He only wants what is best for us. It’s all about His season and never our own…..a valuable lesson learned. God has blessed me with a fabulous support system of prayer warriors via BSF. I’m not where I use to be, but I thank God every day that I am not where I use to be. I look forward to continuing my spiritual growth and maturity and that the light of Christ will illuminate in me, so that others will want it and I can introduce Jesus to them. All that I am and all that I have, is only because of God. Faith without works is dead ( James 2:26).

  86. Ellis del Rosario

    I agree to this, that group discussion is a must for us to grow more in Jesus’ way. I pray that i may continue and persevere attending classes.

  87. Karen Lasky

    I LOVE BSF. I have had to travel to care for my future husband who just had back surgery. I brag about BSF to everyone I know.

  88. Eric Evans

    Yes I agree with all you! Putting into practice is difficult with the saints we get in our discussion groups!
    Even when I was in leadership it was near impossible to become more than BSF “ friends “ as we’re all busy professionals otherwise and seemed like everyone was all friended-up with no openings or inTeresa for more!

    Separately, the new approach to discussion groups leads into too much experiential opinions rather than focusing on what God wrote to us to train us .
    Answering the questions and sharing from that rather than the GL attempting to ask open ended application questions that I’ve not prepared for is very frustrating!
    My two shekels…

  89. Thomas

    It is very challenging to get to know Christians in the church or bible study fellowship group. I have Christian friends outside the church I attend and also outside bible study group. We communicate with each other through phone,text and lunches. I have great friends who are secular in nature. I am not lonely. If god gives close friends from the church and bible study group will be nice. However I am not desperate. Friendship evolves and I have no control of it. God is in charge of this particular area of my life.

  90. SUE MULLENDORE

    This scripture based message is powerful. I just gave a friend the Thessalonians BSF lessons with an invitation to attend with me. This message is just the “frosting on the cake” with my invitation! Bless you, BSF Staff!

  91. Sandra

    Being in the same small group for several years has really been important for me in building the trust needed for this. Thanks for a timely word!

  92. Regina

    Thanks for those encouraging words they really helped me to evuate my situation please keep me in prayer

    • Regina

      I attend Bfs on Mondays but I feel uncomfortable because of my hearing problem I am limited in taking part because of that it is hard for me to communicate like I would like to

      • Linda

        Regina, don’t give up! I suffer from hearing loss & am a children’s leader in a BSF day class. I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 21 years! As great as technology is – it’s far from perfect. Maybe ask your leader (privately) to remind the class members to speak up. I know how frustrating & isolated hearing loss can make you feel, but keep hanging in there. God bless!

      • Rosemary

        What has helped me in this area is to sit next to the leader. If you notice that when the ladies share they tend to direct the answers towards the leader. Try this and see if it will help

  93. Avona Preston

    Wow I SERIOUSLY WANT TO SAY A VERY HEART FELT THANK YOU. I have been coming to BSF since Jan in Isaiah. I LOVE BSF for many reasons, But, Lately I Just want to be done with this chapter & go on to the Next chapter of MY Life. I started the group in Las Vegas Grace Presbyterian with a Couple of Ladies I Played Bunco with for some 5 Yrs. Kathy Raponos, Carol , Alexx Green & several others who have come & gone. Alexx Green & I are FRIENDS Now because I joined BSF. I respond when I can to Kathy R’s call for A Volunteer in Children’s. BUT, other than Alexx here I am some what ten yrs down the road and have Just one Lady I can TRULY Call Friend. Yes, I KNOW all the Admin . I AM still seeking friendship. I try each class to reach out to others but they are too busy for Me or so they say….. YEP I Need more than a class full of ladies talking about what the questions say unless it is their interpretation. Thanks for letting me Vent. It is a fantastic place for group discussion & studying the BIBLE. I think it gets bogged down with Redundant Questions at times. Avona Preston I will still advertise BSF. WOW I just read through several comments I sure am ME ME ME aren’t I. I have been a Church of Christ Christian since I was 9. Still do NOT understand HOLY SPIRIT. SO, I sit here and I am Praying I will RECEIVE HIM. THANK YOU again

  94. Sandy Ford

    Amen! Thank you Susie!
    Our group largely fell apart this year when our discussion leader had to step down from leadership just a few weeks into our year. Our group was 15 women and discussion was awesome. Sadly, when she left all but 3 of us left also. It has made it very difficult for our group this year, but the 4 of us have been blessed richly for our perseverance. We do NEED each other!

  95. Mary Mbugua

    BSF has not only grown in spiritually but I have made good friends from the group meetings. BSF is a wonderful study and my only regret is why I took so long to join. God bless everyone who in anyway contributes towards BSF.

    • Faith Itumbi

      BSF for me has been process of spiritual growth and the discussion group has also been an encouragement to know others are also going through stuff ,iam not alone.
      I thank God for BSF

  96. Grace

    Thank you for the message it has awaken me. I hqve been on and off since the end of last year. I pray to God to give me strength to attend BSF without missing.
    Oh God help me.

  97. Hannah Njung'e

    For sure my prayer for this week on Wednesday is to show up and open up! Please pray with me for my BSF time to be protected and for God to surround me with a hedge of protection until then! You have no idea how much you have built me up with encouragement and I am raring to go today and study Thessalonians with an open mind! Yeah!

  98. Gordon E. Carpenter

    Praise The Lord for “community”!
    I have been a student of B.S.F. for nearly seven years. I am so privileged to be involved here in Abbotsford, B.C. Canada. We have a great group here.

  99. Frankie Cheng

    Pls add me this newsletter subscription as I already joined BSF in VCAC, Van. , BC . , following is my email address to receive this newsletter.

    Tks a lot and cheers:-)

    Frankie Cheng

  100. Maryann VandeKieft

    Praise God for BSF in my life. I’ve experienced life with an unfaithful husband and I found myself totally withdrawing out of shame and feeling scorn. A dear friend “pulled me” toward a BSF group. It was Gods way of saving me from deep depression. I’ve been in leadership more than 20 years . This group, this study, these precious women held me close in prayer. The group discussion was key!! Sharing and praying for one another !! Praise God for His Word and this organization.

  101. Marjorie Gilbert

    Thank you for your letter,Susie. Yes, small group communities do help us in our walk with Christ. It is imperative that we find “family” with whom to share, laugh, cry, study, pray and grow. I have found that it takes nearly the year for some ladies to become comfortable in opening up. Then, we are placed in an entirely different group. After our displacement last year, our “ sisters” are scattered as far as 30 miles away. We had held one another up through losses of husbands, health, a lovely classmate, family relationships, and other life changing events. The disruption of our closely knit group left us suffering more loss. Life is so short, it would be comforting to be able to remain together for more than one year. We are always excited to welcome new sisters into our BSF class, so we are not on any way exclusionary. God bless you and all who work so diligently at the home office. The Holy Spirit is working through you to bring many others into His glorious Kingdom. It is exciting to watch it grow! In His Name, Marjorie Gilbert

    • Jennifer

      I agree with the changing groups each year, just when your finally feeling safe to share.

    • Mary

      On the other hand, if you’re in a group that doesn’t really “mesh”, or in a group where there are a few monopolizers, or the group dynamics are such that people don’t open up much, then one might look forward to being with a new group of people next year.

  102. Mona Lisa Raley

    SHOW UP AND OPEN UP!!!!! Thanks for sharing, this has given me more insight of HIM and understanding more about BSF that I can share with others. Peace and blessings to each of you.

    • Kate

      Thank you for speaking directly to my current situation. I have been feeling down for so long now. I don’t know how to feel better, even when I was attending BSF I felt so isolated. Life is so lonely.

      • Liz

        I used to feel lonesome at church, Bible studies, other gatherings. But this is what changed me completely. I made up my mind to introduce myself to at least one new person a week. Before I go to church or any other get together, I pray, “Lord, show me how I can bless others and minister to them.” When I get there, I do not focus on my lonely feelings, or that everyone else seems to have someone to talk to except met. Instead, I purposefully look for those who are alone, who are new, who might be having a hard time, who are marginalized. I say a quick prayer and go and introduce myself. Never been lonesome since I’ve been doing the above.

        • Robin Huckeba

          Thank you Liz. You obviously have learned how to utilize the Holy Spirit’s power to strengthen you in those tough, lonely moments. May God bless your faithfulness.

        • Nancy Krusic

          Liz, I love the action you have taken, to be a blessing to someone else! Gods love in action❤️😊🙏

      • Robin Huckeba

        Hi Kate. I too come from a place of emotional insecurity and struggle with finding a way out. I keep reading about getting out there and helping someone or serving somewhere as a way to help with this. It’s hard for people like us but with prayer and the Holy Spirit I pray you and I can take that step and bring glory to our Lord while He heals us in the process. ❤️

  103. Terri Thomas

    I really enjoy all the wisdom and understanding of our BSF Study provided each week. Indeed the teaching, transparency,and prayers of my Facilitator with our entire class inspires us all to continue seeking God’s daily plan and purpose.

  104. Ruth

    Thanks for the reminder. we are gathered in moderate sized groups in sanctuary it gets loud and less intimate. Sometimes I feel alone anyway. The BSF fro in Fl was good though much warmer

  105. Kelly Vivar

    I invited a new Christian to join BSF (in another country). She joined a satellite group. This happened just a few months ago. She had just come out from depression.
    And the topic at that time was about suffering. She felt uneasy hearing that “one will suffer or must suffer if they follow Christ ”

    The discussion group she was in didn’t help either. She said, people talked about nothing but their sufferings.

    She said she went there expecting to learn from the homework assigned. The questions were hardly touched. It was mostly personal problems. Her GL was just quiet and always kept saying ‘What do you think?’…then personal problem sharing continues.

    She said, she always went home with a heavy heart. And she just dragged herself to the next class. (She was just embarrassed not to go because of me, she said)… but to her, it was like an “Alcoholics Anonymous” class.

    The last straw for her was when she shared something and the women in her group started “correcting” her. She had shared something that a priest said about “sufferings”.
    She felt like everyone ganged up on her.

    She felt indignant. “Who are they to lecture me? Are they all experts?” And she said her GL did nothing and just let it go on.

    Her “last” talk with her GL did not help at all as she was told
    “you are not the only one suffering in this world. There are others who are suffering more than you”.

    And so that sealed it.

    Even i had to tell her that she should stop going because i felt her anguish and it has caused her more anxieties. Why will Jesus want her to suffer? Has she not had enough, she asked.

    She was so happy when she found Christ. (I was with her then and i have seen the change in her. Other people noticed the glow and the peace on her face ) and i have told her to go to bsf since i was leaving for another country and i wanted her to continue growing in her relationship with Christ.

    She was so frustrated that she said she was dropping this “born again” thing. It is very hard and very painful. She chose to go back to her “old religion”.

    I know that this may be just “one o” case, but i want to bring it to your attention. I know we have adopted new methods of doing things but please take note of this reaction. I know that you are prayerful about all these and i am praying with you on this.

    Thank you very much.

    • Jane Taylor

      I am so sorry this happened to your friend. I will pray for peace and hope for joy in her life. It is so disappointed her group experience was not what both of you had hoped for.

      • Liz

        I’m very sorry to read your account. In regards to my suffering, I have been treated terribly by some Christians and wonderfully supported by others. I almost walked away from my faith after a bunch of negative encounters with Christians, but I came to the realization that my faith is in Christ, not in people. I also realize that I am guilty of not always treating people in correct way, so I try to give others grace. Again, I am very sorry about your friend and I pray that she will sincerely keep seeking the Lord and that the Lord will put some solid, loving Christians in her life.

  106. nancy singer

    Should i stay in a church that is about to vote on gay bishops. I am a strong christian, my first time attending this church, love the people, church is divided not sure to leave or stay and be a witness. If they vote for Gay Bishops i know that is not where God wants me. Vote will be in may, love the pastor and have made friends this past year here They do great works, and they are 50/50 split I do not know if leaving is a better witness than staying and waiting it out with the other 50 percent that are not in favor of Gay bishops. Please help me

    • Barb

      Spend time with the Lord in prayer seeking his guidance for you in the situation. What the Lord directs YOU to do might not be what he wants others to do, so you need to seek him yourself. Pray. Fast. Ask others to pray for the Lord to guide you.

  107. Jennilyn

    Just this week I got more out of discussion than my own personal study. The ladies have such wisdom and insight. The Lord often uses their comments to prick my conscience to further study or even conviction by the Spirit through their sharing. And I can share from my heart without fear of judgment.

    I’ve been involved with BSF for 25+ years in several classes and communities. BSF has been my circle, my community, but this year the Lord directed me to be involved in my local church too. I have never done a women’s Bible study in my local church. I am being blessed by a small group there too.

    We were created for community – to share and be loved, encouraged, challenged and held accountable but also to grow and learn more about Jesus.

    I love BSF! Thank you to HQ staff who work hard to provide lessons and pray for the ministry and each community and class.

  108. Pamela Swanlund

    My BSF sisters are true friends I can count on without judgement and know when they say they’ll pray for me, they truly do. Their love and concern comes from sincere love for the Father. I will always be grateful to God for His salvation and that he led me to BSF.

  109. ellen thomison

    thank you for writing this. being a part of the body of Christ is so important. i plan to share this with a family member who suffers from extreme depression and withdraws from life. i would appreciate any prayers that he would accept and heed this message.

    it is a wonderful blessing to be a part of this ministry!

  110. Joyce Edwards

    Hi BSF leaders at headquarters,

    Thank you so much for your part in BSF that has been a blessing to me since 1991.

    Fifteen of those years, I took three grandchildren to the children’s program and my heart overflows with joy and tears of gratefulness for how they were ministered to by so many sweet and precious
    children’s leaders.

    I am forever grateful for Bible study fellowship. There are so many unmeasurable ways
    BSF has blessed me.

    Alice, my teaching leader has been gifted to teach with such clarity and enthusiasm that we all have been encouraged to
    be faithful to His calling.

    I know y’all have a wealth of information that comes to you. I just wanted to share what was said to me yesterday.
    Google= benefits of hugging. There are even health benefits, physical benefits and spiritual benefits from hugging. That’s just the way God made us, to love Him and love others. That fits in with your message on Loneliness and Isolation.

    Thanks again for all your faithfulness and obedience.

    Gratefully His,
    Joyce Edwards

  111. M Fiene

    Praise God for His perfect timing! I was in bed recovering today. I had suffered overnight and into the morning with a severe migraine, which I am pretty certain came as the result of a very stressful work week! I checked my email and read this BSF message. I felt God’s presence in it’s content:
    “So, what is the cure for lonliness and isolation?”

    I want to share that I cried as I read the passage….I cried really hard! I found comfort in understanding the importance of sharing with others in our small BSF groups. How coming together in fellowship we can ease the loneliness and hardships we all face as we each take our daily walk in a broken world, at times with broken hearts. 💕

    My head felt better! A good emotional, cleansing cry had helped my body to release all of the tension that it was holding on to. The tension that was the cause of my pain. My head felt sooo much better! God healed my physical and emotional pain.

    I did not go to BSF this week, I missed the opportunity to be with my supportive Christian sisters and to be in God’s word.
    My God was right beside me this whole week and I had neglected to let him help me.
    How often do we all forget, God is with us in every trial.He alone knows the Christians he will send to nuture and grow us. To help turn our misery to maturity in times of trials. Jeremiah 29:11

    My mind has been opened to how I can better handle my stresses at work. My outlook is hopeful for a better work week and I look forward to sharing this message with my BSF group and with a non-Christan friend.

    I was born again just a few years ago and it was a Sunday school friend who suggested BSF to me. Thank you BSF for this timely article and for your
    commitment to Chrisian communities both locally and globally.

    God’s peace be with you,
    Michelle

  112. Anne Samuel BENNANI

    BSF’s satellite online classes has come for me as an answer to prayers. I live in a country/city where there is no church or Christian’s though not so long ago God provided for a couple of believers.
    I am so grateful to God for providing me with such a wonderful group of sisters in Christ. We come together from different continents and different timezone.
    We stand with each other in prayer in all the cares concerning each and every one of us. Our group leader is one of the most caring, loving person who encourages us all. Our discussions are always so interesting.
    Thank you BSF and most of all thank You Lord for making this possible.

  113. Glenda Murphy

    I have been challenged to trust God more due to difficulty with a cataract surgery starting on Oct. 1. I have been so thankful for my leader who kept me in touch with the group, has and still is praying for me. On being able to return to the group the ladies had also been praying for me. What joy it gives me to know God has been faithfully supporting me through these dear ladies. IT is sweet bonding with my fellow sisters in Jesus. Thank you BSF.

  114. Karago Mbiru

    In this modern, impressionist world, this is extremely relevant.

    Unimportant things we use to measure success, or simply feeling less than one should are some of the reasons for withdrawing.

    We all need to be Barnabas and encourage one another not just to come, but also to share and be vulnerable in their sharing; and pray earnestly for one another.

  115. Lorraine A Thomas

    Wow, I love this message so much, I dont think I can fit everything I want to say in this box. Many years ago, when I got out of fellowship with other believers, for various life circumstances, it became the loneliest period of my life. In contrast to that, this past year my husband passed away in Feb. ’19, this should have been the loneliest period of my life, but because of my Christian friends at BSF, God has sustained me. The church I belong to has a large congregation, and I have shared with a few their about my loss, and Im sure their prayers have sustained me too. I have learned whenever God refreshes us spiritually, we then can be equipped to refresh others. Everything works so beautifully together when we are in Christ and Christian fellowship. I am a nurse, and I have been taking care of a patient who has ALS and is in the end stages. When his wife is not in the room,(she has blatantly said she does not want me to speak of Jesus}, I have spoke truths to him about Christ’s love and forgiveness and eternal life with Jesus in Heaven. His wife however is at this point angry with God, she is very isolated spiritually, and though has grown up in a religious background does not know Jesus as her savior…not only is she losing the love of her life, but now she has found out that her sister has CA and is stage IV . Please pray for this woman as I go take care of her husband that she will be open to the healing balm that only Jesus has to offer, and that she find community among Christians.

  116. Joy Machunga

    I say a big amen to this article and a big yes to DGs. I have been blessed being in a circle with Christians as we share God’s word together and the strength and encouragement we get from each can not be over emphasized.

  117. Ca

    I moved to Cape Coral Florida. I would like to find BSF group here.

    • Andrea

      Hi!
      I see a class nearby…hope it’s close enough for you. 😊

      New Hope Presbyterian Church
      Women’s Evening Class with Children (6-18)
      Ft. Myers, Florida 33966

      The BSF website has all the information.

  118. Elaine

    I am new to BSF and was in another study for 14 years. I come to study God’s word and grow in my faith walk. I see others who struggle as I do and know I’m not alone in my trials. It is encouraging and comforting. BSF is different in that it focuses on application not just study. This is new to me and I can already tell that it’s a challenge….which is good. Thankful for BSF, the leaders and prayer….prayer is a must and privilege we all have to love one another.

  119. Tonyia

    I have a disability, a degenerative, neurological disease. I attend BSF and then I go home, to do the next lesson. I still feel isolated and alone dealing with this disability. I must exercise every day, difficult to do house work especially while I am simultaneously recovering from a total knee replacement. When I worked out of the home, there was comradeship and M-F, evenings and weekends were different. Now 7 days a week are basically the same. Not much to look forward to other than BSF. Sometimes I feel to ill to attend but I cannot interact with my group. I know the importance of BSF and being with the community. Being concerned for others. BSF helped me to get through winter/early spring of 2019. I miss being with Community in summer but I cannot go outside much in the summer. I am extremely high humidity, heat- sensitive, in the summer. With the disease I have, I must be in a/c when it is 82 degrees, or limit my exposure to the heat. Many Multiple Sclerosis folks have this problem. Thus I am limited to being sequestered to my house or sneak from one a/c place to another a/c place. Everyone are enjoying their summer activities and families.

    • Carol J. Brooks

      Tonyia,
      My heart goes out to you. I am praying for you to find a kindred spirit at BSF that you can communicate with during the week. Thank goodness for technology that can keep us face-to-face with friends and family while we’re in our homes. I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to those who want and need relationships like you do. We all do! Please keep doing that homework because it is rich.
      I recently retired and started BSF last year. I’m a teacher in the School Program and I feel BSF also gives me accountability so I don’t stray from God’s path in my senior years. That happened over and over again in the Bible.
      God speed, Tonyia!

    • Yolanda Buxton

      I too have a degenerative neurological infirmity, but there has been no diagnosis as yet. They have ruled out MS. I am still able to drive and remain involved with my church. After my morning devotions, I have been putting together jigsaw pushes while listening to Christian Radio on my iPhone. This activity has strengthened me greatly. It keeps the loneliness away, although I do still get bored at times. Reading and watching programs that the Lord leads me to helps. I hope this helps you and I pray that we can agree to pray for each other and together.

      • Yolanda

        I wrote earlier and spell check wrote in the wrong word. I do jigsaw puzzles not pushes.

  120. Ethel Hall

    Amen! Thanks for your encouragement. I have been tempted to withdraw several times this year. When I continue, I receive so much encouragement from the study and the ladies in my group. I am so appreciative of all the local and national BSF leaders….God Bless!

    • Anne Samuel BENNANI

      BSF’s satellite online classes has come for me as an answer to prayers. I live in a country/city where there is no church or Christian’s though not so long ago God provided for a couple of believers.
      I am so grateful to God for providing me with such a wonderful group of sisters in Christ. We come together from different continents and different timezone.
      We stand with each other in prayer in all the cares concerning each and every one of us. Our group leader is one of the most caring, loving person who encourages us all. Our discussions are always so interesting.
      Thank you BSF and most of all thank You Lord for making this possible.

  121. Doretta K. Watson

    Thanks so much for this message you have shared with me! It really applies to me right now. I will appeal to God more for His leading! Thanks to all the BSF leaders !

  122. Eliud Ngahu Waithaka

    This message is quite encouraging,I have at times shared some of my challenges with my colleagues in the BSF with alot of success.

  123. Clayshia A Willis

    Thank you for such encouraging insight! The BSF meetings are being held in the Methodist Church (of which I was a member for 73 yrs.) that embraces the gay agenda (as well as agreement to perform gay marriage services) and many manners of man-made traditions honored has really affected me. BSF has given me more exciting study of The Word than all the many studies and classes I have attended. Having this process and this turnabout from Christ teachings and God’s Word has grieved me from participating in such a secular setting. I soooo enjoy BSF and will pray about where God wants me. I will ask Him for answers to my many prayers if my attendance would offend Him in such a setting. Any spiritual guidance appreciated!

    • Duane

      I recently left the UMC church for similar reasons. Fortunately I had BSF members who attended other area churches, inviting me to attend. Some good Bible-believing churches out there and that meant I already knew someone! Glad I attended BSF to make transferring easier.

  124. Victor C Kakane

    I did leave BSF some time back because I thought I had grown enough. But after a while I realised I was still a baby needing milk. So I came back. This is a good article. Thank you.

  125. Kathy Hagensieker

    I left BSF because of time and family concerns,but there were unkind comments last year (in my discussion group) targeting my church of origin. One comment was by the discussion leader. I made the teaching leader aware, and I understand these things aren’t preventable, but I don’t want to attend a group that does this.

    • Kathy Hagensieker

      (Replying to my own comment…) I am 66 years old and had attended BSF years ago and grew through the study. I know it’s a great organization. If the more relaxed guidelines make it possible for more women to participate, then that’s fine. I am healthy, resourceful and resilient and will continue to seek God.

      But I do wonder if they can steer the women toward a little kindness and tact without being overly structured.

    • Carol McGrath

      Thank you for bringing up such a difficult experience. We all need your reminder that leaving churches out of our conversation, in our discussion groups, is important. I’d encourage you to speak lovingly to your leader. God does call us to have the difficult conversations as well as the fun ones.

      God please forgive me if I’ve ever said anything that offends one of your precious children, Amen.

      • Kathy Hagensieker

        Thanks for your kind reply. I communicated with the discussion leader and the teaching leader, but I expect it to be a regular problem. I understand, but don’t want to hear negative things about the church I grew up in. I have 2 and a half (lol) sisters who are still active, as well as my deceased family members. Again, I really appreciate your kind reply – it means a lot.

  126. Janet gaceri muthamia

    Thanks very much for this encouragement. Indeed the Christian community encourages a lot, especially when going through tough situations which makes me feel like I need isolation from the rest of the world.

  127. Vicki

    In my experience, when I want to or do withdraw from Christian activity and fellowship is when I need it the most!

  128. Regina W.

    What a wonderful, timely message of encouragement regarding reaching out to others in the body of Christ. I’m encouraged also by the comments of the other readers. Thank you all.

  129. Precious

    Thank you for this I have been feeling isolated because of what someone said about my religion. I know that we are all praying to the same God, and I am grateful for the growth I’ve experienced through BSF. I will continue to go to BSF because I truly love Jesus and I know he wants me to continue to grow spiritually.

  130. john( David) hamrick

    In past years the fellowship aspect of BSF was explained as between the individual and GOD. Is this aspect of BSF changing also?

    • Anna Kleinschmidt

      I am in Germany right now and not at home for three months. I don’t have a church community here and i felt so isolated that i went into a depression. Community is crucial for sanity and really we can’t do it alone.
      God is always with us but He works through people.

  131. Deb B

    I agree! I send out daily devotions at least a couple times a week to the members if it corresponds with a discussion we had in our group that Monday night, I text if God puts something on my heart that is a message from him to the gals, And I do make a phone call Once during the week. The phone calls are embarrassing for me, but the group respond so well to the calls and texts combined. God has blessed me with a very loving. And real group.

    • Deb B

      Also, I do begin each. Monday night discussion with asking the Holy Spirit to show up and end the discussion with asking that What we discussed becomes real to each of the gals the following week. We all get so much out of each person’s responses to the questions, We have all grown from that, and we are experiencing the depth of God’s word and what that means in our life! Love BSF

  132. Veronica Montoya

    This was truly a message I needed to hear. You don’t realize how many years I have been “okay “ with attending and being at church alone attending conferences and concerts alone. saying to myself That it’s okay. Well after reading this I had to be honest with myself. I need to be part of a community. Being alone is not okay and not what God created us to be. It’s good to be comfortable alone but not to think that is where God has me LOL for going on 8!years??

    • Susan Sloan

      I do agree about this isolation thing I’m a widow and live alone and even when I would get out in the world I felt invisible no one would see me and it made me happy I was comfortable with my peaceful life and being invisible but I came under conviction after a bsf class discussion and something a member shared about not hiding your light and that is what the darkness wants ,,and now I’m trying, I’m happy in my Lord and want to abundantly share my love and to look for chances to embrace the outside world

  133. Melinda Williams

    Did you really mean I Thessalonians 4:12 in the introduction? What you quoted isn’t 4:12 in my Bible….

  134. Susan Eder

    Can’t begin to tell you how timely this message is! I’m currently on break at a conference with 1000+ women and was wishing I was anywhere else but here! As I took a minute to look at emails I saw this message. Beautiful reminder of how needy I am And how wonderfully God graces me through others when I want to pull the blanket over my head and hide. Thank you!😊

  135. Tom D.

    Thank you. As it’s said below, I needed this. Keep teaching and encouraging.

  136. Gloria Hester

    I needed this today. I have been feeling lonely and have been withdrawing. Thank you for this word. Now I will reach out.

  137. Stephanie

    Thank you so much for this! I have been involved in a group this year. I have found myself, though my desire was initially to grow in relationships, backing away. My very kind and loving leader has not given up on me and continues to contact me. I have realized that though I desire relationships, I tend to withdraw. This next Thursday I am returning to BSF but in another location due to work.

  138. Bennett Johnson

    Do not allow anything or anyone to distract you from your goal of spiritual growth and a closer relationship with God.

  139. Nancy Binkley

    God has used BSF to bless my life. It has been transforming. The BSF community is a safe place to grow and share, to fail and begin again, to love, pray and support all surrounded by the truth of God’s Word. Visiting a class in Cape Town, SA last year, thousands of miles from home, as I sat and listened to the discussion group – I thought to myself – Lord, this feels just like home. These are my people, Lord !!!! It’s that connection that makes the discussion group so vital.

  140. eunice

    Thank you, Susie. I needed this. So desperately. I have withdrawn result of a facial surgery a very self minded surgery that went South. I don’t look like Eunice I can’t crawl out of my depression. Such a Self minded act I have been running from people from BSF from my choir. My church and Friends…. I am so ashamed. And I know God loves me, but I have lost. Spirit how could I get that Spirit Lord within me, the one Elijah asked double dose?

  141. Kathleen Cochran

    Susie – what you say is so true! My BSF group has become a very important part of my life. I know they pray for me and I can trust them with whatever may be going on in my life that is challenging. I love these women and they love me back. They show God’s love and presence in their lives and are an inspiration to me.

  142. Mike Archer

    I’ve thought I could become a hermit. Thank God for my wife, church and BSF, I have been drawn closer to God through community.

  143. D Sumner

    A subject was raised and discussed at my last BSF discussion group which no one there knew was on my heart and causing concern except God. I was amazed but thankful to God for the insight and clarity which came over a very up to date problem for people today especially our young people, children growing up and parents.

    • Susie Rowan

      I am so encouraged by all the stories you have shared of honest, open sharing in a safe discussion group environment. I know not every group has reached the point where people feel comfortable sharing at this level but this is our goal. Why? Because powerful transformation happens as a community of people who follow Jesus show up, open up and care for one another. Sometimes it only takes one to bring breakthrough to authentic, transparent sharing of lives in the context of the Scripture.

      • Songcha Kazen

        Amen, Amen for that🙏Sister in Christer 🛐💐

  144. lynda johnston

    I loved this and my BSF group has helped me so much to find friends and encouragement. I am 77 yrs old and had grown comfortable in my isolation, or at least I had told myself that. I just had not realized how much I need an opportunity to get deeper into Bible Study and to find other women, nearing my age, that were so supportive, without even realizing they were. God Bless them and the leadership for all that you do in your growth in the Word.

  145. Mayra Rodriguez

    I thank God for this opportunity and be part of BSF. He works in ways that only he knows…. he is my support and took me several years to attend the classes, but he has his time and I am enjoying more and more every single week….

  146. Myra Wright

    Good morning, I signed up for for the BSF in my community. I was given the name of the church and representative. I was unable to find the church. I would love to be one of your groups . Thank you so much. I looked forward to hearing from you.

    • Susie Rowan

      Myra, I’m so sorry your attempt to find a class failed. If you call our receptionist on a weekday, she will help you. 201 492. 4676

      • Susie Rowan

        That phone is actually 210 not 201

  147. Janet van Houten

    This is a needed encouragement for our group members!

  148. Donna Hawley

    I thank God for the pattern of life together demonstrated by BSF HQ in your daily gatherings. The encouragement to learn, grow and love in Christian community is always needed. God bless our dear HQ staff, His servants, that model the way for enlarged faith and growing love in community with one another.

  149. Cristina Smallwood

    Christian community is the key, not only to grow in faith and maturity but, to gain the priceless feeling that you are not alone in your struggles. Our God, the Father, is with you! There is a world of people who prays, loves and cares for you. At BSF, where I belong to for around 20 years, one part completes the other, but DG is where we learn together the deep meaning of God’s word, share our experiences of His work in us and meet new members, getting to know and care for them. Blessed are we BSFers around the world!!!

  150. Ruth Couts

    Thank you!
    So true!

  151. Judy Groening

    Thank you for these reminders.
    I was inspired by BSF
    to become a small group facilitator 8 years ago through the Equipping ministry in my church.

  152. Carmen Miyares

    BSF is such a blessing. When we meet as a group, that is when and where the Holy Spirit really works in us. What was simply written in our notes and responses comes alive and the Lord speaks to us! The Lord allows us to see that we all have a cross to carry but that by having that communication with others, the load seems lighter.

    • priscilla

      BSF lessons are such a blessing for me it provides the need for my spiritual growth. We may be experiencing afflictions, persecutions, rejections, and ignore even in the church. Hathred, discrimination, bullies are around us despite we are called to be a follower of Christ. Through it all, God enables His own children not to give up life but to be faithfully lived for him. we endured again and again through it all. He is good.

  153. Kelli Cooper

    Amen. I joined BSF a year ago in January. I was desperate. I needed something in my life away from my home church where my husband is a pastor. BSF has become a lifeline for me. I am always amazed at how encouraged I am after just merely being in the presence of these beautiful women!

  154. EdnaB Hipszer-Whitmore

    BSF is very significant in my life. I wasn’t being “FED” at any church I attended here in Chesapeake/Portsmouth . So I shared this with my sister, from in Racine, WI. She referred me to the Deep Creek Baptist BSF location. I connected with them, and that was 12 or more years ago. I had gone through an abusive marriage with deep embarrassment and humiliation…. I slowly healed, by the grace of God, and by seeking the LORD through those EYE OPENING BSF lessons.. I can’t completely put into words the blessing from these studies through God’s grace and mercy Sharing some of the truths from those lessons with my adult children has helped bring the 3 of us so much closer to the LORD and revealed to us what HE expects of us, and how to live more holy lives. I was a very different person back then when I first started studying THE WORD with BSF women.. They are an inspiration to me, and I highly value those studies of HIS WORD as well as those fellowship with those that are sincerely and intensely seeking to know God in a deeper and more meaningful way.

  155. Eva Marceau, leader at Wayside

    Yes, I think it is important to have relationships in our groups. I remember I the 80’s & 90’s I was chastised for reaching out to a group member to exchange phone numbers. Now, I think it would be good to let people stay in the same group if they choose to. I can see there might be problems with this idea if you have a member that talks too much. It’s good to have long lasting relationships.

    • Faye Wampler

      Eva, I agree with your comment. Three years ago we were told not to share personal information but we agreed in our group it was important. That group and all those since then have become close, supportive and prayed each other through some extremely difficult situations. We’ve had joyful births, premature infant death and cancer but the support we have felt is God’s people being there when we need them. Miracles have happened and we shared those moments as well. When my cell phone goes ping, ping, ping, I know there is a prayer request and I stop to support these women I love. Most have chosen to stay together but we’ve had five become leaders who have developed five more close knit groups. Thank you BSF for understanding that much of studying the Word is feeling safe to be yourself and share your joy and pain.

      • Wei

        Good morning, The discussion leader cannot give out members contact info to other members in the group due to privacy issues, but the member can ask the other person for permission to contact them. Both parties have to agree to give permission for contact. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Judith Leacock

      Eva, I agree with you. I am a Group Leader and, I have noticed when the same ladies are allowed to remain in their groups, there is more sharing, more interaction with one another, a total sense of sisterhood. I have also noticed that they attend more regularly. Thanks for sharing hopefully the Teaching Leaders will allow the ladies if they choose too, honor their requests.

  156. Laura Bennett

    BSF has helped me find community and grace each time we move. Grateful for the godly influence and guidance from intergenerational study and fellowship

    • Mary Hein

      Two weeks in a row all were present in our BSF class. We come with broken bodies and broken spirits. We share, we listen, and we encourage one another. Some sit silent the entire hour. But we all come back week after week. We have studied how ordinary people in the Bible, just like us, have struggled with similar trials, and worse. We have learned from one another how trusting God has led us through and out of life’s suffering in one way or another. We leave each week wanting to come back because through our time together we felt love from one another, and most importantly, we felt God hug our heart.

  157. Catherine Millie Nanteza

    Thank you for the encouraging message. Before I was in BSF for 8 years but never felt that I do not need to continue partly because of the sharing with, and prayer support in the groups.

  158. Barry Johnston

    Thank you, Gone for a month on vacation and new I missed BSF but didn’t understand the reasons why.
    This helps me understand it.

  159. Cynthia Withrow

    I had been attending BSF since 2013 (6 years) my mother has dementia and I have been living with her for 13 years since my devoice. I just happen to be here after my devoice and building of my house down the road from her fell through. In 2013 I was talking to a friend and needed a support system due to all the things I had gone through due to the devoice and the failure of the new home not succeeding. She told me about BSF which I had never heard of. I knew immediately by the Holy Spirit that I should join. Her dementia has progressed slowly and I would always call her 2 to 4 times while I was attendind BSF to make sure things were okay with her. This would have been my 7th year and have always enjoyed it but things have changed with her this past year so I figured it was not going to work out for me to attend this year because it is a 45 to 50 minute drive one way. She is 90 years old and I hope to attend again at some point. I agree with the things said in this email. Thank you for sending it, Love in Christ.

    • Mary

      My situation is SO similar to yours, although my mother is now gone. I appreciate the word devoiceMary. It certainly expresses my feelings.

    • Vicki G

      Have you considered doing an online BSF class? Those are available now. Bless you for your selfless love and service to your mom. ❤️

  160. Lancy Wong

    So true! We experience God through one another, in the body of Christ. Let’s fight Satan’s temptation to disconnect us from Christ by staying connected with fellow believers.

  161. norman garwood

    64 years ago God changed me to new creature [ II Cor. 5:17 ]. His presence has been available all those decades – as I refrain from quenching Spirit. Now, somewhat homebound and twice divorced, the thirst for contact and feedback from others of ‘Faith Family’ is a yearn for me. Both former wives did not fully accept and commit to what I considered the high callings of Christian life.

  162. Julie

    This hits my heart bullseye, as if written specifically to me.

    I’ve been short in my attendance in the recent months. My excuses are not excuses at all.

    I have been praying for God to cleanse my heart of my past insecurities and to sustain me with His grace. He knows the desires of my heart and I claim His promise to align them with His.

    Thank you Susan! God bless uou and the entire BSF family for dedicated and devoted service to the Lord.

    To God be the honor and glory!

  163. Anna F Wooten

    Thank you for these words. I needed to hear them. God bless you and keep you well.

  164. Gladys

    Doing bsf in a group cannot be compared with doing it alone online. Community and fellowship with each other is best. Through the years I’ve learnt that God allows us to share our lives with others so that we don’t feel alone and I have enjoyed every bit of it

  165. Florene Baker

    May God be the glory!
    BSF in my opinion has given me the desire to pray and study Gods word. Also the word of God says, Hebrew 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling ourselves together, as some is; but exhorting one another: and as so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (KJV )
    Truly God has brought all believers together in BSF from all denominations . For there is one God, one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ
    Jesus, 1Timothy 2:5 KJV
    When we come together I enjoy hearing what God has spoken to each of us.

  166. Irene mwaura

    I thank God for this far I will be prepared and spread this gospel

  167. Kàssima Karina Finardi

    In a difficult time of sickness of my husband where was impossible to me attend a church BSF welcomed me with open arms and shared the amazing and pure biblical studies who blessed soooo much , years passed God cured my husband and now both of us can serve the Lord together for His Honor and Glory , we are moving from Switzerland to Spain and as I attend online BSF group no matter where I go or where I am – the amazing group as a body of Christ support lift eachother and we are blessed with the Word of God – I am so grateful and love BSF with all my heart ❤️

  168. Dee

    I appreciate the message of this article. I feel alone very often and have really been struggling with depression. Part of it might be a physical cause, hormones etc. I have isolated myself and missed BSF because my “lesson” wasn’t done. I felt embarrassed to come because everyone else in my group seems so together. This encourages me and helps me feel less alone. I know Satan is the accuser & too often I listen to him instead of the truth of God’s Word. Thank you. I’m going to try harder to attend even when I feel like staying in bed. Blessings to you all.

    • Cici

      God Bless you Dee. I feel your pain, exact feelings of being unworthy. I don’t know why I feel this way, I don’t want to go outside. I have an illness that flares up , I end up missing classes and feel so guilty for missing that I don’t go. I quit. Prayers for you, please pray for me.thank you, blessings.

      • Susan

        Cici- my heart aches for you. Praying, asking God to deliver you from this ‘demon’ of darkness. Don’t let paralysis keep you from reaching out to someone you trust.

    • Susan

      Dee, I suffer from depression as well. How self-righteous and haughty I was (silently) before I learned that ANYONE can be afflicted by depression. Praying God will provide you good counseling, meds if necessary, and friends who will walk with you in the dark valley. Your local church and BSF offer glimpses of the Light of the World – Praying God strengthens you to walk toward The Light- Christ.

    • REGINA W.

      Praying for your continued growth Dee. God bless your wisdom and insight and willingness to face your struggles with God’s help. I often affirm Philippians 4:13 when struggling with things I do not want to do and the Spirit helps me to do it. I know you will find your way through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  169. Titilola Adepegba

    I am really blessed with the admonition from Susie Rowan.I personally experience loneliness at times, but when I attend BSF discussion group I gain a lot from the sharing of the members of the group.I feel relieved and encouraged to move with the Lord.I am always looking for the BSF day to share,gain from others and be blessed spiritually from the lecture.My faith is gradually growing as I mix with other believers.I pray that God will use me to build others up as I am being built it spiritually everyday.I experience joy, love and bonding as a member of Christian family.

  170. Catherine

    How can I register for BSF online classes?

    • Kris

      Go online to bsfinternation.org and go to find a class. Then email or call the class administrator and she will instruct you.

      • Kristan Province Horn

        Bsfinternational.org
        Sorry for the previous typo

  171. Gladys Kingsley

    I totally agree with the sharing with others coming to Bsf has helped me a lot. I thank God for bringing me to Bsf

  172. Kecia Redrick

    This topic really caught my attention. I have truly isolated myself and loneliness is real. I pray everyday to put myself out around people again. I have a trust issue so I just don’t talk to people about anything . Everytime, I have tried to express myself it comes back in a painful way. The people I have shared with are Christian woman that are leaders in the church. Through all my hurt and pain one of the things I learned is to stop comparing myself to others because you really dont know how things are truly going in someones life. Joining bible study fellowship has help me stay connected to Gods word.

  173. Rita

    ^I pray we would find friends who speak truth to one another in a way that builds us up rather than tears us down. We need to be loved, and we need to be challenged.^

    Amen !
    Thank you 🙂

    • Bonnie

      Rita, I really like the way you said that. How very true!

      • Khana Kennet Patrick

        Thank you for this message! Its a timely reminder about the value of meeting to share our experiences in the light of God’s Word! BSF Discussion Groups are invigorating!

      • Khana Kenneth Patrick

        Thank you for this message! Its a timely reminder about the value of meeting to share our experiences in the light of God’s Word! BSF Discussion Groups are invigorating!

  174. Johnson N Kimani

    My desire is to emulate Paul for when he first came to Corinth he humble himself not to use lofty Words or impressive wisdom to reveal God’s plan. As a PCEA member,Bsf member,I am fully convinced community can provide a conducive plat form for acclaiming and proclaiming justices as opposed to injustices I have experienced in the journey of my life. To God be glory for evermore.

  175. Denwa Cheng

    Thank you for connecting me. Your words just like God speaks to me. I always find uncomfortable to face a group of people to sharing. I think that is too strange. I don’t know them, why I need to expose my wounds to them? Sometimes, the relationship is a bit …I don’t know. I don’t feel personal touch. That’s why I quited.

    • Mary

      I found at BSF when I opened up and took the risk of exposing some of my wounds, that other women in the group then opened up and shared their similar wounds. Some of them are “further along” in their journey than I am. They have given me some very helpful perspectives and great hope that I too can be healed from some traumatic things. To hear how they have steadfastly persevered in faith is a big encouragement to me.

    • Donna Resnick

      Don’t give up sister. Keep attending even if your lesson isn’t complete. Get up and go. Your attendance means more than you know.

    • ming

      i get life and strength every time I went no matter what.

    • Karen Grover

      Denwa–I’m sorry that you didn’t have a warm experience in your group. Would you consider trying the online BSF? I have been participating in it this year and I love it. I can wear what I want without makeup, sip my tea or coffee and respond when I wish or not. We have women from all over the world in our group and we all love hearing what is going on in their lives and countries. Some women are more quiet and some love to share. It is totally each person’s choice. Even though we are many miles from each other, I feel the caring. One woman has a little girl at home who comes in for a hug from time to time and another woman’s cats walk across her desk while we are meeting. I am praying that you will try again. I teach English to second-language learners at my church, and personally love learning about the various cultures and problems in other countries. It has changed my life! If you were in my class, we would love to hear whatever you wish to share and we would learn so much from each other!

  176. Lillian Mpunzwana

    I thank God for Bsf and for all the lessons they give us each week. I love fellowshiping with others sharing the Word and hearing also what the Lord is doing in other’slives. God strengthened my prayer life through these studies and through hearing others testimonies.

  177. Robert Cook

    Community worship, such as BSF is so important in my life. I am indeed growing in Christ Jesus. It give such credence to Psalms 133, where the Psalmist says, “behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”

  178. manju sujith

    Bsf online study is the best thing that has happened to me last year. I am truly blessed with a group of friends who pray and encourage me . you are so right about comunity.

    • Isaac Ephraim Tumusiime

      How do I get the online BSF study group?

  179. Hoswel Kariuki

    As we grow in community we need one and other and we should not be pretending to be close to one another but we should be able to make it realistic by our actions and activities of support to the other.

  180. Bridgit Muthoka

    Surely we need each other for support,, have seen many who has shared how close they were to quit but the home fellowship and sharing has made them not to. God blessings.

  181. George Thomas

    Yes.
    We should grow in the community, not in isolation.
    Each of us can show godliness and experience godliness from others which generates growth mutually.

  182. Lorraine Padrick Boyd

    Yes!
    So true!
    I haven’t had any hurts in BSF, but did have a memorable hurt in a small Christian group.

  183. Jennifer

    Yes this such a timely message. God actually said to me you can’t be the best you can be by being alone. He is such a great God!!!

  184. Pât Johnson

    I wouldn’t miss a meeting if my life depended on it. Of course sometimes circumstances keep it from happening. I feel that through the meetings I have met some amazing Christian women. Their sharing of some struggles, their Christian example, their prayers, and much more has led me to love them. Ladies don’t miss out on this part of BSF.

  185. Paulette

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to read today! Yes, God’s timing IS perfect!

  186. Helen Lee

    This is my first year of serving Children’s Program in BSF. My husband just lost his job last Monday, and I am struggling with my emotions. However, I’m still not giving up on holding on to Jesus and God’s word while I’m preparing for this weeks lesson. God gives me strength to stand firm on God’s words in my suffering. I confess my sin that I always look for good outcomes after I’ve done my own good works. I pray to Jesus to help me to seek and trust the Lord alone for my eternal life now and forever. I still give my life to you, God in every circumstances.

    • Jim Doyle

      Praying for you and your husband that God gives you His peace as you face this trial and that by his grace your husband will find a new and fulfilling job.
      Blessings!

      • ming

        Amen

      • Hiller Payne

        Amen! When one door closes God opens another. As we go through this life there will be times of pruning and purging. I pray you and husband will will continue to trust, lean on and thank Him for bringing you through. He says in His Word that He will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s never, ever fell short of His Word. Thank you for sharing.

      • Hiller Payne

        Amen!

        When one door closes God opens another. As we go through this life there will be times of pruning and purging. I pray you and husband will will continue to trust, lean on and thank Him for bringing you through. He says in His Word that He will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s never, ever fell short of His Word. Thank you for sharing.

  187. brenda lechner

    I have been considering not coming any more to BSF as I have a difficult time completing my lesson and filling failure, i have a since of not putting words on paper from my readings but at same time have wanted for several years to be part of a bible study women’s group and appreciate listening to how others interrupt our lesson and I really like gathering 1st all together at begining to hear our worship leader go over our lessons . I’ve never been strong in understanding what I read that is why i listen and learn from others repetition is my strength I fill like answering my lessons is testing and I dislike tests

    • Love your sister in Christ

      Brenda, as a group leader I want you to know that we want you to come whether you do the lesson or not! Your group will miss you and not be as good without you, even if you just listen. I never let me not doing a lesson stop me (and many of us struggle with that often!!) in the many years I was a group member. Please, please don’t let that stop you. We bind the spirit if accusation of failure in Brenda’s life in Jesus name. Be blessed and know that your presence in group is a gift to all the other ladies.

    • Jannie Williams

      Brenda please don’t stop attending BSF. Very simply, bible study for each individual is your personal growth in learning about the things of God. First of all why not consider what Paul said in his letter to Timothy. For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7. He went on to tell Timothy in II Timothy 2: 18 Study to shew thyself approved unto GOD, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. You keep attending BSF, listening to the lecture, sharing in your group discussion time and allow God to grow you one step at a time. God is able to grow you at His pace. You will not regret it. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I love you my dear sister.

    • Gaylon G Lavigne

      Our Lord always knows what is in our heart & mind. When we do not understand something in the Bible we ask Him, and “when the time is right” He will reveal His word to us. It is like a light will be turned on and we “get it”! Many of us feel pressure to get every question answered perfect, like when we were children in school. Remember, Jesus came to save, not to judge (John 3:16-17). He knows that you want to understand His message so keep praying and reading and may God be with you and bless you always.

    • Lynda

      Brenda, so often, especially, on the first two questions, I know what I believe in my heart, but I just can’t find the right words to put them on paper. I know exactly what you are saying and when we get into the discussion, I am so pleased to hear some of the others say just what I would have said if I had been able to articulate it. Just hang in there. God knows our hearts and he knows that this fellowship is just what we need! God Bless.

  188. Susan Marsh

    I will pray for your healing and you hang in there! You can see Videos on line from BSF and I am sure the other members will be glad to guide you! You are loved and Christ will take care of you=just ask Him and pray without ceasing!

  189. Monica Bailey

    That was beautifully written and it penetrated my spirit. I believe our small group has grown spiritually and would appreciate this article to encourage them to finish strong with BSF. We need one another in our walk of faith and having a small group allows us to pray, encourage and love one another.

  190. Susan Marsh

    Good timing–I know what to do and I will make an effort to be there this week-our group leader is the best-thanks for your timely message!
    God definitely is watching over me! my life has changed a lot in the last 2 years and isolation is the route I was choosing-not good!
    Thanks so much

  191. Traci S Brooks

    What a true blessing this message is. In this fast paced world that we live in, it is so tempting to withdraw in to our homes and not have the fellowship that grows us and keeps us steady in Christ. The ideas, energy, and challenges we receive from the fellowship with others is so valuable. Thank you for this message!

  192. Songcha Kazen

    I am a fierce independent woman.
    And I would not mind , I am different
    from others,
    and I love to meet strangers ,
    Because, You never know that ,you might learned from them.
    But , I met lot of individuals who doesn’t like meet new ones.
    Well , my all associates are my church , BSF, and my neighbors.
    and , I am so shocked that they do not appreciated if I have different opinions…
    Even BSF , beginning, they do not take me …(I have yellow skin tone, strong accent. Get exciting easily.) 🙂
    Beginning, I just wanted quit..because I have not having fun at BSF.
    I prayed so hard for LORD “please do not let me give up BSF ..LORD help me to be overcome this feelings ..
    I did not quit BSf, because, I was so thirsty for His words🙏
    I started read chapter every morning at home,practicing my English.
    Now, this year, I have been fifth year of BSF ..
    Thank the Lord.. be with me.. when I wanted quit; God did not let me quit BSF.
    So , my point is this Even good Christians, we all are humans..
    Please. Praying for tolerate others
    Even if sounds not great as You..

    We studying, ” Acts “and Paul through out travels and unimaginable treatment..
    But ,Paul did not give up..
    We can not be good as The Paul🙏
    Still be kind .. to others..
    We can do it..
    Amen🙏.🙂

    • Bev Wells

      I’m so thankful you have not given up in BSF! Continue on dear sister in Christ! God’s spirit will help you through each and every lesson and His spirit will bring you the peace you need as you walk along with Him in each study.

      • Songcha Kazen

        Thank you for open mind as you are.
        Amen 🛐

    • ming

      I’m an Asian too. the first few years that I attended BSF, IT’S VERY STRUGGLE TO BE IN THE GROUP. My English not as fluent as the native , and before sometimes I’d like to say something that somebody came ahead of me natually. Later on they started a Chinese group, I joined and I stayed there ever since. Maybe one day I try regular group again if God leads.

      • Songcha Kazen

        Keep Challenging yourself and make a goal, ofcourse , Praying hard to the LORD.
        He is listen to you..
        I am still , pray hard and study my English 🤭
        You would be surprised one day.
        Amen.

    • Louise

      You are precious and I would love being with you in a group! God bless you. He IS using you!

    • Gaylon G Lavigne

      God bless you! My sister-in-law is from South Korea and my daughter-in-law is from Norway and we love who they are and their accents! We are all one in our love for our Savior Jesus Christ! Stay strong and know that you are loved!!

      • Songcha Kazen

        You are loved.!
        Amen.🙏

    • Karen Grover

      Songcha–Your words are so beautiful and encouraging. Thank you for sharing them! Thanks to God for your testimony!

      • Songcha Kazen

        To Karen Grover,
        Thank you !!~~
        You are so kind💐
        We all need to be encouraging
        Others and lift Christian sisters up…that’s our LORD* tells us*.
        Someday you might need to be yourself needed ….
        I was.. and still I am🛐
        Amen.

  193. Julie mason

    I needed to hear this so much today . What a true blessing BSF has made in my life to draw closer to God and others .
    I pray I can share God’s light with what we learn and grow from it towards him

  194. Mariam Z Koduvalil

    Very helpful information. Thank you.

  195. Denise Deskiewicz

    I love bsf. Went for years. But starting this past September 2019 I was so sick. Diagnosis kidney disease and severe arthritis. I just had too many doctors and too much pain. Si I did not start this session of acts. I feel lost and some how I will survive in my soul.

  196. Ingrid Hill

    I agree. I live at present in a nursing home but have been in BSF for ten or so years. I was looking for a ride and a rather unpleasant woman I didn’t know– who actually has been a group leader, I think– insisted that the best thing to do was for her to come to the nursing home weekly and bring several other women. (I’m not incapacitated: I just use a walker.) To coax me, she said, “You could teach us.” Clearly this woman does not understand BSF’s way of operating, which I think is excellent. Just thought I’d share this.

  197. Jene Huang

    I am not lonely as a Christian. I have women bible study every Tuesday and take responsibility to our regional Bible study of our Church. Due to traveling often to visit my mom that l need to take a break. Thank you very much!

  198. Valras Jean Stephens

    I am grateful the notes, video and lessons are available. I have heath problems and I have lost 2 family members recently. I attended BSF faithfully for 14 years. It grieves me not to be able to attend. I dont know what else to say.

    • Gretchen Hurst

      I have two friends who are doing the lessons and discussion via internet, and they LOVE it. Hope you can look into that method of studying from home.

      • ming

        Amen

  199. Candy Skaar

    I love BSF. I’ve been going about 7 years and I can’t imagine my life without it. The fellowship during our group discussions is always good and I have met some pretty amazing women over the years. We are all in the same boat living life one day at a time and so thankful that we have Jesus with us.

  200. Dianna polinski

    So true. I am a returning BSF’er after a 34 year break due to schedule demands. As a retiree, this Elmhurst women’s study group fits my present life, has revitalized my faith and shown me the importance of sharing and prayer times – a wonderful gift. If a question arises – my leader and/or others in the group go the extra mile and offer biblical insight. You can count on the group to be there for you. A few weeks back my car had a dead battery. A fellow member jumped my car and suggested I keep her jumper cables until the following week to circumvent any possible unseen trouble on the way home.
    God is the answer to what’s missing around us. In my neighborhood high school a Freshman took his life last week. A man who owns a pizzeria says his young staff are so stressed and one seemingly “happy” 15 year old girl tried unsuccessfully to take her life. People need answers in our society. They are looking for truth. We are growing in it through BSF and study. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No person comes to the Father except through Me.” BSF encouragers me to talk with people of all ages and listen and scatter “seed”. Prayerfully many will come to understand how much they are loved by their Creator. Prayerfully repentance, turning to Jesus for forgiveness, being committed to living a fulfilled holy life will follow. Yes, BSF is impactful and the fellowship of being in this family so satisfying.

  201. Harry White

    I’m not sure that most folks in BSF discussion groups understand and are aware that they are indeed in a “Safe Place”, and that anything happening in the group is confidential and is never discussed outside of the group.

  202. Mercyline Manoj

    Indeed a very refreshing article. Thank you for addressing the issue and encouraging to “press on” walking alongside each other in Christian community and yes essential for spiritual growth and maturity. Thank you

  203. Cheryl Sopcich

    Love this and it definitely speaks to my heart and head😊

  204. Dianne Strickler

    Amen Amen!! Community we all need it. Coming together to bear our burdens, then to be Encouraged, and prayed over by our sisters. Keeps us focused on Jesus.

  205. Liz Ramos

    God has perfect timing in speaking to our hearts so that we stay focus on HIM and let him lead us when we are broken by someone at church. I am currently there but I love how God speaks to us.

    Thank you

  206. Millie Martin

    I can’t say enough positive things about BSF. Ive been attending for 14 years now. It keeps me spiritually disciplined as I grow in the grace and knowledge of God. I look forward to meeting with my Sisters in Christ each week to share what we’ve learned and how we are applying God’s truth in our daily lives. You get to form personal relationships with some as we pray intercessory prayers for one another to help in time of need.
    I feel so blessed to be a part of BSF.
    Blessings,

  207. Judge, L

    Thank you so very much for this on time RHEMA Word. I’m in ministry and love being recharged and refreshed weekly by the BSF lessons, lectures and group discussions. In ministry you can sometimes feel isolated because you’re always pouring out into others. I’m so very grateful for BSF. I keep the vision and work of BSF in my prayers. May God’s Kingdom agenda continue to be carried out through this anointed vessel.

  208. francine morris

    Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) “let us not neglect out meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…..”:
    Thank for the reminder and confirmation of God’; Word.

  209. Betty

    This very good and opens out heart.

  210. Caroline Y.

    Thank you Susie. This where my heart is, the temptation to withdraw due to hurts real or imagined be but this is just the kind of discouragement that the evil one would use to turn my emotions away from vs. connecting with other believers. Resist this feeling and the tempting response. Push through for the joy like our Savior!

  211. Linda S.

    Great blog. Thank you for sharing. It is so true; we need each other. “Iron sharpens iron.”

  212. Donna

    Deeply enjoy my Bsf group ,this is my 3rd year ,prior to this I was feeling much isolation ,still feel inadequate to many others,working with God to change this ,he led me here ,thank you so much for all that do Gods blessings to all

  213. Patty Milliken

    Much needed and very well said!

    • Betty

      Thanks for sharing the importance of regular BSF attendance and active participation in the weekly discussion group. I agree with everything you stated. I’m not sure if this was sent mistakenly because I am faithful about doing the homework, attending small group, and actively participating in the discussion . This is a nice note to send to participants who are registered but rarely attend.

  214. Erica R Craft

    BSF has changed considerably, at least in my experience with it. I started years ago and respected the different disciplines, and submitted to wearing a skirt. In serving as a leader, it seemed God’s plan for me, as the Spirit saw me worthy. It made sense, afterall. Arrive on time, do not contribute , unless you’re prepared, leave missing something tangible, if you miss a week. The Word changed me, but BSF refined the work!
    The Lord convicted me and my emotions controlled me less, I talked less and learned more, I appreciated understated expressions of other’s heartfelt anxieties, and prayed, as we were one body.
    The leaders understood themselves “called”, willing to serve but empathetic to we “clinging to the dust”.
    I’d visit another class far from home and found myself sitting among sisters in Christ, regardless.
    BSF serves another purpose, now I believe. My season visiting a group has passed. I am in the Word everyday, and nourished by the lessons BSF instilled and one of the richest is Homeletics. Thank you, sincerely.

  215. Jeff H

    I heard a quote this week that seems appropriate for this discussion. “When you share your joy with another it is doubled, when you share your sorrows, they are reduced by half”.
    I was asked to lead a small prayer group at the beginning of our BSF training on Saturday mornings. I reluctantly accepted the position figuring God is trying to teach me something. Our group prayer time time began to flourish once I realized there was “the rest of the story” behind each prayer request that was given. We began to share more details and it revealed more prayer requests around the original request. It can be difficult for men to share struggles, weariness and challenges but by showing real interest and concern for each other and our situations, it is bringing strength and comfort to all of us. We are giving God the glory and thanking the Holy Spirit for opening our hearts to share. Paul has taught us in Thessalonians to increase our love for each other. Our prayer time is doing that for us.

  216. Kathleen Wagner

    I am a single woman surrounded by family that are not followers of Christ. I find our weekly BSF group meeting energizing, encouraging and refreshing. It helps to give me the strength to “go out” into the darkness.

  217. Sandy

    It bothers me when one person goes on and on for 2-3 minutes FOR EACH question.

    • Mary

      I suggest you talk to your group leader about your concern. There are many discussion facilitation techniques to curb this sort of thing and encourage people contribute more equally.

    • Marcia

      I feel exactly the same, although this lady hasn’t done her lesson and repeatedly tells the same personal stories each week. We spend very little time discussing the actual Bible lesson. There was a value to being quiet when your lesson wasn’t complete.

    • Carl

      I’m a leader of a small mission group in our church. I’ve been highly emotional recently over a person who continuously talks and shows himself not to be an expert but opinionated person. How would you go about settling this situation in the group situation or other circumstances of resolving this problem?
      A brother in Christ

      • Gaylon G Lavigne

        When the disciples had issues with each other some went their separate ways, but they still loved each other. If this person has become disruptive enough to cause serious problems, could be he’s the “wolf” trying to destroy the flock?! As leader you can not allow this, and a meeting with the others to pray together for God’s guidance is in order.
        If you all agree then he must be confronted (in loving, respectful way). If God is leading you all then you are on the right path. God be with you and give you peace during this challenge

    • Brigit

      Pray on it.

  218. Bonnie Moran

    I feel love is the bottom line in life..Jesus is all about love and this study of Thessalonians has been great..Without deep commited love of Jesus in our hearts, souls and life and our daily interactions with others we are lost. I ask him to place others in my path to tell of the Good News of salvation to bring others to him before its too late. BSF the last 12 years has increased my love and committment to my savior and I will be forever grateful

  219. Anonymous

    Thank you for the encouraging words, I was thinking of dropping out and listening to lecture online. I’m not disciplined enough to read and answer the questions. By attending BSF small group I am held accountable. Truthfully I am a quiet person and don’t feel smart enough to respond to facilitator or to my group.

    • Meri

      You answers are precious and priceless. Your participation is needed and will help you gain confidence within the group. We’re growing together.

    • Lorraine Padrick Boyd

      Yes, I agree. Don’t worry about what or how much you contribute. You are not the judge of your worth, or of the worth of your words. God (or Jesus is). And, don’t worry about making mistakes. God willing, you won’t make “big” mistakes, especially as you are gathering courage to speak at all.

  220. Jack Bullard

    My Group of mostly older, retired men have been in the same Discussion Group for almost four years. We like each other and enjoy our time together. But, it has always bothered me that we really don’t know much about each other. I’ve been in BSF for 20 years and have served as a DL for over 10 of those years. When I was a DL, I tried to visit each man in his home in an effort to better serve him. DL’s used to call weekly, but that went away several years ago. It seems to me that BSF could do more to allow members to get to know each other better. I guess I’m suggesting that BSF encourage more get together events, and maybe even include spouses. Just a thought.

    • Tanya Maria Villani

      Jack I wondered why we didn’t get a weekly phone call but got a group text on Monday afternoon. That just seems so impersonal and you cant get to know each other or your GL. I have been a GL twice and CL for 12 years. I loved calling all my gals talking for 10-15 min on days they choose worked for them. This very much makes me sad. I agree with you and think they need to re add weekly phone calls, texts or emails for GL.

      • Kristy

        Our class group leaders are still asked to have weekly contact with their group members but it can now be in any form. I’m a STL and it’s still in the manual so your comments confuse me.

    • Mary

      I’ve wondered the same thing myself. The word “fellowship” in BSF seems to be a bit of a misnomer. We really don’t have much time to get to know each other….three fellowship lunches a year.

      • Kathi

        I agree, in my experiences in our local group, there is little opportunity for true fellowship. We rarely get past giving the “expected” answers to the questions. I have been in BSF for 5 years and find the individual Bible Study very rewarding but am disappointed in the lack of interaction in the discussion group. Individuals respond to the leader but discussion is definitely not encouraged.

        • Lynn

          I agree. I find the individual study engages me in Scripture but discussion is not encouraged. I understand the brief time but when someone has misinterpreted a question, shouldn’t we pursue where they were confused to give correct theology? Instead, there’s an acknowledgment of an answer and move on; the clock is ticking and we must reach day 5.

    • MING

      my group leader still calls us every Mon, also a weekly text. thankful. lAST GROUP LEADER SAID SHE PRAYED FOR EACH ONE OF US EVERY WEEK,. SOME OF US WERE COUNTING ON THAT, THANKFUL.

  221. Heather Churchill

    I have been going to Bsf for many many years I can’t imagine not going I. Thank the Lord and pray for Bsf I have learned so much about Gods word and have made some wonderful Christian friends

  222. Dorothy Fulbright

    Thank you for the picture of transparent honesty shared in daily Bible study at headquarters. The integrity of leadership is one aspect of Bible Study that keeps me on track and returning to BSF year after year.

    We have been digging deep into our study through our group discussions and reflecting on Christ centered community. As I age it has become easy to withdraw from a variety of activities. This study and reminder of “ how” being a contributing member of Bible study and contributing discussion group member grows myself and others toward all that Christ has treasured for each of us gives me energy to push past any reason to not attend. I find there Is healing of loneliness in BSF because of the grace and encouragement shared. I am ALWAYS better after class than when I came in! God never leaves us in the same place.
    Growing in Christ, Thank You -all leaders in BSF.

  223. Marie Mlynar

    Thank you for your message. I’ve been so Bogged down with life And illnesses I was gone for Several weeks. I felt so loved And cared for when I returned. I’m so grateful for BSF. I thank God for my BSF leader and the lovely women that God has put in my circle. I feel connected to each and every one of these women. I’m so thankful That God has given me this opportunity to study his word In depth.

    • ming miley

      One year my apt living room carpet was flooded due to next door neighbor forgot to turn off her kitchen faucet.After the apt sucked some water up, the carpet still very wet, at that time I got a heavy cold, my BSF 92 years classmate and her daughter brought their heavy dehumidifier to my home and taught me how to used it, they didn’t shun me because my cold. couple weeks later our wing got a fire, the heavy smoke permeated our wing, another my classmate brought her air filter to my room along with some food regardless of my sickness, by that time I knew i got pnumonia. i will not forget their goodness on the cause of Jesus while I was hit by the disasters.

  224. Katherine

    God is good and without God there is no hope.

  225. Terri

    After reading some comments I’ve decided to comment myself. I’ve only had a great experience with BSF the last 10 years I’ve been in. I do believe, as with all community organizations and even with churches, I’ve learned- you’re going to have disagreements and have to come to accept the fact that BSF members and leaders are not perfect. I’m sure no perfect act to follow! But we’re all in a learning stage until we get to Heaven. The song that comes to my mind for some who are not having good experiences with BSF is “He’s still working on me…”. It’s a children’s song. He’s still working on us all. 🙂

  226. Virginia Allen

    I have found strength and love in my BSF group. The women in my group have become a great inspiration in my life . I live alone and very often they are my first face-to- face encounter since Sunday Service. .i look forward to Thursdays encounter. Thank you BSF. Thank you, women in my group.

  227. Jm😉

    BSF has come a long way. I am proud to say “ I attend bsf” people used to think too religious of a study. But God adjusts everywhere and bsf is awesome to be in and learn and connect w lovers of Jesus & HIS word

  228. Tanya Maria Villani

    Love the extra time we now have in discussion groups. Love that we are all from different backgrounds and have different answers sometimes so we can learn from each other; I never thought of it like that before, looking at scripture from a different perspective. When we come with open teachable hearts.

    We all can comfort each other, grow together, let our love for one another increase throughout the year. Cant wait for Monday we have fellowship and have been adopted into another discussion group as our precious GL had to step down due to health reasons.

    This GL felt compelled to stop and pray for gal who was really struggling in middle of discussion last Monday night. It was priceless moment for gal to get some much needed love and comfort. That’s what makes this group so special.

    The A.S.K. requests and watching with great expectations about how God will answer! Then He does answer and hearing about it! Oh praise the Lord!

    The individual phone call, text or email each week really makes me feel special and validated. To know my GL is praying for me every day, is concerned about my spiritual growth & has desires to Shepherd me really raises the bar for BSF above any other Bible Study I have been a part of in my 23 years being a Christ Follower.

    Thanks again BSF for setting such high standards and leading the way!!

  229. Maggie

    I am thankful we are presence carriers together . To share what we are learning and to come alongside one another in all our times, the hard and the good times. The Holy Spirit binds us together and in his presence we see so clearly. I have a wonderful group of women who teach me something every week. It’s so exciting! God moves in our gathering together.

  230. Catherine

    This is such an inspiring and encouraging message. Thank you.

    • Heather Churchill

      I have been going to Bsf for many many years I can’t imagine not going I. Thank the Lord and pray for Bsf I have learned so much about Gods word and have made some wonderful Christian friends

  231. Carol Allen

    My heart mourns for family members and friends who have no desire to grow within a community of believers.

  232. cheris baker

    Thankful and encouraged to BSF headquarters for leading by example of daily sharing and prayer. BSF strengthens our connectivity and community with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ around the world.

  233. Anonymous

    When the wounds come from gossiping BSF leaders it makes it more than difficult to return to BSF. BSF leaders that make fun of children and spread gossip have taken the joy out of the experience this year.

    • Julie

      My heart breaks that this has been your experience. May God comfort you as you pour out these things to Him. He loves you and desires to care for you beyond all earthly measures. I’ll pray for your joy to return.

  234. Stephanie Harding

    Thank you for these encouraging words.

  235. Mary

    Thank you for your message. I was thinking about giving up because of something someone said. I’m in BSF but I feel alone and isolated most of the time. Your message was very encouraging. God answers prayers in many ways.

  236. Julia Hopkins

    I love BSF because I learn so much from from studying with the questions. They make you think and it gives me a better understanding of what I read. I enjoy being with a group everyone giving there understanding of what they read. Although I miss sometimes because of back pain.

    S

  237. Nan Smith

    I started BSF last year and this year was out for vacation beginning of September then found out my husband had an illness. Group leader said since I’d be out would I want to go on “medical leave” due to not being able to attend weekly. We traveled five days a week to Houston for treatments, sometimes 3 appointments in a day. Other than a call about my absence, I’ve not received a call or text reaching out to me during this lonely time. Although this shouldn’t make me not want to jump back in and go back when I can, it has. I study at home.
    Perfect timing to share. Thank you. We don’t always experience the same going to BSF.

    • Bonnie

      I am so sorry about your husband’s illness. What tough days of travelling for treatments and appointments. I’m sorry your group didn’t support you more through this difficult time in your life. Good point you made….BSF experiences differ. I hope your husband is doing better.

    • Linda

      Nan, I trust in the providential care of our loving Father and believe that the loving prayers of myself and other believers reading your post will be undeniably known to you! I and many other brothers and sisters in Christ love you and want to support you through your trials. God knows your heart and your needs and is always faithful. Students learned a couple of weeks ago that faith is believing God and what He says. God supplies our faith to believeHis promises and strengthen us during hardships. Depend not on man but in the love of Christ! Keep your faith and grow in His Grace! “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your heart(s) and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17

  238. KBrooks

    I’m currently in my fifth BSF study over three different locations (military spouse, we move frequently).

    Three thoughts spanning my various groups and locations:

    1. The value of BSF is in the discussion group. However, the allotted time is too short for meaningful discussion. All of my groups have always wanted more time every week. We do not recapture the same discussions in extra fellowship time. Fellowship time is not a make-up session for small group and should not be used as such. People want more weekly small group time.

    2. This year for the first time, about half of my group is the same people as my group last year. Our relationships are growing. We know and trust each other. These are the best BSF relationships I’ve ever had. Continuity over time matters. Please give people the option to remain in their current group next year. The positive impact has been significant in my group and in my own life.

    3. I’d appreciate a post addressing “BSF Lecture and why it matters.” Again, I’ve been in 3 different BSF locations. In all three instances, the lecture is nearly identical to the notes. Why the repetition? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all 3 teaching leaders across the US all ghost the printed notes. What’s going on? This year, we have the option to listen to the lecture online. Many people choose to skip live lecture because the option exists to listen later at a better time for them. This is one beauty of technology – the message can still be heard regardless of immediate personal circumstances. Local leadership is dismayed because people choose to listen later rather than on BSF day. What’s the difference? The message is still getting to people although at a different time and location. Are we more concerned about personal spiritual growth or about numbers in the seats?

    Concluding thoughts:

    1. What if lecture was only online and we used the time now spent on live lecture to increase small group discussion time?

    2. What if online lecture was centrally produced and available to all members online? And what if, instead of pre-reading the notes, the lecture covered a different topic from the week’s Bible passage than those covered in study questions or lecture?

    • Carol Allen

      Good ideas. ‘Balanced sharing’ always stymies full participation or additional conversations.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with comments about lectures. Teaching leaders don’t have the time to really illuminate applications of their principles. I’ve visited BSF in several states. And that was what made scripture come alive for me when I was a new believer 30 years ago
      A centrally produced lecture that unpacked the truths could be dynamite!

    • Bonnie

      Interesting about your point #3. I was just thinking today that maybe I will skip the lecture and just show up for discussion. This is for several reasons. I have health issues, and it is quite a chore to get to BSF for the lecture at 9:15am. The lecture is available on-line. Why show up for lecture—there is very little fellowship—we just take our seats. When the lecture is over, we head to discussion groups right away. I don’t really glean much from the lectures. I think your concluding thoughts are excellent ideas.

    • Jr

      My current teaching leader never rehashes the notes in the lecture. Always excellent application and challenges to flesh out the lesson

  239. Doug Staley

    Men, tend to take longer to bond. I have had the same core group for three years. Although, I think that it didn’t take nearly that long for us to bond and, be open with our discussions. Group leaders need to be relaxed and transparent. I love my men and, they display a Christian love for me that inspires me to allow them to say what they think.

    Allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me and them to think of other questions, related to the lesson helps us apply the lesson to our lives, even more.

    Some people are more reserved than others. They still, hear and think about what is said and, can feel the love.

    God has blessed me with a great group of Christ loving me.

  240. Wai-Hai Tsang

    Helpful article

  241. Janet

    I agree😊
    Gods love overcomes fear💗
    Warmth and honest sharing
    Teaches our hearts that we are loved just as we are
    It gale fed our
    Perspective and
    Sheds Gods love and light to help us have courage and follow him
    For outcomes he desires forus💗
    Thankyou
    Blessings

  242. Santiago Costales

    Amén, we are the body of Christ and we have to be together

  243. Anonymous

    I noticed that the comments below were mainly from women participants. This makes sense as I do not see the sharing that is described in the article in the men’s groups. The questions are adhered to and rarely does anyone want to go deeper.

  244. Vicky Simpson

    The reason I have decided not to continue with BSF this year is because I am losing my hearing and have a hard time keeping up with the discussion and prayer time in a class of over 16. My husband and I have our own home Bible study group of just 8 in our home and I find that very helpful.

    • Lili Muljadi

      Have you discussed your problem with your group leader or admin leader? They can move you to a different group with a better room or smaller group.

  245. Tara Rosenbloom

    I am so encouraged to have the solid teaching that BSF offers. It is wonderful to grow in the grace of being a child of God, no longer identified by sin because of Christ! I am a new creation and old things have passed away. I can sing through sorrow and rejoice through suffering and learn how to offer love to those hurting around me too.
    Our common bond is peace with God through the gospel no matter what trials, storms or persecution arises.
    Without the Holy Spirit we can not love others and we can not see God. Praise be to God for Yeshua, Jesus Christ! He helps us see Christ in other brethren and as our faith abounds in the Lord our love abounds for each other.
    I love you all in the Lord! We need each other and let’s pray for each ithercall over the world that the gospel is seen and heard from us and God be glorified for the wonderful works He has done.

  246. Anonymous

    Not everyone is able.

  247. Carol Tilley

    Thank you for this message. One of my greatest struggles in life has been connecting with other people. I was in BSF almost thirty years ago. My daughters were in the children’s classes and we had to move out of state. I just recently started again, but I wish I would have never stopped. My children are grown and my husband passed away from cancer, but I’m thankful to be studying the scriptures again with the wonderful ladies at BSF. Thank you all for everything you do in His name.

    • Bonnie

      I took BSF about 30 years ago. At that time, I think the program was about 5 years. After completing the 5 years, we “graduated” and I don’t think we were allowed to come back unless we became part of the leadership team (greeting, group leader, etc). The idea was that after 5 years of solid Bible teaching, we were supposed to go out and put it to good use in our own church, neighborhood, community.

  248. Mae Johnson

    I love this communication. Thank you for sharing it. I definitely show up, but working on opening up. My group is wonderful and the leader is so very good and so encouraging. I look forward to going to BSF & experiencing God through one another. Thank you for all that you saints at HQ do.

  249. Cheryl

    When, as a single woman I adopted an infant (followed by another three years later) I was so supported in prayer and fellowship by my BSF group (I was a children’s leader at the time). With my kids I found it too hard to attend the evening class that fit with my work schedule and so had to give up attending for a while. Now I am in an online group and I am so pleasantly surprised at how God brought such different women together from around the world and bound us together in spite of our difference. We learn together, pray for each other, cry and rejoice together. I am so grateful for the chance to be part of a BSF community again while my kids are still small.

    • Cheryl

      I would add though, that it’s time to prayerfully consider the many working parents who can’t attend a day class and would love to bless their infants and toddlers with the lessons and fellowship of BSF.

  250. Maggie Tear

    1 Thessalonians 3:12 ( not 4;12)
    A verse I really need right now.

  251. Beth Gradishar

    I attend a satellite group. There are cemeteries with more life than the small group I’m in this year. There’s no opening prayer prior to answering questions, sad. I asked our small group leader to pray over the group before we begin. So far, no prayer.
    She’s new to facilitating small groups…she doesn’t know how to facilitate or encourage us.
    There is NO “closeness” among the group. One a good evening we might have 5 women show up…majority stay home. We rattle off answers to the questions, stack the chairs,
    listen to the satellite video, go home. Sad sad deal.
    This year, small group is a waste of time. Should not be this way.
    Suggestion: don’t combine groups when a sm. group leader is absent. We’re big girls, we can answer questions when the leader doesn’t show up. Thank you!

    • Marie

      As a satellite group leader, I’m so thankful for women who want to pray for each other, and for me! Before the questions, after the questions, on the phone…we hold one another up to the Lord.
      If your leader is new, perhaps she needs warm reassurance, and prayers of her group members, to encourage her.
      We “leaders” aren’t perfect.
      Who speaks with your leader when she calls you each week? Who receives her calls with gladness, and returns them?
      Who offers to pray for the group, for your leader?
      How can you and I help our leaders to draw us into vibrant sharing and fellowship?

      • Beth G.

        To Marie and everyone whom I offended by my 2/7/2020 (5:32 p.m.) post, I am so sorry. It was my gross misunderstanding that comments submitted were private; for San Antonio BSF headquarters only. I did not know comments were a PUBLIC blog thread.

        More importantly, I was venting “feelings”; I didn’t even pray/ask God’s wisdom about what I did write…that’s my sin. The Holy Spirit convicted me about private or public comments; “let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph. 4:29).

        I asked Father God’s forgiveness for my mistake. Hoping you, too, will forgive me. Claiming Romans 8:28.

    • Mary

      So sorry to hear your small group isn’t very invigorating for you. Sometimes when I end up in a similar situation, I ask myself, “What can I do to better the situation?” I also note that in addition to looking at “What can I glean from the group?” I also need to consider that God might want me in that particular group (even though I don’t care for it) because He has a special purpose for me in the group.
      On the other hand, I’ve been in a group that just didn’t seem to mesh with me. I asked to change groups, and wow….what a difference—I felt like “one of the gang” immediately.

    • Sara

      All group leaders meet with each other about 25 minutes before the start of discussion groups to pray for the discussion groups and class day.

  252. Shirley Baehr

    There is nothing like a BSF group that opens up and shares with one another!! Sometimes it takes half of the BSF group year before people open up. And when they do we grow so much closer to one another!!

    • Sandra

      I really enjoy being a part of BSF I look forward to being in my group . Thanks for the encouragement to stay on task. God’s blessings.

  253. Marilyn Brown

    This is wonderful, good news. Thanks so much for faithfully serving the Lord and His church thought Bible study, prayer and fellowship, the most important ingredient to grow in a safe community.

  254. Bethany N Counts

    I’ve noticed in my bsf group, the more each of us open up, the more we trust each other with the info we are sharing which leads to more sharing. I love my group.

  255. Carol

    I believe that this is so true. But I have to say that in order for me to “open up” there has to be a strong element of trust. That doesn’t come in just a couple of gatherings. It seemed in looking back to last years involvement that as soon as I was feeling comfortable in becoming more open, our year was over. My intentions were to return this year, but the thought of starting over with a new discussion group just wasn’t going to work. I understand that this change every year has been going on for a very long time but was not for me. It is a wonderful study and had been such a source of strength for so many that there is probably no reason to do it differently. Thanks for letting me comment.

    • Dena

      Your response makes me sad. So many feel as you do. But, we need to always be considering how we can help our group grow and not what we are getting from it. Every member should trust God and leave the rest in His hands. He is calling us to share, be open, and trust Him with every word we speak. No masks allowed. 💛

      • Mary

        I think we need to be wise about whom we choose to trust and open up with. I don’t think God is necessarily calling us to share and be open with our groups about everything. I think we need to take it to the Lord in prayer as to whether to share about certain things in group, and in His timing.

  256. Susan Collier

    Our BSF discussion group is a source of encouragement for all of us. Each woman, in her own way and through circumstances unique to her share the goal of seeking Christ to be the center of our lives. We build each other up when we feel we have fallen by showing Christ’s compassion & tenderness. It is a beautiful thing to behold and bringS glory to GOD.

    • Lara

      Timely message for me. Thanks for sharing

  257. iva howard

    The month of December I missed because i was ill. In January i had an allergic reaction to something. that caused me to miss BSF. Now in February i broke my leg!! I am missing not because I want to!!

    • Louise

      Oh no! I am so very sorry you had this time of not being able to go. I know your group misses you. I hope and pray You will get to keep up as much as possible..

  258. Hannah

    it takes time to open up myself, but by showing up to the class, I feel love. Thanks BSF.

    • Sharon

      How long have the six or seven of you been together? I wonder why each year the ladies are rotated and even if we enjoy meeting new people it takes time to feel comfortable with new people…

  259. Steven Weaver

    I know like every one,good from evil. A. Loving relationship with anyone makes me feel good. God is good so that is where I want to be. With God!!!

  260. Premilla Lal

    Susie you are very right that we all believers are the body of Christ and need each other for our spiritual growth. Since I have migrated to Canada I miss this fellowship although I listen to the lecture get notes etc on my lap top but I miss the fellowship and discussion that had been so useful. I am 80yrs finds it difficult to commute independently in this country. I need your prayers.

    • Trish Gregory

      Thank thank you
      Broke my heart right have challenges with isolation I suffer from PTSD BSF has been my heartbeat. T

  261. Joy

    Such a good reminder ! We must resist the temptation to withdraw . Not only do we need to keep showing up , we need to encourage others to do likewise . Paul earned the trust and respect of the Thessalonians because he showed up in their lives – not just on Sunday .

  262. Vickie

    Yes indeed. A very timely and true message.

  263. Eddie M McDade

    Would love to come, but Thursday does not work for me every week. I thought we had to attend every week. I could do two times a month. Let me know.

    • Candice Ching

      Hi Eddie! I would urge you to contact your local class and ask! Unless we have a wait list, we show grace to our members who are earnestly seeking the Lord no matter how often they are able to attend.

      • Paul

        Hi Eddie,
        I want to echo this encouragement. The men’s groups these days are pretty relaxed and many of the guys travel regularly. You’ll be more than welcome twice a month and I’m sure the guys in your area would be excited to have you join them.

    • Karen Grover

      Eddie–You might wish to consider an online discussion group. A friend of our family (gentleman) is in a group and he loves it. I am in a group also, and I love the fellowship. We meet via video cam so we see and hear each other. Each person’s life goes on–maybe a husband peeks in to say ‘Hi”, a child needs comforting or a cat walks across the desk. It’s all good, and we give and receive a lot of support this way when going to a class isn’t possible or desired. People in our group live all over the US and the world. I love the diversity of ages and cultures in our group.

  264. Richard Scheuermann

    I appreciate the wonderful blessing of BSF in the past 20 years. I have met some wonderful believers who have similar struggles and to spend time studying God’s Word with them whether as a group leader or group member has deepened my walk with Christ. I have also enjoyed several years as a children’s leader and the friendship with many fellow leaders has been wonderful as well as the blessing of teaching the kids.

    Thanks to those at headquarters for doing a wonderful job and for your commitment to Christ!!

  265. Joan Guptill

    I go away from BSF many nights wondering if I contributed too much, was I too ME? I ask myself if I shared too much, if I listened to the others enough, etc.. Thank you for this article, as I do need to be reminded maybe it’s ok to be REAL! It’s in these meetings that we practice being with others, learning when to speak and when to keep quiet. Because I’m retired, I’m not in the community as much speaking with others, so I tend to want to sometimes monopolize the conversation because I’m so glad to be with other Christians. I want to hear their thoughts and express mine. I’m enthusiastic about it! I am a “work in progress.” I pray God will help me to know when to speak and when to keep quiet—for His glory! I’m pretty sure He doesn’t want me to curb my enthusiasm for being with other Christians.

    • Joy

      Hello,
      If oversharing or undersharing happens, a good sensitive leader should help adjust wisely. Maybe choosing on people to answer helps to balance that

    • Mary

      I have a tendency to talk too much in a discussion. Here are some tips. 1) If I answer a question, I wait for 4 other people to answer questions before I speak again. 2) As I do my lesson, I place a star by the 3 questions I would like to contribute about in the discussion. I remind myself that I do not need to contribute about the majority of questions. 3) I observe carefully about who is answering the questions. Sometimes I even keep a tally to make sure I am not monopolizing. 4) One leader told us that the Holy Spirit is teaching ALL of us during the week. If some people monopolize, then we will miss out on what the Holy Spirit is teaching others.
      I am also retired. Do you have a Senior Center nearby? I go there several times a week and have lots of people to talk to, AND lots of opportunities to share my faith. I also do volunteer work….lots more opportunities to talk and socialize.

  266. Merle

    I love it show up and open up our God is in the business of healing our brokeness.

  267. Jill Rise

    There are so many things about BSF that I love and look forward to every week and this is an opportunity for me to thank you so much for all you do at HQ to make it possible. blessings

  268. Nancy Koning

    Christian friends are the key to staying on the right path. Mine have been honest with me when I am wrong and helped me through tough times in my life and are always loving and encouraging. I need my Christian friends in my life to pray for me and keep me on track.

  269. Joy

    I agree, but ASK is great but maybe connecting w each other w prayer & support after we leave can be added somehow. Not just the leader w individuals only.

    ☺️Joy

  270. Nannette Smith

    I love my BSF discussion group and have regretted having to miss several sessions this year due to illness (my own and that of family and friends) which has required me to be elsewhere. It truly is a support group and an opportunity to grow in the community of other Christians.

  271. Becky Allen

    Agreed. I thought I was a Christian when I began BSF. If I hadn’t had a discussion group where I saw and heard from ladies that really knew Jesus and had Christ in them, I wouldn’t have known. They made me feel like I was a part. They encouraged me. I loved it so much, just for the fellowship. Meanwhile, God worked on me. I had to see I was a sinner. His word showed me truth. They showed me truth in action, until I met Him personally in His word through the wise words of a BSF Leader that asked us to go home and personalize John 17. That was the week I met Jesus who loved me and was actually praying for me!

  272. Christine .A.Ogesa

    Very encouraging message

  273. Rob Mount

    Amen and so true! One of my favorite days of the week is our 6am Men’s Leadership meetings. Being with Brother’s and sharing our lives together is truly humbling and encouraging.

  274. Sheila

    Yes. Unfortunately some of the most vicious people I’ve encountered have been church people.

    • Joy

      Find another. Are you critical?

    • Mary

      I’ve had similar experiences. On the other hand, some of the most loving and caring people are church people. In any case, God calls us to keep meeting together and encouraging each other. I also remind myself that there have probably been some times when I inadvertently treated others in a less than kind way.

  275. Beth

    Loved this message!
    So very true!
    I am in an awesome BSF group this year! ( all my groups have been wonderful but this one is just extra special 😊)

    • Cheryl Prather

      What a perfect message at a time needed for myself and someone I love very much!

  276. crm46@wavecable.com

    I want to have BSF on line because of medical limitations. If I can study at home I can keep immersed in the word.

    • Karen Grover

      It’s online and it’s great! Just google bsf international online to learn more about it.

  277. Debra

    I have been hurt by judgmental and surface (everything is positive, offer platitudes or’well meaning’ advice) Christians that I fear any ‘church’ relationship, but have found help and support from Grief Share, Recovery and Community groups suffering/dealing with a similar situation to my own. I have learned to take small risks with people and to pour out my heart to God, my best friend who never fails me or leaves me. Yep, loneliness exists in the church, I look for others by themselves and try to reach out or support them if I can. I am just a sinner, living and doing life with other sinners who have been saved by grace.

    • Joy

      If saved we are no longer called sinners, tho we sin. By His Grace we are now considered saints

  278. Barbara

    This message came at the perfect time. A divine appointment.
    Thank you God.

    • Gladys

      I did come back to BSF this year because I did not want to study under the leader to whom I was assigned. We became cross ways a couple of years ago when I was in her class. In addition, it is discouraging to spend so much time preparing for the questions only to notice that many had not answered the questions and many would miss so many classes. Lastly, the questions sometimes were repetitive within the same lesson. Also I do not like the personal t.

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