I highly value learning the Bible in small groups aimed at a whole-person response. What if our schedules or geography preclude meeting together? Next best is a virtual Bible Study Group that can also significantly change lives.
God’s plan for healthy growth includes coaching and mentoring around Scripture. God fashioned us as image-bearers in the image of a Small-Group-of-Three, Father, Son and Spirit. As people in community, life is best released as we meet face-to-face with one another (the NT calls this koinonia, a sharing together of the very life of Jesus).
I want to launch groups like this the rest of my life.
Yes, face-to-face groups are certainly best because God designed us to gather together to spur each other on to our highest and best in Christ, “life to the full” (Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25). However, with our scattered 21st century lives, such a weekly face-to-face group is extremely difficult in some lives, impossible for others. What other options are available as a fallback for those yearning to draw more life from God’s Love-Letter? God calls His people to be His adaptable and flexible as we pass on the unchanging message.
(1) If three or four sync schedules to a specific time, something like Skype or perhaps an app like “Go to Meeting” could work well. Now we can touch people scattered around the world in a virtual Bible based group. All must commit themselves to the same time, regardless of time zone.
(2) A powerful alternative if we cannot meet at the same time utilizes the app, “Voxer.” It’s a free download for most phones (the $29.99/year Pro version is unnecessary for most). Members in a Voxer group do not need to be available at the same time. This allows for flexibility and unexpected appointments. Voxer downloads easily onto either an I-phone or an Android. I have written a very simple, one-page Android how-to since I use Android.
Voxer is similar to a walkie-talkie. Press the button, talk, and as soon as we release, Voxer automatically sends our instant voice message.
Groups in Voxer are simple to set up. All immediately receive this one recording. Yet also private since only those in the group receive the message. The “listen live or listen later” functionality makes it convenient to fit into our schedule. A notification sounds to alert us to a new message. We may open it immediately, listen and respond quickly. Or listen later at your own convenience. A text option is also available if we are unable to speak freely.
The “sprint” design fits very naturally into such a group to stir and stimulate one another to grow (see “sprint” page). The “sprint” design lends itself to shift leadership/teaching from one dynamic teacher to the group itself.
Our aim is to encourage each other to respond to God’s Word so we might experience more of the God of the Word, enjoying His living presence.