We are in a Bible study saturated church culture. Every time we turn around, there’s another study ranging anywhere from completely irrelevant fluff to intensive depth that’s hard for a “real life” person to keep up with.
Meanwhile, we are also a buzzword culture, and within the past few years “gospel” has unfortunately become one of those buzzwords. As a result, we have a plethora of books and studies that claim to redirect us to a true centering on the gospel.
With all of that in mind, I will confess that I had mixed feelings about The Gospel-Centered Community. The content description held promise and it was published by New Growth Press, a company that has, thus far, earned and maintained my trust. But I just kept putting this one off. It was tiring to think of yet another buzzword Bible study.
But, The Gospel-Centered Community is not just another buzzword Bible study.
The Gospel-Centered Community is true to its title. It walks participants through what it means to be a community focused more on biblical principles than on cultural expectations.
The Gospel-Centered Community is also not your typical workbook Bible study. The small participant’s guide includes a few pages of reading for each lesson, followed by some exercises to work through as a group. There are no blanks to fill in each week before meeting. There’s just the explanation of what community looks like followed by a chance to practice that community.
I will make this note: I’m evaluating this study strictly on the participant’s guide and the anticipation of what a group study would be like based on past experience in group Bible studies.
Based on that, I look at this study and consider it one I’d like to go through with a group. I know it would be spiritually challenging and would, very often, not be “fun.” But, the format allows this study to fit easily into a growing Christian’s personal study plan rather than forcing a change. I believe it would also be a good growing experience, one that would definitely serve to help participants develop a strong spiritual bond through the discussion and exercises.
So, buzzword title and all, The Gospel-Centered Community is a group study I would recommend.