Bible Study Fellowship

**EDIT: POST SCRIPT (that comes before the actual post.) I’m realizing now that I should add this warning that this post is not at all a commentary about BSF. At all. I wrote this to share about how I felt about something that used to be part of my life that isn’t anymore. I say specifically in the post that no one else is to blame except myself (and maybe my friends who refused me, joking). It is hard for me to step in the middle of already formed relationships. It hasn’t worked well for me in the past which makes it even harder for me to try now. I appreciate the readers for reading this post and letting me share my feelings, but I don’t need you to fix my problem. I don’t need you to make suggestions. This post is not a cry for help to make BSF better. This post is where I reflect and make a decision to try again.**

Last year, I stopped attending the Bible Study Fellowship (BSF, you can google it) on Monday nights. I had been going for a year or so when I decided that it just wasn’t for me anymore.

Let me start from the beginning.

My mother had been going to the Women’s BSF for a few years already and she was always trying to convince me to go with her. Nope, not going to happen. I don’t want to be fellowshipping with women my mom’s age. PLUS, my sister had gone with her when there was a children’s BSF that ran at the same time as the Women’s, and she had a bad experience and complained about how boring and useless it was.

I wasn’t in school, my church’s fellowship was a little weak, and I really didn’t have anything else to do on Monday nights…so when the Young Adults BSF started, I went.

I enjoyed it, to say the least.

I loved the worship time at the beginning (it was only two songs, but still). I think that is one of my favourite parts about any Christian gathering – hearing all of our voices raised as one in love and reverence and praise and cries out to our God. I liked being about to open up (to an extent) with the small groups that we met with to go over our questions and discuss what we had learned over the week. I liked coming together to listen to the speaker summarize and go over main points about what we had just read and discussed. I felt like I was being fed, like I was able to absorb the lesson and apply it to my life for the next week and months later.

But I was missing something: fellowship.

I felt really left out at BSF. I come from a small church; the others who attended came from the big churches that surround my little baby church. They knew each other and fellowshipped with one another throughout the week (or at least on Sundays). I didn’t have other people from my church who went with me, and I couldn’t convince anyone else to go with me either.

I arrived alone. Sat alone during worship. Met with my small group of girls who knew each other but not me. Walked by myself to hear the lesson. Sat and listened and took notes…by myself. At the beginning, I actually felt really connected with the girls in my small group even though we didn’t talk outside that circle. That connection was so real to me because I was connecting with them through Jesus, our mutual friend. But after one incident, I realized that these girls weren’t my friend, and it really hit me hard.

Now this was in no fault the other people who were there or BSF. It was my fault. I should have opened up. I should have been more convincing to my friends* to come with me…but because I felt so lonely at BSF, it really hindered my enthusiasm to attend every Monday night.

And I think not going has really put a dent in my relationship with God.

It was regimented. I had questions and readings to do and it forced me to reflect on myself and my relationship with God. Now, that I am not part of BSF, I have so many more excuses to not go that deep into it. It is so much easier for me now to be on the surface with God rather than surrendering my life and my soul to him each and every day.

I want to go again. I really do.

But I just can’t see myself voluntarily diving into that kind of situation where those emotions are so prevalent in my life.

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4 thoughts on “Bible Study Fellowship

  1. Hi. I get what you are saying, and I also love the music ministry. Something about voices raised in unison worship touches me in a way nothing else does. It’s not that it’s better; it’s just a different way to worship.
    About the Bible study, a couple of things struck me. First being that nobody realized the importance of connection, particularly with someone your age. My goodness, that would NEVER happen in my group. Hugs are mandatory and so is food! hahaha. But we’re all older folks.
    At my age, I’d be fine with feeling ‘alone’, but at your age that just doesn’t work. I have to tell you, when I wanted to join that organization same at a local church once, they didn’t have room for me…speaking of the regimentated paradigm. So I never, ever tried to go again. Since when is there a worship service where there is no room for one of God’s children? Apparently at that particular church. But sometimes organizations get so wound up in the logistics of worship that they forget that joining TOGETHER is what Jesus wants us to do.
    Anyway, my recommendation is that you keep seeking the kind of fellowship that will nourish your spiritual journey, because nothing is more important than your soul and the maturation of your walk with God. And while other people don’t make us better Christians, or ‘save us’, they do lift us up and make us feel loved in a way nothing else does. Besides that, when you are connected, you can help one another learn and grow and that’s SO important. I’m still learning new things, and I’ve studied the Bible in college! It’s just plain good to fellowship with other Christians.
    We have a wonderful Bible Study at Richland Creek Community Church where I go. Our pastor calls us a “Sweet family of believers” and he’s so right about that. It’s a big church but it feels small. There’s so much love there, that you instantly feel connected…at least I did. Once I went I couldn’t not go back. My only regret is that work keeps me away at times when I’d much rather be there.
    I hope you find a place where you can feel connected and loved. If you can come to Richland Creek I’ll bet you won’t want to leave. We’d love to have you visit and even stay with us! Check us out online. And all the best to you on your journey. You’ll be fine, I can tell.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment!
      I really don’t blame the other people who went to BSF for how I was feeling. If I had opened myself up more, I’m sure they would have been happy to include me. I just felt out of place because they all knew each other outside BSF and were already friends, so it was a little awkward.

      I did make some friends; I got phone numbers, added people on facebook and other social media platforms…it just wasn’t the same.

      BSF is regimented though. It isn’t just a church fellowship. BSF is (from their website) “BSF is an in-depth, interdenominational Bible study that helps people know God and equips them to effectively serve the Church throughout the world.” It is based all over the world with different meeting places, so they are a little particular.

  2. Hey! I am so sorry that you ended up stopping going to the YA class you were attending. I am a leader at the YA class in my city and I would encourage you to get in touch with your leader and tell her how you are feeling. Part of our role as leaders is to facilitate relationships and community, so I’m sure that she would love to introduce you to others and help form connections. BSF is too great of a study to stop going because you haven’t made connections yet. It will happen. Have faith that if you faithfully study God’s Word and follow His will that He will richly bless you!

    1. Again, I don’t blame anyone at BSF. My leader was very good and kept up with me at the meetings and through email.

      I isolated myself. I’m going to try again to recruit people to go with me, but thanks for your comment.

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