One thing that was missing from my life ever since I graduated from SFU was that intimate time where I could get together on a weekly basis with a close group of friends and dive into the Bible with them. I was part of a club called Campus for Christ (back then, Campus Crusade for Christ). It was great. We'd discuss Biblical teaching, everyday applications, and hardcore theology. And then I graduated.
My church is small, and there aren't that many people my age there. So it's hard to have a small group environment similar to what I experienced at SFU. Well, some friends from MSI have been bugging me to join BSF for a while now, and I finally relented to attend a session.
I was very much not interested in attending BSF, because it seemed very much like a Christian singles bar kind of thing. Co-ed classes, and you had to be single. If you're not single, then there are separate men's and women's classes. But it sounded like it would be full of people who were more interested in finding a mate than those who actually wanted to know God better. That thought really turned me off. If people are going to a Bible study, conference, whatever, the primary purpose shouldn't be the meat market. The primary purpose should be growth in your relationship with Jesus Christ. That's why I don't think I'd ever attend a Bible college, given how many people seem to go to find a marriage partner, hence the moniker bridal college. If I ever really did want some sort of "official" education, some sort of seminary would probably be better.
I was very impressed by BSF, mainly because of what they expect from people. There's daily homework for individual Bible study. If you're late for your discussion group (which happens before mass lecture), they ask that you do not go into your group, lest you disrupt their discussion; instead, you are to wait in the general chamber for the week's lecture. As well, if you are absent for three weeks in a row, they will assume that you've quit, and will remove you from the class. If you want to be reinstated, you have to go through an application process. Same if you are habitually tardy or show some other sign of little commitment.
I like that. So the people who will be involved in the study truly will want to be there. In theory. Some guys told me later that there is some grace, and they aren't really that strict for some things. The men's group is supposed to be much stricter. However, it's still very interesting that the mindset is there. I signed up for September, which is when the next session starts. Each session is eight months long, and this coming one will focus on Matthew.
Yay. It will be good to be in a small group setting again, among people my own age. :)