If a group of believers start to convene to have a Bible study, is it a rule that a pastor must be present?
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My personal experience has been very positive when a group of believers have Bible study without a pastor present. It provides an opportunity for individuals to ask questions concerning specific passages and doctrinal principles of personal interest. With a pastor present the intimidation factor would be much greater. We should all have a Berean attitude toward God's Word, confirming or disproving what we believe and also what we have been taught. Acts 17:11 " These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
I believe that a/the pastor does not have to be present but the pastor should be aware that a member is holding a biblestudy or any other type of "service" because you would be representing not only God but your church also.
The church that I attend, we have small groups that meet homes with other church members who are believers. It furthers our growth and development in Christ, and in prayer, and in the word of God. I do not believe a Pastor has to be present, however he should know what our Group Study is going to be about.
My view is that a pastor or church elder or mature believer should ideally be present during a Bible study. This will be a useful opportunity to discuss the interpretation of Scripture passages and to enrich the believers. Some passages of the Bible require a skilled Bible teacher to handle. Many Christian communities experience difficulty in handling the Scriptures correctly in line with 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17. We need the prudence of the Bereans and the wisdom of the sons of Issachar to inquire into the truths in the word of God and to apply these truths into our practical Christian living.
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