Midweek Bible Study
It is sometimes said that midweek Bible studies, as conducted by most local churches, are no more than a human tradition. The follow-up to that statement may involve one or more of the following:
· We don’t have to meet on Wednesday. For some this means that the church could choose to stop doing it, but with others, it means that even if the church continues to meet, they are not obligated to be there.
· Some feel a sense of responsibility to the local church family and will be present when in town, but when traveling don’t feel they have any obligation to someone else’s midweek studies.
When someone says it is “no more than a human tradition,” exactly what are they saying? Are they suggesting it is wrong to meet any time other than the first day of the week (Acts 20:7)? If so, they must explain the daily gatherings of the early church (Acts 2:46) and the special gathering of the church at Antioch in Acts 14:27. Surely, no one could be serious in thinking it is wrong for the elders or the church as a whole to choose to meet midweek to worship God and strengthen one another.
Now, if they are saying local churches can but are not obligated to have these gatherings, I would agree and would also recognize the right of a local church to make the decision to forego them if they felt it best. However, I am thankful those who watch for our souls (Heb. 13:17) have seen fit to provide these extra opportunities for young and old alike to grow in knowledge (2 Pet. 3:18), receive spiritual encouragement (Heb. 10:24, 25), and focus on things above (Col. 3:1-4).
For those who think attendance is optional, I would offer the following. Aren’t we to obey and be submissive to those given the oversight of the church (Heb. 13:17)? Since these men have determined it would be best for the church to meet each Wednesday, is it really optional to go against their leadership? Does Heb. 10:24, 25 speak only of an assembly on the Lord’s day, or does it warn against any and all “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together?” Am I seeking first God’s kingdom and righteousness if I miss when I could be there?
Do I feel an obligation to be present when the church of which I am a member meets? Yes! But it is far more than an obligation.
· The spiritual exhortations and opportunities to grow in knowledge are beneficial to me and I don’t want to miss out on these.
· This is an opportunity to let my light shine and make a statement to those around me about what really matters. Matt. 5:14-16
· Midweek studies allow us to both influence and be influenced for good. Prov. 12:26; 13:20
· It was always beneficial to have my children afforded opportunities to learn more about the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:14-17); be with good people (Prov. 13:20); and learn to choose the good part (Luke 10:38-42).
But what if I am traveling and cannot be with the group of which I am a member? It has always been my practice to seek out a group with whom I could worship and study for the reasons below:
· All four of the things listed above would still apply.
· It is one of the best teaching moments we will have with our children, family we are visiting, coworkers with whom we are traveling, etc.
· Brethren in other cities will be encouraged by our taking the time out of our trip to worship and study with them. It is a chance to be a Barnabas or to be like the brethren from Rome whose journey to meet Paul caused him to thank God and take courage (Acts 28:15).
I know where I plan to be Wednesday—how about you?
All quotes taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1994, Thomas Nelson Publishers.