For almost seven years, my husband and I have helped lead a home Bible study for Harding students. This Bible study has been a central part of our time together. When we were students, we actually met and began our relationship at this same Bible study. Throughout our years, the students have changed, rotating in and out as seniors graduate and freshman enter, but our attachment to our home Bible study has stayed the same.
As a student, Bible study was a welcomed respite in the middle of the week, gathering in an actual home rather than a dorm room or classroom to sing, discuss, encourage and (of course) eat. It was wonderful to connect with other students who I might not meet within my major or class year and to develop bonds with the Bible study leaders who became mentors and friends, celebrating in the good times and comforting in the difficult ones.
As a leader, Bible study is still that welcomed break. Now I’m energized by the passion the students bring and am encouraged by their Christ-seeking hearts. I love to watch them talk and play with my son and how important they make him feel. They are role models, and even though he’s only 2, I see my son wanting to mimic them. I can’t imagine a better group for him to look up to.
I asked some other Bible study leaders about their group and what they take from their meetings each Wednesday night. Here’s what they had to say:
“I loved our home Bible study in college because of the relationship we formed with our small group leaders and the great discussion. I hope that this new study will do the same. We had more than 30 show up to our first meeting, and approximately 80 percent of them are freshmen. I am hoping that this will become a ‘home base’ for them while they are in college and that we can form some deep relationships with them.”
— Anessa Westbrook, assistant professor of Bible
“The students are amazing! They bring such vitality to our home. They are refreshingly honest, open and eager to find God’s will for their life! Our family is blessed far beyond our contribution to them.”
— Mike Williams, vice president for advancement
“In my intergenerational women’s Bible study, I personally love the time with all of the ladies, especially the college girls, because I don’t have a lot of connection with college students anymore. I taught in the communication department for several years and was adviser for the Bison and Petit Jean, which gave me lots of connection with students, but my current position keeps me pretty much out of the college loop. The college students bring so much zeal, energy and commitment to our time together, and they deeply appreciate and love the older women in our group.”
— Kay Gowen, director of Abundant Living
“One of the main things is that I am able to form closer personal relationships with the students than would be otherwise possible through the classroom alone. These relationships in many cases last for several years while the student is here at Harding and often last far beyond the time that they are here at Harding. Getting to know the students is a great benefit — to see in them the love for God and the desire to serve and to see how they nurture one another during good times and bad. It is a great inspiration and encouragement to both my wife and me.”
— Lambert Murray, professor of physics
For any student who hasn’t gotten involved with a home Bible study, I strongly encourage you to do so. The Office of Alumni and Parent Relations has a full list for you to choose from, or you can ask around and see where your friends go. However you choose one, you’re sure to find just what you need wherever you go.
Jennifer Hannigan, copy editor/writer