BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, BSF rules

Introducing BSF With A Warning

BSF, Bible Study Fellowship, BSF rules

I have gone to a Bible study every week since I moved back to Arkansas called Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), and I really love it.

I’ve studied the Bible a lot of different ways with different groups and different materials…with just women, with men and women, with children…with books studies, with topical studies, with discussions about books written about the Bible.

There are as many different ways to study the Bible out there as there are personalities.

So what is special about BSF?

Let me tell you. It’s very very straightforward…just you and the Bible. You read the scripture. You answer your questions. It’s set up to do a little bit every day.

You go to bible study on Wednesday. You discuss your questions in a discussion group. (not a small group…a discussion group…I’ll come back to that.) You hear a lecture from the teaching leader, which at my class is very good. (My teaching leader’s name is Carla and she is precious).

After the lecture, you pick up your questions. You go home and start over. It’s routine. It’s consistent. It can even be monotonous. But, I can honestly say that I have not ever learned more about the Bible or studied as consistently in another Bible study setting.

If you stay in BSF (a lot of people drop out), you just do it. You kind of get lost if you don’t, so you just plug through.

As far as my spiritual journey goes, I have had a lot of ups and downs but one thing I’ve learned is that I am pretty much guaranteed for DOWN if I’m not reading God’s word. It’s that simple. I can still be down anyway, but I don’t have a chance without the words of God pouring into me consistently. BSF sets me up for success as far as studying the Bible daily.

Also, I love the preschoolers’ program (ages 2-6). It’s so good. This spring Ben has enjoyed his last season in the children’s program at BSF and I just cannot say enough about how wonderful it is. I will definitely take simon when he turns 2. Again, very bible based, very consistent. The teachers take so much time preparing to teach the bible story. And they really love those little ones, praying for them and encouraging the mommies. It is such a great ministry.

Every week at BSF, they pass out these little invitation cards and strongly encourage us to invite people to come to BSF. So why haven’t I told you about BSF?

Why haven’t I invited you?

Well these cards are very small and I can’t quite fit all my disclaimers about BSF onto the margins of this little card. So I thought I would invite you now. But first I will tell you some of the things you might not love about BSF, so that you will not get mad at me when you show up and you are ushered to your seat. That’s right, you will be told where to sit. Just like kindergarten. And that brings me to my next point. There are sort of, a lot of, well, for lack of a better word…rules. What’s crazy is that the rules that really bug me also contribute to creating the environment for consistent Bible study that I love.

For example, you can’t talk if you don’t do your lesson. And you can’t talk about anything except your lesson. That is why it is a discussion group, not a small group and definitely not a support group. You are talking about the lesson. No one is saying what their pastor said last week or worse, what Oprah or Dr. Phil said last week. I appreciate this because everyone is motivated to complete their lesson and I love hearing what the other ladies got out of their lesson. They are all from way different walks of life than me, which is another great thing about BSF. Varying denominations, ages, races, spiritual maturity.

But all these rules can be a little intimidating. Especially because on your first visit to BSF, you don’t attend a discussion group. You go to what is called Introduction Class…also known as a boring recitation of the history of BSF and all the rules and guidelines. This class is more than I can bear, and I am sorry to send you to it, but you must endure it if you are going to enjoy the wonderful benefits of being in BSF. All I can say is, endure it with a friend and maybe you could get some material if you worked for a comedy channel or club that needed material for making fun of Christians. Ok, that is a little harsh, but really. It is also true. I have said that I wish somehow BSF could sort of ease up on things like strict attendance records and a very short window of opportunity to get your lesson for the following week, because it seems to hinder a lot of people from coming to something that is actually really good. But the legalism must preserve the whole thing from becoming fluffy. And incidentally, if you are a BSF-er, you kind of need something fluffy on the side to balance you out. Because bsf is not fluffy. It is anything but.

In fact, it is best to approach it as signing up for a seminary class, because, if you wanted to, you could get as much or more out of it as some people get out of a seminary education. And unlike seminary, it is free.

So consider yourself both invited and warned. The next two wednesdays are introduction classes for the fall BSF study, which is Matthew. C’mon matthew! May 2nd and 9th. at Cornerstone Bible Fellowship on Warden Road. 9:10am. If you wander in around 9:15 or so, come stand in the back with Whitney and me and enjoy the singing of a very old and noncopyrighted hymn an octave higher than is humanly possible. You’ll love it, I promise!

Update, January 2013:

I wrote this post about BSF six years ago, and I need to add that BSF has become kinder and gentler with the rules about lessons and attendance and such.  It is still the very best way I know to study the Bible and now all of my kids have graduated from the wonderful preschool program, which makes me a wee bit sad.  Some days I think I will just wrangle up a preschooler to take along to class.

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  1. That is the funniest thing. Ever! I went to the other big bible study in town that is a tad bit less strict. And I mean a tad. I lasted about 2 weeks. I feel like that sort of stuff brings out my dark side- I just want to break all the rules so very, very badly. It’s compulsive – I can just feel the mocking coming on like a tidal wave. Not good, I know. I blame my childhood.

  2. I loved this about bsf. It was a perfect description. I also love that you go and endure the “rules” for what you get out of it. I love that you are willing to overlook the parts that are difficult. We would never do anything, if we had to have it all perfect before we would be a part of it. I also love that you, Anna and Whitney are doing it. I bet you have some people trying it out from your honest invitation.

  3. This description is priceless but SO true from someone who just began bsf a few weeks ago. Even though at times it feels as though I live to break rules, my time there has been so beneficial. Thankfully, we are not directed where to sit by our ushers and our leaders may be a tad less regimented than yours. God must know there’s only so much of that that I can handle. I think anyone I invite in the future, I’ll direct to this clarification of what they should expect!

  4. I love BSF and i am anxious for it start with Matthew this year. BSF is not perfect, i don’t know of any Bible study that is. Our ushers pretty much let us sit where we want, and do help find seats for late arrivals.

  5. […] or so have shaken me up a bit i suppose and even this morning as i was going over some things for bsf and for my meeting with my sistas. (i meet on thursday mornings with two precious women whom i […]

  6. […] i haven’t told you about bsf is that once a semester you are encouraged to volunteer in the children’s department. i find […]

  7. […] disciples ask jesus what it takes to be the greatest. working through those questions and hearing carla talk about this word “great” as God sees it and as the world sees it has worked its way […]

  8. […] being unable to convince you to come to bsf with me this […]

  9. […] couple of weeks ago we sang these words at BSF.  They are from a hymn that is not even my favorite, but I guess after singing it over and over I […]

  10. […] the idea, the tidbit for the week, the little BSF morsel would be that I can let go of vainly trying to control everything around me.  I know […]

  11. […] instead I am in Colorado and he is in Arkansas and BSF is off for the […]

  12. i have had a hard time with bsf. i talked to my group leader about my struggle to make the time daily to get the questions done, etc… she said, “you are what they call a baby christian.” say wha?

    now when i do get the questions completed and have something to contribute to the discussion, she says with enthusiasm “I am so proud of you!!!!” emphasizing the word proud.

    seriously not wanting to go back… help!!! how do we deal with comments like these from leaders?

    1. Ouch!

      I’m not even sure how to respond to your leaders’ insensitive remarks. I’m so sorry!

      I have had lots of different leaders over the years and some years are definitely a little tougher than others. I think if you enjoy your teaching leader (the one who gives the lecture), then the study is still worth it.

      Strangely, on a year I had a particularly ungracious leader, I had one of my best years as far as relationships with group members, which is kind of counter-intuitive. It was almost like we bonded in spite of her. For example, someone might come in late and it be obvious to everyone else that she was struggling or had a bad morning or whatever, and our leader would focus on her missing name tag. That would make the rest of us that much more ready to be compassionate and loving towards her. It was a funny dynamic.

      Mainly, I think God can make good out of all those annoying details for the greater purpose of studying His Word.

      I am loving Isaiah so much this year. I’ve been so blessed by this study, even on the weeks I don’t get it all done.


    2. Hello Ladies,
      I am a teaching leader in BSF. Someone forwarded this discussion to me some time ago and I am using some of the comments in the training of my leaders. No names of course… just examples of how things can “go wrong” or how our actions can be hurtful even if we don’t see it. I appreciate all of your candidness and pray that each of you will continue to love God’s word and desire above all else to grow in your knowledge of Him and His grace whether it be through BSF or another study.
      My heart does break for those of you that have been “hurt” or discouraged by your experience in BSF. I agree wholeheartedly with Barb, the enemy uses whatever tool he can in order to keep us from growing in the knowledge of Him and His Son, including causing division amongst the brethren. God bless each of you for desiring God’s Word in your life and may He bring you to just the “right study” for spiritual feeding.

  13. Thank you for your response. I actually decided to talk to her about the commment. She said that I am a baby christian because I am doing this bsf stuff for the first time… and that I perceived it wrong, took it wrong. It wasn’t meant to offend. She said she’s never heard of anyone being offended by that phrase “baby christian” and that she uses it a lot. That left me feeling more confused. I’m not going back under her leading.. That may be wrong, but God will work it out in me whatever this struggle I am having.

    thanks for your kind words.

    1. did you quit last march? i just read your comments and hoped you spoke to your teaching leader about the situation. she may have been a “baby group leader” that needed more training on responding properly! I hope that if you have not found another Bible study that you will give BSF another chance. the enemy will use any thing to keep us from studying God’s word!

  14. Chino girl…I am laughing out loud and reading to my class.
    thank you….

  15. I found you tonight, a few years after you wrote this post, and just wanted to say thanks. My mom has been nagging me for years now to get back into BSF. I finally decided to do it since my preschooler needs to hear about Jesus from somebody more than just me, and he’s not getting that at church. But it has been a total bear to try to communicate with the rule-oriented class administrator who loses half of my emails. I’m almost ready to give up. My current plan is to go there on the first day of class and if they turn me away because I have my son with me (I don’t have childcare), I’ll just register and hightail it out of there. I hate the idea of sitting through the intro again, but I can do it, if only they will let me put my child in on time! This is the rub. They want to go by their rules, and I just want them to utilize some common sense and grace for a mom who has is only doing this for her child in the first place. Oh, and I won’t even tell you the lecture I got from their headquarters in Texas when I called to see if I could have help getting the CA to responsd to me. Oh my. Rules run deep at BSF. If their children’s program wasn’t so good, I’d tell them where to go (and then I’d have to repent).

    1. I’m so glad you are going to try it out. My class administrator assures me that it become “a kinder, gentler BSF” since I wrote this post several years ago. We do not turn away mamas with kiddos on the first day even though the “letter of the law” says there is not provision for it.

      I look forward to hearing how it goes. And yes, the children’s program is worth it!


  16. BSF preschool program has expanded. The minimum age requirement has been lowered to include newborns. Mothers, grandparrents, nannys, aunts, cousins, etc have the option of keeping their infants with them the entire 2 hours or taking them to the nursery where they are exposed to Christian age appropriate songs and stories.

    1. Thanks Beverly, I think I did know that. This post is really old so I try to update the info every once in a while! 🙂

  17. I’m a long time BSF-er and currently a group leader. I so enjoyed reading your post and had quite a few laugh-out-loud moments (especially the part about the hymns!). I am glad to say that BSF has made some significant changes over the last 5 years and is indeed “kinder and gentler.”

    I hope you will consider taking your kids to the evening program at some point. My girls (13 & 15) have been in BSF since the younger one was 2. The evening children’s program isn’t much different from what the adults do. They have the same lessons, but age appropriate.

  18. Just starting my 7th year of BSF. I could not agree with you more about it being one of, if not the best, way to study and learn about the Bible. I laughed at so many of your comments because I had many of the same impressions when I first started. When I was approached about being in leadership I thought the Lord was just having fun with me. I am very excited about the study of Revelation and have been given a young womens group to shepherd this year. But already there have been some misunderstandings between my TL and I. She also has said it is satan just causing division. But….I am loathe to over spiritualize everything. I see this as an opportunity to see each other’s heart and clear the air. I noticed in one of the comment boxes above that a BSF leader put quotation marks about the word “hurt”, as if to challenge or minimize what the person was feeling. It is hard to reconcile differences when your feelings are minimized or discounted. But God calls us to unity and I value BSF to much to take offense and quit.

  19. I guess either BSF has changed or we just have a sorry group. There is no discussion as there is no time for discussion. The leader reads the question, lets one maybe 2 people answer and goes on to the next question. At that, you barely finish in time. The leader spouts BSF “answers” and everyone says Amen. I actually had one person say, and everyone else in the class agreed, that he glad that the Bible was so easy to understand – and this was a “study” Of Revelations.

    If you are looking for a true discussion of the bible you will need to go elsewhere

    1. Hi Brent,

      I’m so sorry to hear this! I have to say that after years of BSF, definitely some years are just better than others! The leader’s personality and the dynamics of the group can make or break the experience. Maybe you could gently mention how you’re feeling to your leader??

      However, in the years that weren’t as great in the discussion group, I still really loved doing the studies and listening to the lectures. I also always tried to attend with a friend or relative, so sometimes the ride to or from (and sometimes a meal before/afterwards with that friend) were even more valuable than the actual BSF class. I have yet done the new Revelation study, but if you’re liking the actual lessons, I would encourage you to press on and see if things improve. 🙂

      Either way, I wish you all the best in your journey of studying the Bible!! 🙂

  20. Brent, that is a shame that your discussion group is not more participatory. This is my 9th year of BSF on the same location, and I guess the leaders in my area are well trained because over that time period, there’s been an ongoing consistency in the way discussion groups are led.
    The leaders I’ve had usually only offer “answers” to the questions when they have sensed confusion among the class members and then they will offer some help in understanding a passage.

  21. I stumbled onto this blog and discussion and was pleased to find that the dialogue is continuing into ’15. I started BSF in the mid-’80s–back in the day. I stayed and became a leader because of the “strict rules” (Guide Lines) because there was nothing willy-nilly, you knew what to expect and it HAD worked successfully for a very long time before me. When God called me out of BSF, after nearly 20 years, for other ministry, very little had changed but we were studying Moses and “the cloud” was starting to “move”. Subtle changes were taking place. When I returned for the new study of Isaiah in ’10, something was different but nothing obvious. I stayed, and dramatic changes began taking place. I hate all of them, the Guide Lines (rules) are gone, the sound foundation for BSF is gone. They tell me this is what the Millennials want. I’m an old coot, stuck in the mud screaming “tradition” according to them. Here are the 2 changes I DO love and believe should have always been there: moms can now bring infants right into the discussion group and lecture or put them in a nursery and from birth to school age children now have classes in day BSF classes. Well, I am still here and the one thing I swore would never happen happened. While wondering last year how they would teach toddlers and preschoolers Revelation, God called ME into CHILDREN’S LEADERSHIP. I fought that one. I am now teaching a toddlers class, ages 17 months to 2 years. The sacrifice of Children’s Leaders is far more tremendous than I ever realized. At the same time my life has been changed dramatically, first by my own study of Revelation. The infant (nursery) babies are told a Bible story based on Revelation, usually one on one. We teach our toddlers a 5 minute story based on Revelation and we have a complete schedule of teaching and activities that includes a lot of free time and play time at this age. My co-leader and I are having so much fun with our toddlers, watching them grow and develop and trusting we are planting seeds deep, deep in their hearts which will be nurtured over the years and yield fruit. I can’t help but love BSF, no matter what.

    1. So glad you’ve dropped by! I love hearing folks’ BSF stories and how it continues to bless so many people. And I’m so glad to hear that you are receiving so much beauty from being a children’s leader. I’ve said for a while now that if I ever go back in to leadership that it would be as a children’s leader. Grace and peace to you!! 🙂

    2. Hi Barb!
      A group of friends is excited to sign up for our first study with BSF- but we had some questions about childcare. What is the screening process for all people that come in contact with the children? Are there background checks, etc? Is the pick up process secure?
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience!!

      1. Each Childrens leader goes through Criminal Background Screening and Reference checks before being considered as a Childrens Leader. The adult who enrolled the child in class is the ONLY adult allowed to sign-in and out the child. Hope this helps you feel comfortable ~

        1. This is fantastic! Thank you for putting this Momma’s heart at ease!

  22. After years of begging from my California sister, I finally joined BSF in Texas. Main leader is amazing and so welcoming. Cannot say enough great things about her and her amazing lectures. My discussion leader is awesome too. My problem is the questions. I came into BSF from a Christian background but very little actual bible knowledge. I was told this did not matter. I am reading Revelations for the first time and I am so freaked out by some of the stuff. Honestly, I read and go seriously this is the written word of God? So I admit it kinda sorta weirds me out. Not like I doubt my salvation stuff but I am just not comfortable with all the imagery and now tonight the pregnant woman and the red dragon! So the problem is I will go to class this week and all the women will act like this week’s lesson was oh so encouraging! I am like are yall crazy? This is weird stuff. And they look at me like I am a unbeliever. It seems BSF questions gloss over the icky hard stuff ( like the four corners of the earth? Hello the earth is round) and make some pretty serious leaps in interpretation. How some of the women come up with the answers without a commentary and notes is beyond me. I love the lecture but wonder who is writing the questions and notes. My discussion group certainly does not have different opinions offered. Just the right answers and mine are definitely not. I am glad I am going but last week I just wouldn’t even answer when called on…it was too tough looking like I was the crazy one.

    1. Oh sister. I am so glad you wrote this response! Because I know for certain that out there (maybe even in your own discussion group) there is another gal feeling the same way you are. And just waiting for someone else to say it.

      I know this because years and years ago when I was a new mom and new to Bible Study, we were studying the rich young ruler and everyone in my group seemed content to say that Jesus was only speaking to this one man, in this time and place, and that of course Jesus is not asking us to sell everything we have and give all our money to the poor. And maybe he is not, but week after week, I felt like it was all too easy to rationalize everything Jesus said about wealth as we came and went in our nice cars and in our cute clothes. I struggled that we were not allowing Jesus’ words to penetrate our hearts where wealth was concerned, and I struggled with the fact that even the questions did not seem to be leading us to take Jesus’ words more seriously. And I thought I was the only one who was struggling. Until another girl humbly but carefully shared one week that maybe, just maybe, sometimes Jesus does mean that we are supposed to do radical, crazy things with our money and our possessions. That girl became my very best friend in a city where I was new and had not yet made friends. And we called each other during the week when we had questions about our studies. And we encouraged each other when we felt like we were crazy. Like maybe we were not reading the same Bible passage as some of the other women. And now we have both moved away from that town, but here almost 20 years later, I still consider her to be a dear friend and sister in the Lord.

      I think Jesus was (and is) very often thought to be crazy and very often misunderstood, so you are in good company when you are feeling like the crazy one.

      And a few more things from my people:

      My daddy has always said that God can handle our questions, so ask them.

      My husband said (just last night about another Bible passage) that one of the dangers that Christians in every age face is our tendency to want to domesticate the Gospel. He is forever challenging the way we try to make the Bible say what we want it to say.

      And finally my Grandmother, who is no longer with us but was a BSF teaching leader for 25 years, would say that the only person who really knew how to write the BSF questions and notes was Miss Johnson. As I am sure you know per your introduction class, Miss Johnson started BSF and she had the benefit of being a missionary for years and years and studied God’s word from a time, place and perspective that I think is very different from where most of us are today. And any lessons that have been written for BSF since her (all the newer studies) are just not the same. I have not done the BSF Revelation study but it has been written since Miss Johnson, so my hunch would be that it reflects the ways we want (to use my husband’s words) to domesticate Revelation from our contemporary (American) experience. Therefore, I would probably find your scrutiny of it to be all the more valid.

      So hang in there, Kim! Perhaps next year you will get to Miss Johnson’s studies and breathe a sigh of relief.


  23. Thanks Alison so much for your encouragement! I am going tomorrow with a new perspective and will continue to dive into this study. Love your insight and so happy I found your site!

    1. OH, I’m so glad to hear that Kim. Sending prayers + love your way for your journey. XOXO

  24. Thank you for this post! I, too, needed to hear I am not alone in some deep hurts from BSF. I have left BSF in tears more than I would like to admit. Mostly the legalism, being spoken to like I am a child by the leaders, and hurtful comments directed at my children and me by fellow participants. I am a 37 year old mother of two (about to be 3) and a physician. I am a responsible human being but frequently made to feel like a degenerate at BSF. I understand the need for rules but my impression of BSF leans more towards Pharisees than Jesus. I shared a hurtful experience I had today at BSF with my very level headed husband and he asked me why I put myself through this every week. It’s for our girls. Our 2 preschool age daughters that ride home from BSF belting out Trust and Obey and so excited to share with me how they read about Jesus turning water into wine. All the while this momma is crying quietly on the drive home. (Gee whiz that was dramatic…but true)

    1. Your post breaks my heart Jane. I have been a teaching leader in BSF for 7 years and in class for 22 years. I cannot imagine that your Teaching Leader would not want to hear your concerns and know the way you feel. There are certain policies in BSF that enable consistency and are designed to provide the best learning environment however they do not “rate” above the desire for all class members to feel comfortable, safe, respected and loved. May I challenge you to share your experiences with your Teaching Leader enabling restoration and healing. Would you mind sharing where you attend class? I will be praying for you and your children to find resolution and God would enable you and your children to enjoy studying the Bible with joy in BSF.

    2. Oh friend. I am so so sorry to hear this. I know you already know this in your heart but I just want to say out loud (in words): You are a precious child of God. Holy and dearly loved by our Heavenly Father. Every week when you show up at BSF, no matter what state you are in, You Are Enough. And BSF, like all Christian communities, needs people to show up and be different, have questions, and even push those boundaries. I believe you will be blessed by your willingness to go, and I can tell you that now that my children are much older, I long for the days of hearing them belt out Trust and Obey. (There is nothing quite like that BSF children’s program.)

      But I echo Debra’s thoughts in feeling that it would be appropriate to speak to someone about a consistent lack of grace in your class or among your discussion group. It’s so hard to have those conversations but your perspective will be such a gift to your particular BSF class.

      But whether you formally speak to someone or not, I feel certain that your presence is all grace and mercy to the others in your class. I’m sending you my love and prayers for your journey onward, sister.


    3. I have recently become a Childrens Leader after only being in BSF for one year. I have no idea why i was asked to be a leader…perhaps God wants to teach me and humble me…
      Anyways, i have been struggling a lot with the rules… a lot of them i just didnt know about. Perhaps i need to read the fairly long manual.
      Some of the things that have been bothering me are
      Strictness of what songs to sing and how the songs are presented…such as, piano accompaniment only. And also only hymns. Not that i dont love hymns.
      And in the childrens program, you are only allowed to sing like 12 different hymns, no musical accompaniment and you do exactly 3 each week, the same verse repeated three times in a row with an intro leading to each time.
      Strictness of when you can bring someone new. Only on the 1st of the month and they are ushered into a welcome group…thats kind of intimidating.
      Not able to use any other sources for reference. I get the point of this…its because you dont want conflicting answers, but something happened today, that maybe i should just laugh off, but i felt it was shaming to someone who is new and doesnt understand all the rules…
      In response to a question, i began to say that i had found in a commentary…
      And before i finished my sentence, i was cut off bytl the second in command admin leader, “what do we say to that, ladies?” And the whole group gasped. Then they all kind of chuckled.
      The lady next to me patted me, and said, its ok.
      I stuttered and tried to finish sharing, but by that point i felt humiliated…
      I am sure she didnt mean any harm, but it still bothered me.

      1. Hi Corinne, I have commented a few times on this “post page” because I often find misunderstandings are at the root of such discouragement and hurt feelings.
        First I am sorry and I completely understand your being hurt by such events.
        The only thing I wanted to address is the use of commentaries. The purpose behind this is that a commentary is “some one else’s opinions” “comments” on the passage. The founder of BSF, Ms. Johnson’s desire for every one studying to be led by God and discover for themselves what God is saying to them personally. This doesn’t mean we get all the “answers” every week but the goal is for God to influence and give insight rather than the comments of someone else. Hope this helps you ~ I would strongly encourage you to speak to your Childrens Supervisor with the concerns you have regarding the music for your little ones. Blessings

      2. One more little thought … the hymns are a choice of BSF because the main goal of BSF is to teach the Bible. The hymns we choose each week reinforce the doctrine or lessons that are introduced in the passage. For example, if the passage was teaching “atonement” through the blood of Christ, we would choose a hymn such as, Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness …
        reinforcing the teaching of the passage. We are limited however to those hymns that are no longer under copyright. We cannot display, put up on slides, those that are still under copyright laws which includes almost all of the contemporary music from today. BSF does not have copyright “rights” like churches do. 🙂

      3. Corinne, I am so sorry that anyone would ever have to leave a Bible Study feeling humiliated. That just makes me sad. I really struggled to be a “good” BSF leader because even though I understand most of the reasoning behind the rules, I want any encounter I have with God’s word to be bathed in grace. I pray that you will know grace as you continue to serve week after week in your class!

        I would encourage you to share how you feel with your leader, especially if you are finding your frustration growing. But I know that can be a bit intimidating!

        Also, as some one who has greatly benefitted in years past from being able to bring children to BSF, let me just say THANK YOU SO MUCH on behalf of the mamas who are I am sure are overjoyed to see your smiling face every week! What a huge gift you are bringing to their lives!! Sending you grace and love from afar! XOXOXO

  25. An interesting, informative and wonderfully grace filled blog and commentary! Thank you for this insight on Bible Study Fellowship.

    After many years of hearing my wife’s family (only the women, NONE of the men do BSF) talk about this program and the great studies, I’m breaking down and diving in to one of them close (well, 25 minutes – the closest) to my home. I’m open to making my own opinions and judgments once things get running. The recent studies I’ve attended in the area I currently live have been more of a ‘cookbook’ style of study where a question is asked, to which there is a correct answer, a few comments are simmered, then voila! you understand the Bible. My wife’s family says it’s not like that, so I will try to feed my hunger and learn more about taking God’s word into the world.

    Maybe more posts to come…

  26. It’s my first day today, thanks for the headsup! I love the way you described it all. and your sweet honesty. blessings

  27. I was excited to start BSF, and went to the welcome session on Monday. We were told that for the next week or two we would be in the fellowship hall until assigned to a group. Then on Thursday, received an email that they were over capacity for what the fellowship hall could hold and that I was unable to attend until and unless I was assigned to a group. This was so disappointing. I was looking forward to getting started and now it seems there is no room for me. I was not expecting to go to the welcome session and then be told to not come back unless I was called. I get that there are apparently just too many people, but it stung to be told to not come back for now.

    1. Hi Lee,
      The same thing happened to me! I was hurt and I felt rather deceived to receive a phone call that I didn’t “make the cut” AFTER I had spent an entire morning at what I was told was the first class—never mentioned the word Introduction. The leaders never explained the criteria for selecting those who made the grade. I am disappointed—for years I’ve wanted to attend. It seems like BSF is an elite girls group that decides who is worthy to attend a Bible study. I’m done.

  28. How do people start a BSF group. I live 2 1/2 hours from the nearest town with BSF. I have looked on their site and nowhere have I found how people can start or get a group in their area. Does anyone know?

    1. How exciting that you want to pursue a class in your area! You can visit BSF’s website and click on Contact Us … you can call them and tell them your desire to get information about starting a class. They start typically with a prayer group (sanctioned by BSF) in the area praying for God’s wisdom and provision for a class.

    2. BSF also has what is called a Satellite Discussion Group (SDG) for areas that are connected with a ‘base class’ but they meet in another location usually because of travel distance. Check with the class nearest you to see if they already HAVE an SDG for you to participate in.

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