The Men’s Bible Study of Johnston County begins its fifth year on Sept. 12, welcoming Christian men of all denominations, backgrounds and ages to take a closer look at Scripture.
The study isn’t tied to any particular church, and all are welcome.
“We have men coming from all over the county and as far away as Clinton,” said Clayton Narron, one of the co-leaders of the group.
The core group has been together for 12 years. At first they were hoping a Bible Study Fellowship group would find them. Bible Study Fellowship is a parachurch that offers structured Bible Study around the world.
But in the end the organizers changed their focus and created their own Bible Study environment. Each year the group studies one book of the Bible verse by verse, and this year it will be the book of Romans. A study guide is posted on the group’s website, and each meeting examines the passage in detail and includes time for sharing and for developing a prayer list.
“We all learn from each other and is it amazing,” Narron said. “What the spirit reveals to everyone is different. It’s according to what is going on in your life.”
Bible Study members span many different ages and the small groups within the large group benefit from that.
“One of the great points is knowing that it all works out in the end,” Narron said. “Even though what you’re going through may seem like a terminal issue you always get through it in the end with God’s help and the older guys can attest to that.”
Narron likens men’s Bible studies to the traditions of his youth that included the men gathering together for discussion after family meals and holidays. He said that was a great opportunity to learn from other men.
“We all have a similar desire to draw closer to God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but we don’t get many occasions as men to join together to do that. We are all in God’s family and are gathering together as men to encourage one another and grow closer together in fellowship as a body,” Narron said.
Each year-long session of the Men’s Bible Study of Johnston County culminates on the final night in May with a meeting in the host church’s sanctuary where members are encouraged to share what the study has meant to them.
“We know that everyone who comes has a burden of some sort. They are carrying guilt, or a disease or family member’s trauma or distress. We all have a burden. We don’t necessarily have to share it but we can offer encouragement and find comfort from being there and studying,” Narron said.
Seventy-five men are already registered for this year’s study, which begins Monday, Sept. 12. Each session lasts from 7: until 8:30 p.m. at Centenary United Methodist Church, 140 E. Market Street in Smithfield.
“Our ultimate goal is to help one another have a deeper relationship with our Creator and Savior and Holy Spirit,” Narron said.
Carla Turchetti writes about faith news in Wake and Johnston counties. Email tips and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.