The Ten Commandments of Small Group Bible Study

Henrietta Mears’ Ten Commandments

As we have looked at the contributions of Henrietta Mears to small groups and Bible study ministry through the local church, we can see what a committed and determined Jesus follower she was. She was strategic and focused in life and ministry. Can you see this in the following story she told?

Her Motivation

When I was just a girl in college, the Lord entrusted me with a large Sunday school class. Many times I faced what I must do as a teacher to please the Lord, but somehow I just did not carry it out. One night I awoke from a restless sleep and determined never to fail the Lord again. So I got up and wrote down what I still call “My Own Ten Commandments.” I decided to say what I would do, not just what I ought to do. There have been times when it was agony to carry these out, but by God’s grace they have been the pattern for my teaching. God has honored it.

  • I will win the personal allegiance of every student in my Sunday School class to the Lord and Master by talking, writing, and prayer.
  • I will not think my work over when my pupil has made his decision for Christ.
  • I will see that he finds a definite place in some specific task.
  • I will bring Christianity out of the unreal into everyday life.
  • I will seek to help each one discover the will of God, because the Master can use every talent.
  • I will instill a divine discontent into the mind of everyone who can do more than he is doing.
  • I will make it easy for anyone to come to me with the deepest experiences of his inner life.
  • I will keep the cross of Christ central in the Christian life.
  • I will pray as I have never prayed before for wisdom and power.
  • I will spend and be spent in this battle.
    (“Henrietta Cornelia Mears” in the Christian Educators of the 20th Century Project)

Think About It

Can you identify with Mears? I can. Many times I have been overwhelmed by my own willingness to do what needed to be done in Bible study ministry. Mears determined that she would make a difference. Notice how she said she wrote her personal Ten Commandments, not as suggestions for future behavior but as solid commitments.

How can anyone carry out such lofty ideas? Mears knew that answer. She appropriated God’s grace daily so she could teach about that grace in God’s power. Only what God does is eternal and He does that eternal work through us.

Scripture: Reflect on Jeremiah 31:33. Since this is God’s plan (this verse is repeated twice in the book of Hebrews), how might your personal ten commandments, reflect God’s plan?

Dig Deeper: You can read The Henrietta Mears Story by Barbara Hudson Powers here.

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