Chip Henderson is the author of Bible Studies For Life’s Fall 2013 study, Pressure Points, which is available now for use with small groups. Dr. Henderson is the Senior Pastor at Pinelake Church in Brandon, Mississippi. He is a graduate of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and has been married for 21 years to Christy. They have three children. He is an avid hunter, runner, and triathlete. Chip is the co-creator of the L3 Journal and the author of the young adult study Samson: A Life Well Wasted, published by LifeWay.
Recently, we had the chance to talk with Chip and ask him some questions about the study, as well as how he sees people in the church dealing with the pressures of everyday life.
1. As the writer for the first unit of the redesigned Bible Studies For Life, you’re kind of like the leadoff batter. How does it feel knowing your study will help set the tone for what’s to come?
- It’s very exciting. I get a chance to be a part of something new that I think will really be a great tool to help believers develop in their everyday walk with Jesus. Hopefully this first study, looking at how the book of James speaks to some of the different pressures we all feel in life, will give a glimpse of how the new format is geared toward meeting real life issues with solid biblical truth.
2. As a pastor, what excites you about the idea of small groups learning how to deal with pressure points in their lives?
- I think pressure is something every person deals with, but not everyone deals with well. For me, one of the great hopes is that the groups will encourage each other to walk in faith during their struggles and not fall away or become overwhelmed. We live in a day where so many Christians live under their circumstances and below their means as a child of God. It’s exciting to think about people being empowered to handle pressure in the power and provision of God.
3. How were you impacted personally from digging in to the book of James?
- I was reminded of two things. First I was reminded of how practical the book of James is. Times have changed- nearly 2000 years have passed since the book was written- but people haven’t changed and our pressures haven’t changed. We still face the same types of problems and pressures that people faced then, and James gives great teaching on how to navigate those problems in Christ. The other thing that jumped out at me is that, though James is a practical book, it is also a theological book. Everything James teaches is grounded in the truth of the sovereignty of God, the sufficiency of our salvation in Jesus, and the power of our new identity in Christ.
4. Of the six “pressure points” you deal with in this study, (trials, temptations, words, conflict, retaliation, partiality), which do you think people in our society struggle with the most? How come?
- It’s almost impossible to pick because we all deal with every one of them almost every single day- at least in the world I live in we do. But if I had to pick one pressure point that people would most quickly identify with it would be trials. Everybody seems to be battling with some person, problem or circumstance that is beyond their understanding or control. We are a society increasingly dependent on medicine, counselors and all sorts of indulgence in attempts to deal with or drown out the pain we feel when life overwhelms us.
5. In general (not necessarily related to this study) what advice would you give small group leaders to help them get unconnected people connected?
- Outside of a study on relationships, I can’t think of a topic that people are generally more open to finding help with than the area of dealing with pressures of life. So I would say be bold in inviting people to come and take part. Let them know that the format is very simple, the study is very practical, and the results will be life transforming. Also, if you can promise them something to eat that probably wouldn’t hurt attendance!