Common Excuses For Not Teaching H.B.S. and How One Might Answer These Excuses

Common Excuses For Not Teaching H.B.S. and How One Might Answer These Excuses
Tim Massengale

The following excuses are the most common reasons that people give for not teaching home Bible studies. Our job, as motivations of evangelism, is to help people find solutions to solve any barriers they have (or may imagine they have).

1. No Time

a. You will never FIND time to win souls, you must MAKE time.
b. Like most things, soulwinning is a matter of priorities
c. If your schedule will not let you teach a 10 lesson HBS, try the 1 & 2 day studies that have proven to be highly successful.
d. Have someone teach good “time management” practices to the church so they will have time to be involved in evangelism.
e. “Give and it will be given unto you,” applies not only to money but also to your time.
f. The concept of “tithing” can be applied to time as well as to money. If you will “tithe your time” by giving 10% of it to God each week, you will find, like money, you cannot outgive God.

2. The Fear of teaching, or of the material, or of people.

a. God has not given us a spirit of fear. That spirit does not come from God. Rebuke the spirit and take action to conquer it.
b. We tend to fear what we do not understand. A good training course and perhaps assisting in a HBS will help you overcome your fear.
c. There is an old saying that is well applied to the spirit of fear: “Fear knocked at the door, faith answered, & no one was there.”

3. Not enough Bible knowledge, fear of questions you can’t answer.

a. The BEST thing that can happen in a HBS is for someone to ask you a question you can’t answer. This gives you the opportunity to say, “That is an EXCELLENT question. I don’t know the  answer, but I’ll study it out this week and you do the same. When I come back next week, let’s see what the Bible says about that.” You don’t want to “intimidate” your students by presenting yourself as some kind of a “Bible Answer Man.” You have done three important things: complemented them on their intelligence, sparked their desire to study the Bible, and caused them
to look forward to the next weeks study.
b. The solution to not knowing an answer is to study it out (this is GOOD for you!) or, if you cannot find the answer, ask your pastor.

4. No confidence, shy

a. Our confidence is not in our ability to teach the Word, but in the WORD OF GOD itself! Remember, the seed does not care how much experience that the hand has which holds it. The seed does not care if the hand that casts it on the ground is a fanner with 50 years experience or just a little child. The seed simply says, “Get me on the ground and GOD will cause the sun to shine; God will cause the rain to fall; God will place the nutrients in the soil! If we will place Our Confidence in the WORD to touch their hearts and not ourselves, the WORD will “not return void, but shall accomplish the work where unto I sent it.” We must be the sower, not the Savior!
b. In my experience, some of the MOST successful HBS instructors have been the SHYEST individuals. The reason they are so successful is that they KNOW that the only way they will ever teach this study is for God to do it through them and for God to give them the words to say. They pray much, and then depend totally on the Holy Ghost to do the work. THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT ALL HBS TEACHERS SHOULD DO! Too often the “natural teachers” and “natural talkers” place their confidence in their own ability to persuade someone to their way of thinking. This will NEVER
work. So, being shy and not having confidence can actually be an ASSET as long as you will place your confidence in the WORD and the SPIRIT.
c. Another way to build up your confidence is to assistant in a HBS and then slowly begin to teach on your own.

5. No true burden

a. Don’t base your actions upon your feelings. Begin teaching because you KNOW it’s right, not because you feel it. What you will find is this: involvement will stimulate a burden. It is a proven principle that our emotions are greatly influenced by our actions.
b. I didn’t crave banana splits until I tasted one. Now, I can’t stop eating them. My friend, there is no joy like the soulwinners joy! Once you bring someone to Christ, you will find you will become “addicted” to soulwinning.
c. Try HOSTING a couple of Bible studies. The results will inspire you to teach!

6. Never really thought about it!

a. The church should promote HBS more – in fact a WHOLE lot more!
b. Same response as “no burden.”

7. Fear of Rejection

a. An experienced door-to-door salesman was prospect hunting with a novice salesman. Each door they knocked on they were rejected. However, each time the experienced salesman turned to the novice and said, “I’m so excited! This is getting better all the time!” The novice finally asked why. The experienced salesman replied, “I have learned that I must have nine “no’s” before I get a “yes”. Each time we are rejected, we’re just that much closer to a “yes!” So, if you get turned down when you ask someone for a HBS, get excited! You’re that much closer to a “yes!”
b. Remember, Jesus was rejected too! We are no greater then he was. Jesus didn’t shy away from rejection. He knew it was necessary to for people first to reject him before they would finally accept him. The same applies to you.
c. Listen to Larry Smith’s tape on, “How to get a HBS”. (Tape #1 of his three tape set, “Rightly Dividing The Word” two lesson Home Bible Study). Bro. Smith covers many techniques of how to overcome rejection and how to talk to someone about a FIBS in such a way that they will WANT a HBS. Excellent material!

8. “I don’t know HOW to get one!” or lack of prospects, contacts.

a. Larry Smith’s Tape #1, “How To Get A Home Bible Study.” (See above)
b. One of the finest ways to get a FIBS is using a little method called, “Five souls That I’m Believing To Get A HBS With.” For a detailed explanation of this method, request file HBAC-05.TXT from Apostolic Information Service. If used, this method will almost ALWAYS result in a Bible study.
c. Get involved in Visitor Follow-up. Visitors to church are one of the best resources for getting Bible studies. Each time you make a visit, you will ask the guest if they would like to have a study. The answer is often “yes!”
d. If you cannot get a study any other way, you almost ALWAYS can get one using the Quest Survey. This door-to-door survey asks a series of questions that are designed to lead the prospect into a affirmative answer when you ask them for a study at the end. If you knock on 100 doors, 50 will be home. Of those fifty, forty will take the survey. Of the forty, about 10% will accept a study (about 3 or 4 studies). For a copy of the Quest Survey and details on how to use it, request file HBAC-04.TXT from Apostolic Information Service.

9. “I’m too young (or too old)”

a. You are never too young or too old to win a soul.
b. If you just don’t feel able to teach a study, there are other ways to be involved in the HBS ministry: You could babysit for an instructor, or pass out tracts door to door, or assist in a study, or open your home and invite your friends (we will provide the instructor), or use the Quest Survey and get studies for others to teach (you assist).
c. Try one of the easier Home Bible Studies like “Into His Marvellous Light” or “Rightly Dividing The Word.”
d. You can now obtain the “Exploring God’s Word” on video – so all you have to do is push the “on” button…what could be easier!
e. You can also get “Search For Truth” and “Exploring God’s Word” and “Rightly Dividing The Word” on cassette. There are many reports of individuals that simply played the tape and flipped the chart and the Holy Ghost did the rest!

10. Fear of the responsibility of a soul

a. Remember this one thing – they are lost anyway! You have nothing to lose! The worst you could do is leave them in the same condition you found them. Remember, God delights in taking the simple things and confounding the wise. God can take the simplest Bible teaching and by the power of the Spirit, stir the heart unto salvation. DON’T LIMIT GOD!
b. Also remember, YOU will not save them, the WORD saves them. Put your confidence in the Word! If you did little more then read scripture and make the most basic of comments, it the Word and Spirit that changes the heart, not your intellect or depth of knowledge.

11. Geographic, I live too far from church.
a. We are not building “our” church, but God’s church! A soul is a soul, whether they go to your church or another church that teaches the truth. The Bible says, “cast your bread upon the waters and in due time it will return unto you.” If you will sow the word where you are at, God will give increase in His own time and way.
b. You are not building a “personal kingdom”.
c. When they receive the Holy Ghost, they will drive as far as you do now!

12. Past failures. HBS never worked for me.

a. I have found that you often must teach 4 or 5 before you see results. When you are nervous, your students are often also. Teach till you have confidence.
b. Remember, the Bible says that some sow, some water, some reap. You may be a sower – so sow the word! Don’t worry about results – saving them is not your job. Leave the saving business to God.
c. “Be not weary in well doing, for in due season ye shall reap if you faint not”. God has promised that we will reap as long as we be consistent.
d. Problem often is you must learn to “close the sale”, bring them to a decision. You need a baptism of “holy boldness” and ask God to help you to ask for a decision at the end of the lessons that deal with salvation.
e. The only way you can FAIL with MS is to not do it.
f. Those that usually use this excuse usually have only taught one or two lessons. One an average, most will see someone saved from every third or fourth lesson. Commit to God to teach at least 5 Bible studies before you decide whether Bible study teaching is your ministry.

13. Too many church activities. No Time.

a. It’s a matter of priorities. We usually have time to do what we truly want to do. Nothing is more important than winning a soul.
b. The church must use caution not to tie up every night of week. Saints need time in the week to teach a Bible study. Don’t tie up every night with church activities to the place they have a problem getting time to teach.
c. You can be as busy as a bee, yet have more HUMM than HONEY! In other words it’s not how much activity you have, but how much productivity. We need to evaluate our methods of evangelism and focus our time on those that will bring the most results. With the coming of the Lord so soon at hand, this becomes even more important.

14. “I start, but people always cancel on lesson 4, 5, or 6.

a. Try teaching up to lesson 3 on the Tabernacle; then go immediately to the new Testament and teach the plan of salvation. Most studies that are canceled are done so after the Tabernacle and before the plan of salvation. Many have found that by skipping these lessons, they have seen far more saved. It’s worth a try!

The above article, “Common Excuses For Not Teaching H.B.S. and How One Might Answer These Excuses,” is compiled by Time Massengale from Total Church Growth and Apostolic Information Service.

The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.