Do Home Bible Studies Really Work?
The Home Bible Study program has been a marvelous success across the nation and around the world. The reason for such dramatic results is that the whole concept is Biblical.
Isaiah gives such a delightful commendation regarding those who are willing to give of themselves to tell the Good News:
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation…” (Isaiah 52:7).
The same theme is repeated by Christ when He spoke, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).
The disciples obeyed Christ’s command as they “…taught…publickly, and from house to house” (Acts 20:20).
No twentieth century evangelism outreach could be more ideal than sitting with a family gathered around the incomparable Word of God and a beautifully illustrated Light for Living™ Home Bible Study chart. What could be more pleasing to God than for this scene to be enacted in multiplied thousands of homes throughout the world?
Notice what Daniel penned concerning those who willingly give of their time and ability to teach the Gospel: “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).
We want to share a few exciting testimonials of those who have faithfully taught Home Bible Studies.
Larry Clark is the Home Bible Study Director of a thriving church in Alexandria, Louisiana. Several years ago, this congregation of about 500 was among the first to incorporate the Home Bible Study program as an outreach ministry. It was an instant success!
Eighteen Home Bible Study captains are now appointed with 10 to 15 instructors on each team. Some of them have led as many as 75 people to the Lord in a single year.
Since their attendance is approaching 2,000, they have begun constructing a sanctuary to accommodate the new converts.
When Larry was approached about teaching his first Home Bible Study four years ago, he turned down the offer because he felt incompetent to answer difficult questions that may be asked. But Pastor Anthony Mangun insisted that he give it a try.
While teaching the intriguing story of Joseph in his first lesson, a burden settled upon this young man. From that initial endeavor, a burning desire began to grow to teach others. He has become such a successful instructor; his pastor installed him as the Outreach Director.
At present, Larry is personally teaching seven Light for Living™ Bible lessons per week after working hours and on Saturdays. The 18 teams he supervises are reaching hundreds more every year. With so many being taught the powerful Gospel story, a bountiful harvest of souls is certain!
One of the families taught by Larry Clark was having marital problems. Even though the husband had a degree in psychology, he and his wife could not get along. But when they became involved in the Light for Living™ Home Bible Study program, they were taught about the purpose and plan for the home. Now the family attends church together and all of them—even the children—have committed their lives to Jesus Christ and been filled with His Spirit. In return, God has healed their family!
During a seminar in Fort Worth, Texas, an interesting story was related about the Home Bible Study Mini-Chart. A zealous factory worker was challenged to win his fellow workers to Jesus Christ. So, he decided to include a Mini-Chart in his lunch pail everyday!
The men usually gathered in one place for lunch, so he asked permission to teach a Bible lesson while they ate. They agreed. Each day, he quickly ate his own lunch and then began to teach from his small chart. The lessons were so inspiring; twelve of the men were baptized with the Holy Spirit.
In this innovative way, one Christian man reached out and touched his own little world. How many other seemingly rough, crude men, inwardly wounded and scarred by sin, are waiting to be healed? Will someone be bold enough to ask, “Can I teach you the Word of God?”
The healing power of the Gospel is never more effective than when it brings families torn by division and strife back into a loving relationship with each other and with God.
An engineer from Kansas was invited to a Home Bible Study. He and his wife were experiencing deep marital problems. At the close of the second lesson they asked for water baptism. By the time the series was completed, they were baptized with the Holy Spirit and their home reunited.
Pastor Albert Dillon in Salem, Oregon has established quite a successful prison ministry. When the chaplain saw the beautiful full-color Light for Living™ chart, he gave Pastor Dillon full permission to teach anything he wished. The prison officials were so impressed with the quality of the program; they asked that he teach at other units also.
One of the inmates serving a six year prison term was introduced to Jesus Christ through these lessons. As soon as his release came, he began to share with his family and friends what Jesus had done for him. More than 25 of them have now been taught the lessons and received salvation.
In Detroit, Michigan, Jerri Ann Guidroz felt impressed to teach her neighbors a Home Bible Study. The husband worked for the University of Michigan in the Medical Department. But the family was plagued with problems. His wife had only one kidney and was told she could not live without a transplant. While she waited for a donor, the study began.
This man so desired to find God, he had inquired into the beliefs of several cults, such as Hare Krishna and Hinduism. When he heard Jerri Ann teaching the lessons, he wanted her to prove every detail and really gave her a hard time. But before the series were completed, God found a special way of softening this man’s heart. His wife’s kidney was miraculously restored through the power of prayer!
Ten years have passed since the healing and she has never needed a kidney transplant or dialysis. She is a walking miracle!
From New York City, Pastor Rodney Vannoy related some amazing results from his Light for Living™ classes. In six short months, seven drug addicts have been set free from their habits and two prostitutes have come to a beautiful knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Vannoy is quite excited about watching the power of the Gospel at work in the lives of so many hurting individuals.
His church has grown from 40 to 150 in attendance using this marvelous study. Nothing has ever worked for him in New York City like the Home Bible Study program!
When Pastor Mike Tuminello in Memphis, Tennessee called, his enthusiasm about Light for Living™ was quite evident. The lessons have been so successful in his church; he requested that we bring a display of the material to a large gathering of ministers in Nashville, Tennessee.
He exclaimed, “We want to pay all your expenses just for you to come and tell these ministers what you have to offer. When I took this church a year ago, the attendance was less than 100. Last Sunday, I had over 300! This growth can be directly attributed to the Light for Living™ Home Bible Study program.”
An excited Pastor Bill Hardin from Little Rock, Arkansas called our office to relate the story of a man in his church who had personally won 64 people to the Lord in the past year, using our giant teaching charts.
A student in Missouri wrote, “This study has really been an eye-opener for me and my family. I want to thank you for giving my name to an instructor. She was a joy in my studies. I have other friends and relatives who want this study.”
From an instructor: “I am on the U.S.S. Kittyhawk. There are many souls on this ship who need salvation. We started a cruise with four believers and came back with forty-five.”
Pastor James Kilgore in Houston, Texas has found that the Home Bible Study method is just as beneficial to establish new converts in God’s Word as it is to reach the unconverted. Statistics show that, those who complete the course not only are more likely to stay in the church, but are usually the most dependable workers.
Frank Tamel, a construction superintendent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin helped to convert more than 150 people to Jesus Christ using the Home Bible Study charts.
When he began to feel God’s call to the ministry, he moved to Oak Creek, Wisconsin. There Pastor Tamel employed the same Home Bible Study method to build a congregation from 0 to 700 in an amazingly short time. New converts, in turn, were trained to go into homes and teach the powerful Word of God.
Mark Foster, pastor of a young congregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, wrote that in three weeks’ time, 13 people were added to his church. Their attendance suddenly zoomed past the 100 mark as a result of teaching Home Bible Studies.
A letter from Pennsylvania states: “I have taught your Home Bible Study lessons and five people have received salvation.”
Another successful pastor in Houston, Texas, with a church of more than 4,000 is using the Light for Living™ Home Bible Study plan. To reach his community, Pastor John Osteen has trained 300 home fellowship ministers in the mechanics of soul-winning. They are adopting the Home Bible Study material as their curriculum and presently are using over 100 Light for Living™ charts.
Cy Finnerty, the Houston Area Manager of Christian Broadcasting Network, was recently introduced to Light for Living™ while visiting friends in Galveston, Texas. He was so impressed, his comment was: “This is the most exciting Home Bible Study and church study help that I have ever seen. The churches, particularly small churches on tight budgets, will find this program very effective in evangelizing their communities.”
One of the most amazing reports ever received was from Robert Rodenbush, missionary to Ghana, West Africa. His very unique method of establishing new congregations in that country was to choose two couples from an established congregation, train them to use the Home Bible Study program, and then send them to a city or village needing to be evangelized.
These two couples would find jobs to support themselves and teach Bible Studies every night of the week and on week-ends. Missionary Rodenbush said that invariably, within six months a good nucleus of believers would be formed. He would then send a trained pastor to oversee the new believers and train them to teach Home Bible Studies. Soon there would be a thriving church.
During his ten years as overseer of the work in Ghana, 205 churches were established with this remarkable method of evangelism.
It’s Time to Begin!
It would be impossible to recount all the miracles of God’s saving grace through the Home Bible Study program. But more important than those we could relate are the ones that YOU will experience while teaching in YOUR community.
If you have always longed for a method to reach your friends, neighbors, and loved ones with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, this program was designed especially for you! It will bring God’s Presence into your life and those you touch in a measure never known before.
If you are a member of a church or fellowship, we urge you to order your personal copy of Light for Living™ Home Bible Study. Then inform your pastor or leader. You could be responsible for an entire congregation becoming involved in a ministry that will invoke God’s richest blessings.
If you are a pastor or an evangelism director, why not plan an outreach seminar for your local congregation and introduce Light for Living™ —not only for personal study but as an evangelism tool.
Much of the material in this book could be used to plan a very inspirational meeting. We recommend that you have several large Charts and Teacher Manuals available for those who will want to purchase them at the close of the session.
One way to quickly involve your members is to ask everyone in the congregation to stand who would be willing to open their home for a Bible Study. Their responsibility would only be to invite people—neighbors, loved ones and friends—and provide refreshments after each lesson. An instructor would be assigned to teach in their home.
A church in Nashville, Tennessee used this method. Within six weeks, 26 new people had been baptized into their church.
Are you ready to begin? God is waiting… And so are multitudes of hurting people.
This article “Do Home Bible Studies Really Work?” was excerpted from the book Explosive Church Growth through Home Bible Studies written by Ron Willhoite. It may be used for study & research purposes only.