Teaching Home Bible Studies
It is increasingly apparent to us that we cannot wait for people to come to our churches. In the early days of Pentecost, we could find a building, erect a sign, start a meeting, and the people would come. Pentecost was novel, difference and exciting then. People had nothing more to do than to go to church.
But in our day the church must realize that it must take this message “out where the people are.” This is done by invitation, by tract distribution, by personal testimony, personal witnessing, telephone ministry, and other evangelism methods. The church that sits and waits for people to come to its services will dwindle away.
The most advanced method of soulwinning outreach is the home Bible study course. Those who attend religious publishers’ conventions report to us that the fastest selling item is the home Bible study course.
This reflects the world’s deep interest in the scriptures and also shows that the denominational world recognizes that hunger. The basic home Bible study course is a study of the scriptures without going into extreme details. It involves a planned course of study with charts or other visual aid methods, sometimes filmstrips.
The effectiveness of this method is readily seen in many of our churches. There are a great number of people who have received the Holy Ghost as a result of home Bible studies. Many home missionaries use this method as a way to open doors into homes. In fact it is difficult to do very much for people until we have provoked them to a study of the Word of God. The power is in the Word presented in a spiritual way. Through home Bible studies you can take the spirit of your church right into the home.
These charts may be obtained by writing the General Home Missions Dept., 8855 Dunn Rd, Hazelwood, Missouri 3042. The charts are 22″ by 29″ and bound as a flip chart. Included is a teacher’s manual, study sheets for the student and completion certificates. Enough material is offered in the package for five students.
HOW TO CONDUCT THE HOME BIBLE STUDY PROGRAM
Beginning The Program
A review of the prospect file will reveal many potential participants in a home Bible study program. A letter to the
entire prospect list, explaining the program, will inform them and give an opportunity for them to enroll.
Your workers, in their regular visitation and follow-up, will uncover many people who need and want such a study. Special teams can be trained who are proficient in teaching the home Bible study. They could be on the lookout for
Referrals by your church members and even by your prospects of people they know who want and need a home Bible
study will open many doors.
Advertisements in a local newspaper will draw many prospects. For example, an ad in the Classified section of the
paper can say something like this: FOR FREE HOME BIBLE STUDY Call 739-3367. Or, a 1 column by 1-inch display ad saying the same thing, scattered about in a paper, will attract many prospects.
A special door-knocking effort will open many doors. A simple statement such as, “We are conducting a community
service project in the area and are interested in you. We feel that we can assist our community best by teaching the Bible, just its simple truths, in the homes of our area. The home is where the Bible belongs. Being folks just like you, we realize the importance of good homes and want to help you. Could we introduce you to our Home Bible Study?”
Forming The Teams
It is advisable to solicit teams in a manner which is free from emotion. In this way, those who respond to any and
every appeal which has to do with reaching souls but who are not very effective can be circumvented. Perhaps the pastor could preach a soulwinning sermon and mention the various methods of home Bible studies and the possibility that the church may begin such an effort, asking for volunteers to privately talk to him or the Outreach Director. In this way, along with personal solicitation, well-qualified teams can be chosen.
A special session with these volunteers and prospective teachers can be conducted in which “The Way Of Life” home Bible charts are shown and explained. By making it a spiritual meeting with a fitting climax, these people can be inspired to begin teaching in the homes.
Obtaining The Materials
In most programs, the teams of workers buy their own set of charts. The local church could purchase these and make them available to the workers, perhaps keeping them in the Outreach Room on a check-out basis. However, most workers want their own set of charts and like to keep them at home. This is also good.
Write to the General Home Missions Department for “The Way Of Life” Home Bible Study. A complete set will be mailed, including the flip-chart, a teacher’s manual, a set of study sheets for five students and five completion certificates. Extra supplies of manuals, study sheets and certificates can also be obtained.
1. A prospect is anyone who will allow you to come into their home and study the Bible with them.
2. They will be your prospect as long as they are the least bit interested.
3. They can be parents of Sunday school pupils, friends, neighbors, shut-ins, and even those in prisons and hospitals.
4. The place of the Home Bible Study should be the most convenient place for the students. It can be moved around or from house to house if the students wish.
5. Be sure everyone is seated, that all can see and the temperature is comfortable
6. If possible, have a baby-sitter arranged.
7. Each lesson should not last over 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.
8. Watch your time and remember there must be time for fellowship talk at the conclusion.
9. The teacher must keep the study on a very friendly basis and not try to preach or use pressure on the student. You are studying the Bible together.
10. You are in their home and not in the church; therefore, you are their guest.
11. Always leave with them wanting you to stay and never stay with them wanting you to leave
12. Dress neat and clean but not over-dressed for the home you are going to. Fit in as much as possible.
13. Don’t be self-centered in your conversations, but work to build your students up.
14. Be prayerful, be used of God and expect results. Be positive.
1. Never argue or debate.
2. Do as much listening as you do talking.
3. Give a copy of lesson outlines to each student.
4. Give time for them to find each scripture and let them read them also.
5. Never criticize their faith.
6. Never discredit their knowledge of the Bible.
7. In answering questions, never think you know it all.
8. Answer questions that relate to the present study or studies in the past.
9. If you don’t know, tell the student, “But we will find the answer.” Get them to help you.
10. You may know the answers, but if the question doesn’t relate to the particular lesson you are on, just wait. Give answers only at the time when it fits into the lesson.
11. Progress in the studies only as fast as the students can receive and understand the material.
12. Teach according to what students are expecting as to details. For some, you may only have to tell in story form.
Others may expect you to give complete details, giving all reference to scriptures.
13. Recommended study breakdown: (Your first visit should not be first night of study.)
2. Innocence and Conscience
3. Human Government and Promise
5. Grace (The Cross through the Mission of the Church)
6. Grace (The Holy Ghost through the Rapture)
14. This Home Bible Study emphasizes the blood line and God’s plan for acceptance in each dispensation.
15. You will note the deliberate speed in passing through the Old Testament. This is not to discredit the Old Testament but prolonged study in the Old Testament takes too much of the students’ time. Take this into consideration in pacing your studies.
16. Often, the students themselves do as much teaching as the teacher. It is sociable. Each one makes comments, with the lesson being more or less “passed around.” This is not always true but should not be resisted when it happens, inasmuch as the students feel they are contributing, However, you have the study guides to keep things going straight and the leader always brings the class back to the right conclusion. This approach will become more comfortable after much experience in teaching the lessons.