By Linda Schreckenberg
“No home Bible studies, no evangelism,” was the emphatic statement from Bro. Greg Steele. Many years before he became pastor of the H.O.M.E. Church in Johnson City, Texas, he was introduced to HBS through his pioneer pastor, Sis. Billie Fluitt. He saw the value of what was presented and began to teach. The results were immediate and rewarding.
Bro. Steele has no idea how many are in the church today from his efforts. He recalled how a home Bible study certainly made the difference in the life of one man he taught, Bro. John Everett, who now pastors a church in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Bible study affected his life in such a magnitude he began to teach his family, and 60-plus family members were converted through this one man. Bro. Steele commented, “That report was ten years ago. Who knows how many there are today?”
Pastor Steele starts with the Water/Spirit Home Bible Study, written by James Burris. “This is a must get and teach study,” he said. His students then transition to Salvation Made Simple, written by James Jackson. Bro. Steele said, “From there, I personally use Search for Truth 2 as a discipleship course. These three studies usually take up to a year to complete. We use the crockpot method!”
The church has used just about every kind of tool one can imagine. They brought in special HBS teachers to encourage, motivate and share their testimonies, which created an “I can do this thing” mindset. They use classroom training and hands-on training where potential teachers go with a seasoned teacher. They also use video training and have utilized the Train 12 HBS training, available through the website www.train12.com.
Bro. Steele explained how they encourage their saints to give home Bible studies. “We place a strong emphasis on relationships in our church,” he said. “We talk about HBS all the time, preach on it, and teach on it. When a new convert receives the Holy Ghost, we congratulate them and their HBS teacher and rejoice with them. When an individual accepts a leadership role in the church, they know that one qualifier is to be a HBS teacher. We are trying to make HBS a culture instead of a program or ministry.”