Winning Souls Through Home Bible Study and Other Methods
I. Bible Study Outreach
A. My Father’s House Level I
1. Starts and goes continuously
2. Bro’s Toby, Ivey, Bill rotate with Bro Rich
3. All sessions at parsonage
B. The New Birth Experience
1. Every Thursday night in a different member’s home
2. Teachers rotate as above.
3. Desire is to have person receive the Holy Ghost at session, or to begin the Exploring God’s Word Bible Study in their home with one the above teachers.
4. When Search For Truth Two is COMPLETED they will get lesson one of My Father’s House, then in rotation on Thursday nights.
C. My Father’s House Level II
1. Sunday PM in Pastor’s Office.
2. Once started, must keep rolling.
D. Prayer Walk
1. Sunday Evening Walk
a. Distribute Information
b. Pray for Households
c. Keep follow-up notes
* Teach Home Bible Study as follow-up. Teach New Birth Experience, follow with Search For Truth Two, and into Thursday My Father’s House rotation.2. Those who are too elderly or are not able to walk will remain in the Church praying for the efforts of those who are out walking.
E. This is my story
1. Each Church Member completes tract.
2. Each Fifth Sunday (Only three this year) we have an Eating Meeting and Give testimonies.
3. Everyone will know when they will give testimony, and will invite friends, relatives, coworkers, etc.
4. Follow-up on visitors.
a. Teach Home Bible Study as follow-up. Teach New Birth Experience, follow with Search For Truth Two, and into Thursday My Father’s House rotation.
F. Sunday Morning Outreach
1. 10:00 — Evangelistic Service
2. 11:00-12:00 Sunday School
My Father’s House may not a good place to start on outreach, but unless we keep the souls we win, we have labored in vain. This Bible study will be taught continuously on Thursday’s at the parsonage. (We have a HUGE room with 24 comfortable, padded chairs and excellent facilities for refreshments, restrooms, etc. in the parsonage!) Bro. Lyons will teach every other lesson, with one of three other ministers teaching on off weeks. Bro. Lyons always teaches lesson one in a one-on-one setting for each new convert. The rotation will allow each of the three Jr. ministers to specialize on three lessons, while Bro. Lyons teaches all lessons at one point or another.
Also on Thursday’s, we will have a group Bible Study, (using a semi-cell-group concept) at a church member’s home. The member will be asked to provide a list of friends, loved ones, neighbors, co-workers or anyone else they would like to invite to the Bible Study. We will send personal invitations from that member, plus the member will personally invite and call as a reminder. Goal is to invite 30 persons per session, expecting about 6-10 in attendance. Bro. Lyons will teach New Birth Experience if he is not teaching in the parsonage that week. If he is teaching in the parsonage that week, one of the three Jr. ministers will teach, based on rotation. Goal of each session is to pray through people to the Holy Ghost during the study. Each person will also be asked to take a HBS (Search For Truth Two).
Once 10 wks of My Father’s House I have been taught, Bro. Lyons will begin teaching My Father’s House II in his office on Sunday PM. Primary purpose is to form strong bond between convert and pastor, and also education. Prayer walk will be a combination of several examples. Neighborhoods will be divided up and members will be split into groups of two or three. Each group will have an assigned number of homes to visit. Will knock door, if anyone answers, ask if it is OK to pray for the home and residents, and will give door hanger and will pray. Notes of responses will be kept and follow up will be for HBS. HBS will be The New Birth Experience, Search For Truth Two, then into My Father’s House rotation.
This is my story will be done by everyone who wants to win a soul. A special eating meeting on Fifth Sundays will give members a chance to invite as per Thursday semi-cell-group above. Testimonies and special singing to follow noon meal. No morning or evening service. EXPECT Holy Ghost altar service after testimonies and singing!
Currently we only teach Sunday school on Sunday morning, we will add evangelistic service and will follow with Sunday school. This is when we have most visitors, and we need an evangelistic service. We have some profound weaknesses in Bible understanding, so we cannot substitute preaching for teaching — we need both.
On January 18-19 Bro. Dion Melchizedek (I’ve asked — he is not a theophany!) will teach on altar work. This has never been done here, and Bro. Melchizedek has become somewhat of an expert on this. He has studied everything the organization has available on this, has interviewed a number of top ministers (including Bro. Billy Cole) and has worked with this area for some time. This year, his altar team has prayed through 164 people. This represents about a 25% growth rate. Below is a package I have distributed to all church members with some teaching and overview. It is from AIS, combining a ton of files and editing heavily. I think about 4-megs originally.
This is going to be the best year ever for spreading the Gospel in Marshall, TX. We have set a goal of bringing ten new families into our church body this year. With continued prayer, fasting, and our aggressive outreach plans, we should reach this goal. Most importantly, we are fulfilling the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ; “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,” (Matthew 28:19). As we have learned with our Spanish Ministry, we can teach all nations right here in Marshall.
This year we will ask everyone who is interested in soul winning, to open their home at various times for teaching Bible Studies. This will be the core of our approach to reach the lost. Please consider this carefully before you decide it is not something you wish to participate in. This gives you a chance to invite YOUR friends and loved ones to hear the Word of God. Everyone with a lost friend or loved one should be eager to open their home to the Word of God!
The first section in this package is about soul winning. The soul winning information is for everyone. We want to make the most of every moment in the house of God. We want to make the most of every opportunity to see the lost filled with the Holy Ghost. The way to do this is to abandon tradition in a wholesale fashion and follow biblical concepts. This packet and the training to follow are our efforts to make sure that everything we do is biblical and not traditional. Please study this information carefully and prayerfully. And please do it with an open Bible and an open mind.
I have taken the time to compile some ideas that will help you fill your home with people who want to learn more about the Bible. These are just ideas – nothing is written in stone. Please read the following and add or take away from it as you see fit. Use words and methods that you are comfortable with. There is no “magic” in any method. The only “magic” involved in soul winning is the love of God. When a child of God with a genuine burden is mixed with hungry souls who desire more from God, the miracle of rebirth just “magically” happens. Any method will work, IF your burden is genuine.
Also in this booklet is a section on conducting Home Bible Studies. The information on Home Bible Studies is primarily for teachers, but may also have good information for hosts and hostesses. I’m giving this to everyone because everyone is qualified to teach Home Bible Studies. If you are interested, just ask, and you will be trained.
I believe our burden is genuine, and our hearts are united in the mission of feeding the broken bread of Heaven to a starving city. If we keep our hearts pure before God, put prayer and fasting above the “program” and work steadfastly, we will see our altars filled with tears, and God’s house filled with new believers.
Yours for Jesus’ Name,
Rev. Rich Lyons, Pastor
Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church Y Tabernaculo De Vida
“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth,” I Timothy 3:15. Soul winning is not one of the nine gifts of the spirit. In fact, soul winning is not a gift at all. It is the responsibility and the purpose of the church to win souls. The promise of heaven is not the only reason we are saved. We are saved to win the lost. We are seeing and experiencing a great revival within the United Pentecostal Church today. Home Bible studies, Sunday school bus routes, visitation, personal witnessing, etc. are all being used to bring about revival.
One of the most important, easiest and yet most forgotten ways of soul winning, is still our local church. Someone will say about now, “Wait a minute! That’s the only method we had for years and it didn’t get the job done. We waited for people to come to the church and everyone did not come. We need to get out into the highways and the homes to tell them about the plan of salvation.” To all of this I say a big Amen. I believe that the job of the church is to get outside, where the people are, and tell them about the Lord. You see, this is where soul winning in the church becomes important. It is one thing to win a soul, to see a new convert become a member of our local assembly and another thing to keep that convert coming. It’s wonderful to see visitors in our services but the gospel must reach them.
I do not want to be a nitpicker (one that is paying too much attention to petty details) but I have noticed that sometimes it is very difficult for a new convert to break into our so-called circle of Pentecost. I have also watched as visitors would come into our services and the saints would either ignore them completely or stare at them until I am sure they felt they were on some kind of display. With these and several other things I address this article to us — potential soul winners. Here are some ways that I believe will help us to become a better soul winner. As you look over this list I believe you will see that every one of us can help to win souls through these methods. May God help all of us to become a part of this last day revival.
I. Soul Winning Prior To Church
A. YOUR HOME. Do not wait to get to church to become spiritual. Set the mood in your home for the service that you are about to attend. One pastor told of playing religious music while getting ready for the service that night. You as a saint, a Holy Ghost filled saint, will create the atmosphere for the service. We are the temple of God. If the building that we are going to attend will have the presence of God tonight it will be because we bring the spirit of God with us. Get out of the habit of depending on everyone else to bring God with them. Too many saints go to church to receive something when in reality they should go to give. By the mood you set in your home, with getting things ready to go, you are setting the stage for God either to move or to be grieved.
B. GO EARLY. Not on time. Don’t be late, in a hurry, upset, irritable. Someone this day is depending on YOU to touch God for them. How many times have I noticed that the visitors are in the pew early? Where are the saints? No one praying, no one to shake their hands and welcome them to the service. I’m talking about soul winning. I have seen this more than once — a saint is late — he comes into the service feeling bad for being late, finds a pew and walks right over the visitor without even saying hello. We fail to even show common courtesy. They are the visitors — not us. You may say, -‘I don’t want to disturb the service.” One more reason for being early.
C. PRAY BEFORE EACH SERVICE. Don’t depend on God to just bless you. We need God for this service. Our program will go down the drain without God. We need more prayer than practice. If you are going to take part, come that much earlier so you will still have time to pray.
D. BE FRIENDLY, BE FRIENDLY, BE FRIENDLY. This is most important in soul winning. Most people today are looking for a friend more than a doctrine. Win their heart and they will beg you for your doctrine. Introduce yourself by giving your name. If you do not have ushers, help them find seating, song books, restrooms, etc. (YOUNG PEOPLE — please help in soul winning. When you see a young person, please go to him. Make him feel at home. Treat him like you would like to be treated. If he is alone, invite him to sit with you and your group. Introduce him to others.) This is soul winning.
E. LOOK AROUND at the building when you come in. Make sure everything is neat, clean and in place. Again — do not depend on others. YOU are soul winning. Visitors see more than you think.
F. BE PREPARED if you play an instrument, sing, etc. Let the visitor know that you are happy about what you are doing. SMILE, SMILE, SMILE. A radio station must keep their programs moving. They have what is called dead air,” which is the time that nothing is going over the air. A little of this space and people wilt turn to another station. We do not need dead air in our services. I have watched and waited for people to find the song they were going to sing, when they had been singing in that church for years. Visitors see and hear more than we think.
II. During The Service Is Soul Winning Time.
A. TAKE PART IN THE SERVICE. Sing the songs. Worship and praise God. (Well sometimes I don’t feel like it. I’m tired, sick, etc.). We’re not singing and worshipping for ourselves alone — but first for God, and then allowing the Holy Ghost to be used through us that others may come to know Him. That visitor or guest is watching you (and your family) and judging what kind of church it is by how you act and respond. If you look bored, unconcerned or in a hurry to get home — how do you think the visitor will respond?
B. YOU CAN BE A SOUL WINNER WITH YOUR TESTIMONY. This was Paul’s greatest tool. This is not the time to tell your hurts, and pains, etc. This is the time to glorify God. To tell simply what he has done for you. Try and make your testimony up-to-date. Let that visitor know why you come to church and how you feel about God. This will not only reach the lost, it will help you.
C. WORSHIP! WORSHIP! WORSHIP! I know I have already said some things about worship — but this is the key to any service. We cannot promise anyone the Holy Ghost, but we should create an atmosphere in which they may receive the Holy Ghost. This is our responsibility to the lost.
III. Soul Winning During the Altar Call.
A. THE ALTAR CALL IS NOT A BATHROOM BREAK. An altar call is not the time to get the children ready to go home. This is the most important part of the service. This is not the end of the service. Do not leave the auditorium. If you have the Holy Ghost, go to the altar and begin praying. Even if the Pastor or Evangelist is asking for fornicators and murders to come repent, go to the altar and pray. It does not mean you are a fornicator or murder, it means you are praying for those who may be present.
B. PRAY EARNESTLY for God to move. Oh! For some old time travail! Prayer and worship is the key to developing an atmosphere where the Holy Ghost can draw those who have yet to receive the Spirit of God.
C. ONLY IF THE SPIRIT OF GOD LEADS YOU — go to someone and ask them if they would like to pray. If in doubt, leave this to the pastor. It is very easy to discourage or offend nonbelievers by pushing them to become involved before they are drawn by the Holy Ghost. Remember, Jesus said that if we would lift Him up, He would draw all men. This does not mean there is never a time to invite visitors to participate, but those who do so MUST be lead by the Holy Ghost.
a) Those still in their seat. Introduce yourself. Ask acquaintance questions. Explain worship. Would they like to pray? If no, back off. If yes, walk to the altar with them, pray over them briefly, stop, and proceed to repentance.
b) Those at the altar. Pray over them, stop, and proceed to repentance.
D. PRAY AT THE ALTAR. We are soul winning. This is the climatic point of the service. If new people are kneeling, go and pray with them. No matter what the mood of the service has been up to this point, here we want to generate a strong presence of God by praying and worshipping.
IV. Soul Winning At the Altar.
A. Work WITH the person you are praying for, not FOR them. Try to find out, after a while, where he is with God – (is he praying for the first time and does he know what repentance is? Please, please — let them repent.) He does not need to know about baptism, etc. until he repents of his sins. This is getting to be a lost art in some of our churches. You will help keep more if you allow them to really repent.
a) Repentance — Explain the sin factor. They are a sinner. Tell them what kinds of things to say while repenting. Pray a sinner’s prayer over them. Allow adequate time before stopping them.
B. After you find their need — help them. Maybe a word or a scripture is needed right here. Just saying praise the Lord in their ear is not all that some people need. We must worship God to get the atmosphere, but we must also find out what the need is.
C. KEEP THE WORSHIP ATMOSPHERE ALIVE. Remember the words that we say MUST be directed toward God in praise from our hearts and not just to the seeker. Often times we forget this and use catch words such as Praise the Lord, glory to God only to make a noise while praying. It is our heart that must reach out to God, not just our words. Saying glory to God a hundred times does not make the Holy Ghost come any quicker. GIVING glory to God DOES.
a) Now that God has forgiven them, explain worship. Tell them “how” to worship. Tell them to expect the Spirit of God moving on them, their tongue feeling funny, saying strange words. Pray with them again, EXPECTING the Spirit of God to move on them, EXPECTING to hear strange words.
D. TRY AND STAY WITH THE SAME PERSON. I know it is easy to see someone just about to receive the Holy Ghost and you want to jump over there and receive some of the blessing. Remember — we are here not only to receive but to give — and to win souls. The person you are working with is as important as any one else there that night. You may not see the results that night, but you may understand later that your time of prayer with them made the difference for their continuing on with God. Is this not soul winning?
E. Before you leave them — encourage and pray with them at the end of the service.
V. Soul Winning after the Alter Call
A. This is also one of the most important times in the life of the seeker. It would be good for you to take some time to sit down in a pew with them and just talk with them. Many people long just to talk to someone about their problems. Let them unload their troubles on you if they desire. You may be able to encourage them with a scripture, talk to them about a Bible study in their home or tell them about the next church service. Find out if they have transportation to church. Ask if they own a King James Bible. If not, we will give them one (We want to give them one anyway). Many things can be talked over in this short period after the altar call.
B. One of the best things, if possible, is to take them to your home or to a restaurant for a time of fellowship after church. Again all of the above things can be talked over in a friendly way over some refreshments. You may want to go out with them and others of the church to a restaurant. The important thing is to make them feel like part of the church. There should never be a visitor at our church who is not asked out to eat afterwards. NEVER!
C. Be sure to get their address and visit them the next week. Follow-up is part of soul winning. Become responsible for that soul. Sure, the pastor will visit but you will never know what your visit will do to help. If you love a soul, that love will show.
Try these methods our next service. You may be surprised how easy it is to win souls. May God bless all of us in the labor of soul winning.
Helping People Receive the Holy Ghost
“If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if [he ask] a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:11-13).
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” (Luke 12:32).
I. The first major key to helping people receive the Holy Ghost is to be COMPLETELY CONVINCED of God’s anxiousness and pleasure in filling men and women with His precious Spirit. When an individual has received the Holy Ghost, they have not conquered God’s reluctance, but have received His Gracious Gift. The Bible is very specific that the Holy Ghost is a gift, inferring that purchase and payment has been made by another. Jesus made the purchase.
II. There Are Definite Mental Barriers Which Must Be Removed In Our Mind to Help Others
A. You don’t get it — You receive it.
B. You don’t seek it — You obey, believe and receive.
C. You don’t graduate to it — It comes suddenly.
D. You don’t get good to get it — You receive it to get good.
E. You don’t tarry for it — You believe and receive.
F. It doesn’t speak — You speak as the Spirit gives you the utterance.
G. You don’t receive good, better, best Holy Ghost experiences. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning,” (James 1:17).
III. Create a Conducive Climate for the Holy Ghost to Come
A. Scriptural foundation — The same powerful experience received in Acts 2, 8, 9, 10, and 19 is promised of the Father to you in the same manner. Read scriptures such as Acts 2:39, Acts 10:34, Luke 11:13, and Luke 12:32
B. Spiritual Atmosphere — “And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen,” (Luke 24:53). There must be an atmosphere of worship and promise to God. Not only does this please God, but it also allows the new person the privilege of getting involved in worship without being embarrassed.
C. Relaxed Comfortable Environment — Remove as much as possible any uncertainty or fear surrounding the individual.
D. Positive Atmosphere of Faith — Point out others who have received the Holy Ghost or have them to testify.
IV. How You Are Able To Help Someone Receive the Holy Ghost
“Lay hands suddenly on no man,” (1 Timothy 5:22). The laying on hands should only occur when you are most sure the individual has made the inward preparation and faith is at its zenith.
A. Move close to the side of the individual where you can softly speak words of direction and encouragement.
B. Sense the person’s location spiritually by asking yourself these questions:
1. Are they believing?
2. Are they repenting?
3. Are they open?
4. Are they worshipping?
5. Are they obeying?
6. Are they yielding?
C. After finding their location, begin to assist them in moving on into the Spirit.
D. Enlighten them to the fact that they will speak in tongues when the Holy Ghost comes in. When God possesses their soul, they will begin to say words they will not understand. This is what the Bible calls, “Speaking in tongues.” This happens every time someone is filled with the Spirit of God.
E. Quote Acts 2:4. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance,” (Acts 2:4).
F. The Holy Ghost is here. I’m going to lay my hands on your head and you too will speak with tongues. You will talk as you have never before. Let the utterances come, for it is the evidence that the Spirit of God has come into you.
G. Don’t allow them to get in a rut of depression or defeat if they don’t immediately receive the Holy Ghost.
A Special Place
The Altar is a special place, where God does some marvelous things in the lives of hungry individuals. What takes place around the altar is crucial to their experience, good or bad, and we as counselors have a great deal to do with that experience. Think for a moment, 99% of those who pray around the altar are greatly encouraged or discouraged by PEOPLE!!! Remember back when you first came to the altar, did you have someone there to pray with you and to help, or did you find the Lord all by yourself? I dare say that almost without exception someone was there for you as you prayed. What we want to do, as counselors, is to be a help and not a hindrance, to make their stay at the altar a profitable one, and to lead them to all that God has for them IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY!
Altars are a place where…
1. Man communicates with God. These altars are places where God deals with us. It could be in our heart, etc.
2. God communicates with Man. God needs to be able to speak and direct us. IT’S A VERY, VERY, VERY, important PLACE!!!
There are four types of people who need help at the altar.
1. FEARFUL of the unknown. This is all new to them and it can be a fearful experience and intimidating. Some have never in their lives heard real prayer. This can be frightening.
2. IGNORANT of what to do. They have never prayed, and often times don’t know how to pray or what to say in prayer to receive the Holy Ghost. Imagine being very hungry in a foreign land where the food is like nothing you have ever seen before. Do you dip a chip in that, or eat it with a spoon? Even though you are very hungry, you will wait to see what someone else does. Imagine being very hungry for God, and not knowing how to pray. Aren’t you glad there was someone to lead the way? Be that someone!
3. GUILTY OF SIN. They feel the weight of their sin and past life but are unaware that God is faithful to forgive them of any wrong. They need to take that first step of REPENTANCE! They need to confess their sins to GOD and not YOU. Let them fully repent, explaining that it is the will of God that all come to repentance. When they seem to have finished, or reach a low place, explain the forgiveness of God and his Grace to sinners. Their sins are now GONE!
4. WOUNDED by Satan’s darts. These people have been attacked by the enemy of their soul and they need to feel the victory through praise, as they overcome the scars that he has inflicted on them. The pain of divorce, sin and sorrow has taken its vicious toll on their lives. They need to be healed by the power of God. NOTE: These people will not always be unsaved. A brother or sister may be hurting, and need the prayers of another brother or sister.
1. Be alert to those AROUND you. We need to praise the Lord, worship God and receive the Word for ourselves when we enter the doors of the church, BUT WAKE UP! While these things are important to God, we must be alert to the fact that we need to minister to others as well as being ministered to. We will have very limited response and results by having a selfish church. Be aware of who sits around you.
A. Pray for them that God will open their heart to the Word.
B. Pray that God will make you sensitive to their needs so you can lead them on into what God has for them.
3. ENCOURAGE them to come to the altar. The most important words you’ll ever learn as a counselor is “WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO AND PRAY?” If they are the least bit reluctant, back off. Be friendly. Watch prayerfully from a distance.
4. Demonstrate SENSITIVITY.
5. INQUIRE about their need. Don’t be nosy or pushy, but show a concern for their need.
6. Share the SCRIPTURES. Don’t just tell them it’s in the Bible, show them! Your Bible is your greatest tool in soul winning.
7. Pray WITH them. Don’t just pray FOR them, pray WITH them.
8. Lead in WORSHIP.
Ascertaining the Situation
It is very important that you, as a counselor, do not just assume where this person is in their relationship with God. They may be going to the altar for several different reasons, because God deals with people in different ways for different reasons.
HANNAH: Was desperate to have a child. She went to the temple to pray and Eli, the man of God, assumed that she was just drunk. He did not ascertain the situation properly.
1. GATHER around them. Show that you are supporting them in prayer. They are not going through this by themselves. At the same time, do not gang tackle them. Give them some space.
2. ENCOURAGE them to SURRENDER. When I have a need in my life, I need to give it to the Lord.
3. QUOTE encouraging promises. We will have a scripture list for this very shortly. It is important to be scriptural when we give help at the altar.
4. Let them PRAY. Sometimes they just need to be left alone to PRAY. Some will need help because they do not know how to pray. Some will be moved such by the Spirit of God that all they need is time. Be sensitive to know the difference.
DAVID: He committed a horrible sin and needed to repent and ask God to forgive him.
1. Encourage CONFESSION. –If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).
2. Pray WITH them. “Oh God forgive me, Lord I’m sorry for what I’ve done. Help me to turn away from my sins.”
3. Let them POUR OUT their soul. They need to pour out their soul and break through. –Come on and just open your heart to the Lord. Tell Him everything that is on your heart.”
4. Lift up their HANDS. Get out of the repenting mode and get into the praising mode after they have been given time to repent. Again, this requires a sensitive spirit, as you MUST let them fully repent.
5. Lead them in THANKSGIVING. NOW it’s time for them to receive their victory. Get them out of the pits and into the joy of the Lord.
PRODIGAL’S SON: There are those who have lost out with God. They feel like a creep and don’t know how to approach God. They feel unworthy and in some cases, have even been taught that they are “too far gone” for God to ever forgive them.
1. Share the SCRIPTURES. God FORGIVES!
2. Encourage CONFESSION. –If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).
3. Pray WITH them.
4. ASSURE them of God’s love. God would not be drawing them if he did not love them. No one ever approached an altar without God first drawing them. Their being there is evidence that God is also there, and is willing to forgive.
5. Lift up their HANDS. Sometimes it’s good to ask them if they feel God has forgiven them of their sins. Once they acknowledge that he has, then you need to tell them to raise their hands and thank God. Get out of one mode into another.
6. Lead in WORSHIP and THANKSGIVING. “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise,”(Psalms 100). They need to get all that God has for them!
JOHN’S DISCIPLES: People that come to our church and really believe that they are saved. Don’t discredit their experience. READ and BELIEVE Acts 19:1-6.
“And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied,” (Acts 19:1-6).
Questions That Need To Be Asked
1. Have you ever GIVEN YOUR LIFE to GOD?
2. Do you feel a need to do so AGAIN? Make a new commitment.
3. Have you ever RECEIVED the Holy Ghost with tongues? The Evidence.
God wants you to EXPERIENCE this!!! Open your Bible and read; Acts 19:1-6 now say: “And God wants you to have that experience,” Don’t say anything! The next one to talk loses. This is a sample of what can be said!! Put it in your own words. Now I’m going to begin to pray with you, and as we pray you’re going to feel the presence of the Lord, even stronger than you do right now, and when you begin to feel something bubbling up inside of you wanting to speak out, you need to just BOLDLY speak out that new language as God gives it to you. After a few minutes of prayer you need to reach out put your hand on their head and ask God to fill them with the Holy Ghost. Don’t destroy what they have — add to it!!!
1. A Working KNOWLEDGE of the Word of God. You need to understand some things about the Bible. It is one thing to be able to quote the word, but it is another to understand what you quote.
2. CONCERN. As you enter the house of God you need to prayerfully become concerned about those who are in need. There’s no room for a selfish heart.
3. COMMITMENT. “Oh God, I’ve been here three minutes and there’s nothing to show for it.” It’s going to take your time and your commitment to get this job done. Remember the man at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. When was the right time for him to quit? When he RECEIVED!
4. COMPASSION. You need to be able to feel where they are, and not have a heart of condemnation. “Well they deserve what they’re getting.”
5. A WALK WITH GOD, a prayer life, and consistency. You can’t come down to the altar and have to pray yourself through first before you can work with someone else. “We walk in the Spirit.” Don’t just come to church to get something for yourself, but come so that you may be a blessing to someone else.
Remember, the “laborers of the harvest” can’t complain when souls are in need of deliverance. You can’t rush out of service when there’s a need at the altar. I really become tearful when I see church members leave at the end of the sermon just when the call to the altar is being made. Many then wonder why God isn’t moving and adding to the church. It’s because we move out” on Him. I feel His tears when people run to the door to exit the sanctuary. I encourage those activities to cease. Ushers play an integral role with the altar evangelism ministry.
They must be very sensitive to the move of God and stop people from leaving the church when the call to the altar is given. People moving in and out become so distracting. It definitely will hinder the effectiveness of the altar call. The sinner can easily conclude, “I guess this is not so important. So many people are leaving.”
Altar Evangelists are those who never leave. If there are individuals who desire to receive the Holy Ghost and you have been assigned to assist that day, your attitude is very important:
* If you are tired and impatient-don’t assist!
* If you don’t believe the seeker will receive-don’t assist!
* If you feel your dinner needs you more-don’t assist!
* If you feel you are the only one who can help someone receive the Holy Ghost because you are so anointed and holy, God doesn’t need this attitude or your help-don’t assist!
Some Ministry Helps and Personal Concerns
Altar Evangelism is a close contact ministry. When the choir sings, we view them from afar. When the usher brings us down the aisle, they lead and we follow. When the preacher preaches, he speaks from the pulpit. When the altar evangelist ministers, they are right in the individual’s face. Close contact is needed, just sometimes for the person to hear what you are saying. Because the ministry of an altar evangelist requires close contact, the following are tips to remember:
* Personal hygiene is a must! Poor hygiene can be very distracting. I encourage mints to be used prior to the altar call. Brush your teeth prior to service.
* Personal cleanliness is also essential. Bathe prior to service, and wear clothes that have been cleaned recently. This should not need to be mentioned, but we must. This can be a terrible distraction at the altar. We WILL answer to God for ALL our actions.
* Bodily contact should be kept to a minimum. I disallow shaking, beating, and rubbing individuals. These are hindrances. No one’s head needs shaking. That will only give the person a headache, instead of the Holy Ghost.
* Good posture is proper body language. Use good posture when ministering. Body mechanics are important in how to brace persons that tend to emote to the floor. It’s important for the altar evangelist to be instructed on how to assist the minister in a deliverance line. Utilize two sisters when praying for a woman, and two men when praying for a man. As the minister or prayer leader lays hands on the individual, both persons with one foot in front of the other and an arm across the back, ready to protect the individual should they emote to the floor. Remember to protect the head! Lay it down gently and don’t forget to cover the sisters’ legs.
* No unnecessary talking at the altar! Talking among altar evangelists should be kept to a minimum and only utilized when necessary.
Enjoy Kingdom Building!
Those involved with the altar evangelism ministry must be excited about soul winning. Effective church growth will be enhanced with the establishment of an altar evangelism ministry. Altar evangelism is not a one-man team, you will need one another. Oh how fulfilling it is to see individuals delivered from sin and the whole team rejoices with heaven over “one” that comes to the Lord! I encourage you to obey the call of God and get involved in the birthing room of the church — THE ALTAR. Don’t feel inadequate. God will perfect the ministry in you. You don’t have to be a missionary or a preacher to be an altar evangelist. Now is the time for individuals to specialize in evangelism at the altar of the Lord. God wants those who will stand up and come forth with integrity as yielded vessels in Kingdom Building. This is our finest moment — midwives standing ready at the womb of rebirth!
Five Souls I am
Believing God will
Home Bible Study
“All things are possible to them that believe” Mark 9:23
My WORD shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
How To Get More Home Bible Studies than You Can Teach
11 Reasons for Not Getting Home Bible Studies
2. Lack of Training
3. Lack of Dedication
4. Lack of Desire
5. Lack of Faith
6. Lack of Persistence
8. Fear of People
9. Fear of Criticism
10. Fearful of Your Own Ability
11. Fear of Failure
This is probably the best source of getting your first studies. Almost everyone has relatives and few relatives will close their doors on you if the family has love and respect for each other as they should. Your relatives are also good critics, which will help you refine your personality and approach. It’s real easy to display more knowledge of the subject than you really have. You are not a know-it-all. Your purpose is to lead that person to the knowledge of the Truth.
Make a list of all your relatives who live in driving distance. Now, place them in order of reception that you think you will receive. Good — Fair — Poor. Go down the list systematically and make a personal visit to each one. Remember, your relatives are someone special – you love them; spend time securing the study. You will ask for the study just as you normally would with anybody. Show a couple pieces of literature describing the study. Be sincere and get the appointment for the first lesson before you leave.
Relatives make the best prospects and may be dealt with a little more directness than casual friends. Ask them sincerely to “assist” you in your Bible Study project. Observe the following approach: “Hey, Joe, I think I need a little help from you. I am involved in a community service project for our church. I’ll be teaching a series of short lessons designed to better acquaint people with the Bible. I’ve never done anything like this before and frankly, I’m a little hesitant to start. I need someone to help me improve my skills. Would you be willing to listen and help me improve my first series of lessons? Joe, since you and I are so close, I know you will honestly evaluate my presentation.” (Show Joe the brochures and a few of the charts.)
“Joe, what do you think about this project?” (Give him a chance to respond). “Can we schedule about an hour each week for some ‘practice sessions’? You will be doing me a big favor by allowing me to get some experience in teaching this course!”
Don’t leave until you have made a definite appointment for the first study. Then, give Joe a chance at each session to offer suggestions for improvement. In this way, a team effort is portrayed rather than a teacher-pupil relationship. Heeding his advice will likely help to polish your style and to develop self-confidence. If Joe does not agree to help you for the whole series, invite him to sit in on just one session. After the first session, he should be so intrigued that he will want to continue. But if he declines, you have sown some seed, and can now move on to other family prospects.
* St. John 15:13: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” V. 14: “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.”
* Benjamin Franklin once said, “Do good to your friends to hold them; to your enemies to gain them.”
* Webster states: N. – one who is personally well known by oneself and for whom one has warm regard or affection.
You want to see your unsaved friends saved, don’t you? Sure you do. Get a pencil and paper right now and write down all your unsaved friends. Remember, a friend is different than an acquaintance or relative. How many friends can you come up with? Two — five — six or more. Jesus spoke of a friend as one who is willing to lay down his life for his friends. He also said if we wanted His (Jesus’) friendship, we must obey His commands. I want to save my friends and at the same time be a friend of God’s.
After having listed all your friends, go to the phone and call them. Your conversation may go something like this. “Hello, Joe, this is Dan. I’m in a community service project for our church and I’d like to come over and show you what it is and see what you think about it. It’ll only take a few minutes and I’m not selling anything. Okay?”
When you get there, you have your chart and Bible and immediately you emphasize again you want their opinion of what you are doing. Explain to them you have been made aware recently as never before the need for people to be happy and productive citizens and you decided that it’s about time to get more involved in your own community. You feel the Bible needs to be emphasized more in the home, so unity and harmony can prevail once again instead of strife and broken marriages and the like. As a community project, your church has just trained a group of Home Bible Study instructors who would make themselves available to teach the Bible to any home that would invite them. At this point, briefly go over a couple pages of the chart that you think would most appeal to them.
Ask their opinion of what you are doing and then ask them if they would let you come one night a week, one hour per night for the course. Explain that this would be a tremendous help to you to gain experience in teaching this course since you are friends and they would gain valuable information about the Bible which would make them better men and women, as well. Don’t leave without setting the appointment for the first study.
Now, what about your acquaintances? All those folks you know from encounters at work, the shopping center, grocery store, bus stop, school, laundry or barber shop? These people should be contacted differently. If you come on too strong and too soon, they will suspect your motives. Securing studies here will require more time, patience and effort.
You will need more than one encounter to establish a study with acquaintances. Prepare a list of prospects this week as you meet them. Make a conscious effort to be very friendly and extend your small talk a little longer than usual. Get to know them, their interests, their family, and their job-little details. Call them by name and use it frequently in your conversation.
You may meet them several times before your real project is ever mentioned. Be alert for prophetic events recorded in the news media. These can easily initiate conversation. Break the topic, open casually. Here are some “breakers” to help steer the conversation favorably: “Did you hear the news this morning about the fighting in the Middle East? Things are happening over there just like the Bible predicted. Makes you wonder just how much time we have left!” “Is there a good church in your area? Where is it located? Is it a large church? Do you go regularly?”
“Are you from a large family? In what state did your family live? Were you raised in church? Which one? What are your present feelings about church (religion, God, etc.)?” “Did you see this article in the newspaper about glossolalia? Have you ever heard anyone speak in tongues? What do you think about that?”
“I’m trying to start some good habits this year. I’m on a schedule to read the Bible through. You can’t believe how much it has helped me! Have you ever had a chance to study the Bible?” “Did you hear about the terrible earthquake in China? Seems like one happens somewhere almost daily. Is it coincidental that they were predicted in the Bible?” “Look at this article about the new anticrime project that is being considered. They’re experimenting with placing a serial number underneath the skin rather than using credit cards. That system is described in the Bible to occur just before the end of the world!”
Once you have “arrived” at a topic of religious nature, turn the conversation to your true motive obtaining a Bible study:
“You know, I’ve found a great study course that covers the Bible from beginning to end. It explains how current events fit into prophecy-like reading tomorrow’s newspaper today!” “I was introduced to a study course that explains many things about the Bible that I never knew. It is simple, clear and direct. Now I can read the Bible and understand it.” “You know, I never really enjoyed the Bible before because I couldn’t understand so much of it. But this course I’m taking has opened it up to me. It’s like reading a new book!”
“A good thing about this course is that it’s free and private. It only takes an hour a week — not much time for such great and important information!” “…and another thing no one is pressuring you to buy anything or to join a church. God’s Word is free to everyone! Would you like to join me for a study? What is a good day and time for you? Is your house a good place? I’ll bring everything we need when I come. What’s your phone number and address?” You will be surprised at the positive response you receive for your time and effort. However, not everyone will accept your kind offer. For those who don’t reply, I understand. But if you change your mind, please let me know.”
Matt. 7:7 states, “Ask and it shall be given you.” Have you ever had anyone knock on your door or ring your bell and introduce you to a vacuum cleaner, encyclopedia, or whatever. Their motivation in coming to your house was simply the commission of a possible sale. When our motivations to pull a soul from the flames of hell outweigh our comforts of luxurious living, then will we become productive in the Kingdom of God. Too many times, our houses, jobs, and conveniences keep us from doing the Will of God. The Bible plainly states, “Ask and it shall be given you.” It stands to reason all things being equal, if you ask enough people, somewhere you are going to get a Home Bible Study.
Procrastination is your enemy! Webster states procrastination: To put off taking actions until a future time — To defer or postpone. Equip yourself with the proper tools, the Bible, a few pieces of literature explaining the Home Bible Study, a pleasant smile and persistence. Now, set your goal of how many people you will contact before coming home. The law of averages is on your side. You don’t have to have any relatives or friends, know anyone or have any money if you want to get a Home Bible Study bad enough. Check your results only after 100 conversations. You will have at least three to seven Home Bible Studies out of every 100 people you talk with.
Ask for the study and set a time for the first lesson. Bible studies can also be obtained from an organized outreach effort to canvass your area. A Search for Truth mailer or tract fastened to each door with “Tract Stix”, a removable adhesive, is an excellent way to do this.
Cover at least one hundred doors in your neighborhood with tracts, door knob hangers or copies of Prophecy Update, a bimonthly newspaper featuring articles about the end-time. Continue this for the next two weeks with new tracts. Then send a group to visit each home and explain the advantages of the free home study program. Be sure that each group member wears the button, “I Teach Search for Truth Home Bible Studies”.
In a door-to-door outreach, you are a salesman. But instead of seeking a commission, you are interested in fulfilling one-that given by our Lord Jesus Christ! Wear a pleasant expression, have a friendly manner and dress neatly. Don’t forget to wear a Search for Truth teacher’s button. You might begin your remarks like this:
“Good morning, sir. My name is Joe Christian and I’m talking to a lot of folks in your neighborhood about a community service project. Are you concerned about the crime increase in this community? Are you concerned about the high rate of divorce and broken homes here? Are you concerned about the high rate of drug usage among our young people?”
When he agrees to all of these questions, say: “Great! We know that something should be done about these problems. There is a workable solution and it involves getting ourselves reacquainted with the Bible. This Source will unify our families and provide answers for the problems we face in constructive ways. May I show you something about this course?” (Show him a brochure and a few interesting pages from the mini-chart). “This fascinating course only takes one hour a week for the next few weeks. It reveals a lot about what is happening in our world today!”
“Better yet, this course is free and no one will ask you for any money or to join any church! It will help you to further develop your own faith and become a stronger, more fulfilled person. When the course is completed, you will receive a handsome certificate.” (Show a framed example). “Can I come by this week for a trial lesson? What day is most convenient for you? What time shall I come? Great! I’ll bring all the materials.”
One person, or any number, can use this method. The housewife, the husband, the teenager – anyone with a sincere desire to secure a Home Bible Study can do so. After proper organizing, so duplicate calls will not be made, prompter cards need to be typed or written with your conversation before you on the card. Try to sound as natural as possible. You may want to devise something similar to the following:
“Hello, this is ___________ of Lighthouse Church here in Marshall. As a community service, we are offering a Home Bible Study to anyone in your household free of charge and with no obligation. Thousands of people just like you across America are taking this course and increasing their knowledge of the Bible. If you are interested, I’ll be happy to drop by and leave you a brochure as to the contents and how it works. How about tomorrow evening about 6:00?” — If the response is negative, ask if you could mail them the info.
The law of averages will work for you again and again. After about 100 conversations, you will have five to ten Home Bible Studies. You may want to devise your own speech to fit the needs of the locale. Tongues is always a subject of interest. So is Bible Prophecy. It’s easy to develop a speech around these two subjects.
The printed word has an impact. The Communist world keeps their presses going day and night to convince potential Communists that the Communist way of life is the utopia here on earth. It has been said that Communist infiltration of propaganda into the hands of people who wanted to read something has been the major factor in them gaining control of two-thirds of the world’s population. Will the smut from the porno presses and filthy paperbacks that are placed in every supermarket in America go unabated?
The Apostolic-Pentecostal churches have the network of churches spread across the land and an army of volunteers who could place literature on every door in America. Just think, if our people were to work three hours per week placing prayed over and anointed tracts on doors across America; in one short year we would reach our nation with the truth of salvation. Here’s how it would work in our church.
Appropriate tracts would be secured and on every tract there could be a place for free Home Bible Study with a phone number to call. Each week, 200 – 500 – 1,000 or whatever number of homes could be reached with the gospel message – plus an offer for a free Home Bible Study. In a matter of weeks, more studies would be secured than could be taught.
Again, the law of averages with big numbers would be the important factor. For example, 5 people working 3 hours per week. If each person placed 50 tracts per hour, that’s 250 tracts per hour x 3 hours = 750 tracts per week. That’s 750 homes each week that will (1) have access to the truth about salvation, (2) advertise your church, and (3) advertise the Home Bible Study Program. If this were done for one year, it would encompass 39,000 homes. The law of averages again would give you more Home Bible Studies than you could teach.
The key is persistence, prayer, fasting and a burden for the lost.
Free Drawing for Big Family Bible
Have you ever filled out a card for a Free Drawing for anything? Well, what you were really doing was putting yourself on someone’s prospect list. You can do the same to get people on your prospect list for a free Home Bible Study. The church will provide Bibles to be given away for any such promotion. Here is how it works. “Free Drawing for a Big Family Bible”
1. Plan on how many “Drawing Boxes” you will need.
2. Make them as professional looking as possible, along with a nice poster.
3. Secure as many places as you have boxes. Grocery stores, Gas Stations Department Stores and general business places.
4. Purchase a box of nice Family Bibles — not cheap ones.
5. Set your drawing Date.
6. Ask for name, address & phone number.
7. EVERYONE WINS A BIBLE!
8. Send each person a letter explaining that they have won the free family Bible along with a brochure explaining the Home Bible Study Program. Explain that you will be calling to confirm where to deliver their free Bible.
9. Call each person in a few days, after they have had a chance to read the material, confirm where to take the Bible and ask them if they would like to have the Home Bible Study.
10. When you deliver the Bible, take more promotional material and a mini-chart to “sell” the idea of having a Home Bible Study.
Here’s another medium to accomplish your goal of reaching every home in your community. This method is a sure one! By using the mail, you can reach an entire area with minimal manpower. The only cost involved is for printed materials, envelopes and postage. But for every 200 ounces of mail, you will receive from five to fifteen responses for your free Home Bible Study!
Even the most timid and hesitant Christian can obtain a Home Bible Study by using the mail. Once an inquiry has been received, you have the essential information: their name, address and phone number. Call or go immediately to visit and set up an appointment for the first study session. Take these materials: your chart, brochure, a smile and an enthusiastic manner. Sell them your product!
Of course, all visitors to your church are prime Home Bible Study candidates. Therefore, it is very important to conduct an organized system of obtaining addresses and names of all visitors. These guests should be contacted the following week at their homes and given an invitation to enroll in a Home Bible Study.
Public Bulletin Boards
Your neighborhood supermarkets, shopping malls or self-service laundries usually have a free bulletin board available for public announcements. This provides another source of exposure for your Bible Study program. Search for Truth produces fascinating full-color posters and bumper stickers that will attract such inquiries. Place these in store windows, laundries and shopping centers. No effort is too insignificant when at least one person responds.
Home Bible Study students are an excellent resource for generating new studies. Most people who are learning the Bible excitedly want to share their newfound knowledge. Mail a questionnaire to all present Bible Study students. Ask for names and addresses of their friends and acquaintances whom they feel might be interested in the program. Follow up each of these prospects.
If your church has an active hospital visitation ministry, it, too, can furnish prospects. Make a personal visit or phone call to each patient who was contacted in the hospital. They’ll remember the kindness and concern shown by your church during their illness. Inquire sincerely about their health and invite them to enroll in the Home Bible Study program.
“Hello, my name is ____________ from Lighthouse United Pentecostal Church. I’m calling to congratulate you and (spouse’s name) on your new baby (boy or girl). I would like to ask your permission to mail a letter listing a few questions that people often ask me about the Bible.”
Various Answers to Responses:
1. I’m not trying to sell you anything or draw you away from your present church.
2. This is not a questionnaire or survey–no work involved.
3. The reason I’m calling you (name) is to let you know that there are direct Bible answers to commonly asked questions.
PURPOSE: To increase the public’s awareness and working knowledge of the scriptures.
IF: “No Thank You”, then say: “Thank you for your time.”
IF: “Yes”, then ask for updated information about names, addresses, PO Box numbers and zip codes.
Record ALL information on 3 x 5 index cards for callback or tickler file.
Mail letter with enclosed “Exploring God’s Word” Home Bible Study Brochure.
Call back by phone 7 – 10 days later. “Did you receive the letter and brochure?”
IF: “Yes,”–“Did you have a chance to look it over and discuss with your spouse?”
IF: “Yes”—-Would you be interested in taking a closer look at the FREE
Home Bible Study mentioned?”
IF: “Yes” Make an appointment to show chart and lesson outlines. Exploring God’s Word or Search For Truth.
IF: “No” Thank you for letting me mail these Bible questions to you. If you ever need answers to your Bible questions, please call me, and I’ll do my best to help you!”
Reaffirmation phone call on appointment for showing HBS mentioned.
Actual appointment for showing chart and lesson outlines. Check for:
1. Genuine interest and sincerity.
2. Type of people to match with HBS teachers from your church.
Assign teacher or couple to get acquainted and/or teach first lesson of HBS.
* You have now made six contacts with your prospect.
* A good rule of selling is that “SIX STICKS”!
* By now you have pretty well selected a likely candidate for teaching the Word of God.
Teaching Home Bible Studies
Most Christians desire to be soul winners. Few of them are motivated to pursue this challenging venture, but, if you ever plan to win a soul, start NOW! There is no better time than now and no better place than HERE! Perhaps the best method is the one Jesus used. He often ministered to people individually in His tender, yet effective way of soul winning. Many disciples were converted like that. Jesus met Nicodemus alone at night. He talked with the Samaritan woman alone at the well and spoke to her confidentially about true values.
“Preach the Gospel to every creature,” Jesus commands us. Yet how do we begin such a massive task? The answer is within a few steps — from the street to the doorstep! It’s as close as you are right now to the nearest neighbor! The early apostolic Church used the home study method to win their world. And what results they had! “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42). The greatest missionary of New Testament times used the home study plan. Paul’s results were astounding. We all want that! But his method was simple…so simple that we stumble over it in search of a more dramatic way.
“I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly and from house to house” (Acts 20:20). This was the basic outreach plan for the Apostolic Church. It was and is the most effective method ever used. Yet we often seek the dramatic, the fantastic, and the phenomenal. We dream of great methods, impressive campaigns and complex projects. So did the demoniac of Gadara whom Jesus delivered. He was so impressed that he wanted to get into the ship with Jesus and sail to far away places. But Jesus had a better idea: “Go home to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee,” (Mark 5:19). How many souls have you won to the Lord during this past year? You can increase that number by enacting Jesus’ prescribed method: “Go home and tell thy friends.” You can easily reproduce at least one within a year. Teaching is not difficult.
Much of the Bible is written in narrative form. It is descriptive, interesting and beautiful. Yet it is always open, clear and direct. Teaching a Home Bible Study is to sit down in a home with God’s Word and bible charts and relate the story. Simple!
Consider the homes on your block and realize the extent of Satan’s invasion of the family unit! If he can divide and destroy the family, he can destroy each of its members. It’s time to wage war with him! The home is the heart of the family unit. Here is where you start. By taking a Bible study to their home, you have greatly minimized Satan’s chances at claiming that family. That fact alone should propel every Christian to start at once!
There are other reasons for conducting a Home Bible Study. A family is comfortable and familiar in the environment of their own home. The more comfortable and relaxed they are, the easier it is to plant the Word into their hearts and minds. Teaching the Word in their home establishes a sacred concept of God in their private domain. When converted, they will already be accustomed to the Presence of God abiding in their home. That sacred Presence born in a Bible study session will linger and give them a new God consciousness and convictions. It will prompt them to acceptance and salvation. Teaching in their home will work to your advantage as well. As a guest, you may leave at will after the session. You control the time element. This is not true if they were guests in your home. Also, your students will be less likely to cancel a lesson if they are expecting you. It is more convenient for them to attend and much more difficult for them to cancel when you go to their home.
Some people are not conditioned to readily accept our unique message, doctrines and mode of worship. A weekly study session gently “breaks them in” in a comfortable and private atmosphere and acts as a conditioner before they ever attend a service. Without this valuable method, church visitors can be frightened away from a lack of understanding. With this added advantage, students are ready to receive when they attend church. Do you want to be a soul winner? The most effective and sure method to successful soul winning is the Home Bible Study. Deal a fatal blow to Satan’s game plan by waging warfare on home grounds!
Conducting an Effective Home Bible Study
How to Teach:
1. Pray and fast before going. — for a purpose, for a need — start prospect prayer list
2. Obtain chart, study sheets, good reference Bible. Anyone can teach it.
3. Take a lot of love (study and pray).
4. If possible, a couple should go together to teach a couple and a man to teach a man. This is not a hard, fast rule, but you must find something to have in common!
5. The most dedicated Christians should be teaching (like begets like). The Lord is calling you to a deeper walk — like the responsibility you felt when you made your first child!
6. Go into their home. They are more comfortable. Also, it is too easy to cancel if it is at your house.
7. Be on time — ALWAYS. They watch you to see how important study is!
8. Be faithful — DON’T MISS A LESSON. Set your priorities.
9. Use Chart and Bibles (preferably their Bible). They MUST read along with you. Emphasize the Bible (not the chart).
10. Take worksheets (lesson leaflets).
11. Dress nicely — (smell good). Don’t over dress.
12. Be very informal — relax — pray.
13. Take a miniature chart (if possible) let them write scriptures and notes on it.
14. Get into the kitchen (not in the living room).
a. Get something to set chart on.
b. Gets them close — eyes contact.
c. Informal, comfortable.
d. Won’t go to sleep — old man, easy chair.
15. Take refreshments if they don’t provide their own.
16. Plan to make friends with them. Invite them into your social life.
17. Ask for a small towel to set chart on, that way it won’t slip. Set on end of kitchen or dining table.
18. Always open and close in prayer. Pray for home, sick, children, Aunt Bess, etc…
19. Be prepared. Teach without the Teachers Manual, using the Bible only. Use your own words and personal experiences to make the study exciting! Don’t be afraid to show emotion.
20. Be POSITIVE. Mention no problems and no controversial subjects.
21. At beginning of each session ask a few questions about last week’s lesson (review).
22. Establish rules. Bible is the sole authority. Study it independently of all religions. No Pentecostal doctrine — just the Word of God!
23. Understand your objective — (to bring true salvation to them).
24. Recommend helpful books — creation, church history, biographies of great Christians.
25. Try to continue the study until completion even if they disagree. Give the Word time to work.
26. Plan to teach the lessons in their given order (as the Bible was written). Don’t skip any! It would be alright to go 15-20 lessons (too long? how long is eternity?).
27. Encourage them to invite friends, but don’t let the number become too large.
28. Plan on hour studies. 45 minutes teaching (all questions written but not asked). Stop at gripping point. You want them wanting more! 15 minutes to answer questions (or more as student desires).
29. Complete the course (even if they have received the Holy Ghost).
30. DISCIPLE the student.
31. Arrange time for next lesson.
32. Watch God transform their lives (the entire family) through you.
33. Send a “Thank you” note at end of completed study.
34. Follow up. Make spot calls. Involve them in social life with you.
1. Not more than 3 studies per week. You must not neglect the people you teach.
2. Don’t try to read all the scriptures in the lesson.
3. Don’t take too long (45 minutes). If not through quit and take it up next week.
4. Don’t make it heavy (in depth). Keep it simple. (The objective is to get them saved).
5. Don’t allow yourself to answer judgment questions.
6. Don’t run down their church.
7. Don’t run down any church (be positive).
8. Don’t poke fun at any churches.
9. Don’t push your church doctrine (present Bible truths and allow God to do the rest).
10. Don’t push your church attendance, but encourage their attendance. (You can relate exciting happenings)
11. Don’t answer questions that will be answered in subsequent lessons (ruins the punch).
12. Don’t argue (absolutely none).
13. Don’t allow interrupting questions.
14. Don’t be too authoritative.
15. Don’t lose your temper.
16. Don’t be sarcastic.
17. Don’t teach baptism at tabernacle study unless you are sure they are ready.
18. Don’t be afraid to admit YOU DON’T KNOW. (Tell them you will bring the answer back next week).
19. Don’t carry the day’s trouble into your lesson.
20. Don’t let your faith weaken when it looks like they are not responding.
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 needed, have a baby-sitter arranged.
7. 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. The Word alone is powerful enough to win the lost.
8. Always leave with them wanting you to stay and never stay with them wanting you to leave.
9. Don’t be self-centered in your conversations, but work to build your students up.
Qualities of a Good Leader
Planning and preparation
* Do you adequately prepare? If not, what is needed?
* Do you closely follow your plan? Why or why not?
* What have you learned what you could include in future planning?
Sometimes you may only be aware of the negative evaluation — the mistakes, problems and omissions. But remember it’s more important to concentrate on the positive: What went right? What was good in the discussion? Emphasizing and maintaining the strong points of your leadership is just as important as improving the weak areas.
As you evaluate yourself, don’t grade too harshly. None of us has achieved perfection yet and we won’t until we are resurrected in Jesus Christ’s likeness! Sure you have faults, shortcomings, weaknesses and failures. That does not prevent your teaching a Home Bible Study! It serves Satan’s purpose to make you feel “unworthy” of sharing this truth with others. Don’t accept the little drip’s lie! He will use every trick to stop your efforts. After all, you are invading his territory when you carry the Gospel to the unbeliever. You can expect resistance from him.
Paul wrote that you are worthy if you have obeyed the plan of salvation and are studying to improve your knowledge of God’s Word: “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). Home Bible Studies apply here! Once involved in teaching, you are pleasing to God, being fruitful in every good work. You are, increasing your knowledge of God. And you are walking worthy!
Rise up, be strong, do your best and wage war against Satan’s fortress! Your life will be more rewarding, overcoming and thrilling than ever before! Your shortcomings, weaknesses and failures will blossom into victories, strengths and milestones in the overcoming Christian life!
Remember, you don’t teach a Home Bible Study because you are a dynamic Christian — you teach it to become one! It is all a part of the process. Every teacher will agree that they became a stronger, more victorious Christian through this teaching experience. It is certain! While you are busy studying, learning and preparing to share with others, the Lord is busy pouring more and more rich things into your own life! The giving principle applies here: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).
“But I Can’t Talk!”
When you are asked to speak to a group, what’s your reaction? If you are like most people, it is sheer terror. According to the Book of Lists, the number one phobia in America is the fear of public speaking.
When you consider teaching a Home Bible Study, maybe you feel an overwhelming sense of inadequacy and lack of self-confidence. “But I just can’t talk!” you may insist. If this is a problem, consider advice suggested by great and effective public speakers. Dale Carnegie, founder of the Carnegie Institute for Public Speaking, makes a valid point. He assures that anyone can talk. If you slap the face of the most illiterate man in town, he will get up and speak with an unequivocal eloquence, heat and emphasis! Mr. Carnegie proclaims, “Any man can speak acceptably in public if he has self-confidence and an idea that is boiling and stewing within him.” That’s it! You are presently equipped to talk effectively. You have an idea — the plan of salvation laid out in easy, organized lessons. And your experience is “boiling and stewing” inside of you! Mr. Carnegie described it perfectly!
The prophet Jeremiah affirms this principle. When he refused to talk publicly, he felt the idea “boiling” inside: “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay” (Jeremiah 20:9). In his extensive training course, Dale Carnegie asserts how to lessen anxiety for speaking to a group. Simply, make the following preparations:
* Pick the right subject. This first step is easy! The Home Bible Study course offers the “perfect” right subject. You know you possess the truth. Therefore, the Gospel is the right subject to share with the world!
* Develop an eager desire to communicate. You must have a deep desire to transmit your convictions to listeners. Being a Christian and obeying the Gospel will not make you an effective teacher. There must be that invisible element (often termed a “burden”) that is born in the heart of every successful soul winner. This burden separates the participators from the spectators. Most Christians want to become soul winners. However, soul winning occurs after a burden is born.
* Begin praying and fasting earnestly and consistently. Soon you will feel an urging when you pray. Your spirit will become disturbed and troubled. You will find yourself wanting to pray more and more. Tears and strong feelings of deep anguish will accompany your prayer time. Welcome them, however strange they may seem. God is giving you a burden!
Coupled with these feelings will be a new awareness of lost souls. Suddenly you will view your relatives, friends and acquaintances in a new perspective. You will be directing them to a salvation experience. Soon the burden motivates you into action as a soul winner. With a burden, you will be effective. God promises successful results: “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6).
When a burden is acquired, you can teach a Home Bible Study. You are so eager for people to be saved that you will do anything to prompt that response. That is why a burden is essential. It motivates you to do whatever is necessary to lead them to salvation. All other preparation becomes automatic as you are engrossed and obsessed by a desire to win your friends to the Lord.
This burden will alter your routines. Teaching a weekly Bible Study drains spiritual strength which must be replenished through increased time in prayer and fasting. Prayer will then become a joy not a drudgery. Like a gushing stream, a burden will flood your prayers, bringing tears, supplication and intercession for the needs of your students.
Equipped? Yes, you can talk! You are “worthy.” You have the right subject and have earned the right to talk about it. Your burden will allow you to talk from your heart — not from the book. You will be teaching “from the inside out.” That invisible love and compassion flows from you to grip the listeners beyond what words can ever accomplish. Your inventory of equipment is complete!
Preparation is most vital. Your Bible and Search for Truth Teacher’s Manual are some of your most valuable tools. Remember, the Teacher’s Manual is an aid — not a script to be read. Never, NEVER, read from the manual during a session. This shows an evident lack of preparation. Always go to your study fully prepared, having mastered the lesson. Study with your Chart, and let the pictures and statements serve as reminders or notes for the lesson. The weekly lesson material is very lengthy. This wealth of information is designed for you to read, retain and digest. Cover the concepts illustrated on the charts, including as many details as time permits to explain each picture.
Remember that is important for you to know more about the subject than your pupils. Dale Carnegie says that effective public speakers should know 40 times as much about their subject as they use. Be an “authority” on each lesson! By developing that priceless asset known as “reserve power”, your teaching becomes more effective. Don’t tell all you know. Know 40 times more than you can tell in an hour. This gives you a humble air of confidence that is a powerful teaching tool.
Notes may be prepared on a sheet of paper or index cards to prompt your memory. Place them in your Bible for occasional reference. As you become more familiar with the lessons, notes will not be needed. Many notes can be eliminated when you learn to allow each illustration to prompt your memory. As you study during the week, closely examine the charts to relate with the lesson material. Important points can be stressed with your voice fluctuations and also with appropriate hand motions and facial expressions as you teach.
Don’t write out your script. Written language obstructs smooth conversational language. As you begin to teach, trying to recall the script will steal the natural and spontaneous effect. Likewise, never memorize the material word for word. You may forget it under stress or it may become a “canned” lesson. Your teaching will have the unimpressive effect of a mechanical robot. You want to communicate in a warm, human and friendly manner — which is impossible when you memorize the lesson.
For your first round of lessons, you may find it helpful to rehearse the lesson material orally. Ask a family member to listen or speak in front of a mirror. Use a tape recorder, and evaluate your “performance.” This trial run will fortify your confidence and familiarly for the “real thing.” However, the actual presentation will differ from the practice rehearsals you have made.
Many teachers consider the tape recorder a priceless aid for Home Bible Studies. Each lesson is recited then played back for self examination. The teacher should also listen to the tape provided with the lesson in route to work or during the lunch break. Tape recorders and earphones are easily available and are a useful investment in soul winning. Listening to the tape once each day will totally immerse the teacher in the lesson material. It is an effective and time saving device for successful study. Try it!
Adequate suggestions have already been given concerning prayer. But its importance in your preparation must be emphasized. A lack of prayer and fasting will reflect a lack of power, spark, and anointing in your lessons. You want your audience to “feel” the love of God flowing through you. This is possible only when prayer is made on a consistent, daily basis in behalf of your Bible study. Fasting, coupled with your prayers, will create a higher dimension of dynamics in your sessions. Dedicate one day a week to fasting for your study. You will feel extra resources and it also helps prepare your students. True preparation demands it!
You must also contact your students before the first session. Call to confirm the appointment and perhaps send a card to express your enthusiasm. Establish a definite scheduled time for the complete series of lessons. Once a habit is formed for a particular time and day, students will begin to eagerly anticipate your study appointments.
Now that you have the proper equipment and have made adequate preparations, you can now begin teaching the Bible Study. Carefully consider these suggestions to develop self-confidence and polish your style. Every teacher can become a better one. Aspire to be the best, most effective teacher you can be. Remember, your pupils are learning from the moment you step inside their door. That is when the “lesson” begins. They watch and read every response, word and attitude. Be on guard, but be relaxed.
“Tell me, was my mother saved when she died?” Never answer judgmental questions. If you reply “yes”, you may not be telling the truth. A “no” reply could lose your friendship and your Bible study. How much better it is to respond: “I am not the judge. Since God will judge the souls of all men, we must leave this question in His hands.” Most students on the threshold of acceptance to salvation are not ready for the answers. Refer all judgmental questions back to the Great Judge who mercifully does all things well.
You may meet a student who is disagreeable and argumentative about certain points. Never allow yourself to be drawn into an argument, because no one can win. It is easy to become involved in a disagreement. You know that you are right and he is wrong; you can prove it with Scriptures. But you lose your opponent’s good will. You have made him feel inferior, wounded his pride and insulted his intelligence, judgment and self-respect. He may want to strike back, but he will never change his mind. All chances have been lost of winning him to the Lord by your witness or teaching. Remember, the only way to win an argument is to avoid it entirely.
Sometime during your Bible Study career, some student will challenge you. For example, you may be saying: “To speak with tongues is the initial evidence that you have received the Holy Ghost.” The student may interrupt: “Excuse me! I have the Holy Spirit and I have never spoken in tongues.” What do you say? Do not emphatically insist that you are right and he is wrong. Sure, you can prove it in the Scriptures and on the chart. You can even tell him that he doesn’t really have the Holy Ghost. But NO! NO! NO!
Here is where the wisdom and the discretion of the successful soul winner shines brightest. Do not condemn him. Try to understand him. Only wise and tolerant soul winners will win here. The following is the most important principle in this book: Be careful to show respect for your student’s opinions. Never tell him he is wrong. To address his interruption, smile and respond: “You know, John, I don’t blame you for questioning my statement. If it’s not in the Bible, I have no business saying that. And I may be wrong. That’s why I often search the Word of God. It is always right. I agree with you, that this is a pretty big statement for someone like me to be making. So, let’s examine the facts together from the Bible.” Then you gently review all the New Testament examples of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Carefully note that each instance was evidenced by speaking in other tongues. Ask him to read the Scripture references. As the point becomes clear, never gloat or say: “So you see, I was right!” Be humble and wise in every situation. Nobody will ever be offended when you say: “I may be wrong. Let’s examine the facts.” Admitting that you may be wrong is a virtue. It stops all argument and inspires your student to be equally fair and open. He may then admit that he might be wrong.
When we are mistaken, we may admit it to ourselves. And if we are handled gently and tactfully, we may admit it to others. But if force is used, we will not relent — even if convinced of our error. Our human nature prohibits that admission. “I may be wrong.” Those four simple words are like a magic phrase that stops all arguments, eliminates ill feeling, creates good will and makes your student listen more attentively. An answer like that softens the most disagreeable person. By saying that, you can be completely sincere and honest-you could be wrong! You have been wrong before and you doubtless will be again. Much is accomplished through reviewing the facts from the Word of God. Remember the wisest man of all realized the secret of avoiding argument: “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright…” (Proverbs 15:1-2). Also, the greatest Teacher used this exact principle in His ministry. He also recommended that His listeners use it as well: “Agree with thine adversary quickly…” (Matthew 5:25). Jesus implied, “Don’t argue with your Bible Study student. Don’t tell him he is wrong. Find a point of agreement, use kindness, compassion, tact and diplomacy. You’ll be a wise person.” Actually your Bible Study series is a long process by which you are winning friends. While the true purpose is winning them to Jesus, developing friendships is also very important. It heightens the effect of your teaching.
Likewise, as the friendship blossoms, so does their confidence and credibility in you. Such is the quality you want to achieve. That is where souls are won and influenced to Truth! The friendship road is the best one to successful soul winning. Let’s consider some ideas to help you develop that friendship more personally.
Following each study session, refreshments may be served. Eating together breaks down the initial formal barrier. You are not in a church atmosphere, so don’t create one. What comes more naturally in a home with friends and family than eating? It ties you a little closer. The early church utilized both the importance of sharing natural bread and the Bread of Life. Who can argue with their results? “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers . . . And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart” (Acts 2:42,46). Paul’s missionary campaign included visits to sinners’ homes. Once, he and Silas made a late call at the home of the Philippian jailer. The entire family was baptized that night. And, refreshments were served: “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house” (Acts 16:33-34). You can use this tool effectively — but plan carefully. There are no set rules for serving refreshments. “Feel out” the atmosphere where you teach. Some families will applaud the idea; others will minimize it. Share the burden of refreshments with your host. Allowing them to contribute adds a feeling of responsibility to the Bible Study. An alternate schedule may suffice. If they serve the first week, volunteer a cake for the next.
As the teacher, bring homemade goodies only. Never pick up packaged cookies at the convenience store on the way to their house. Little details indicate the importance of their friendship. The extra effort and time are revealing. If you cannot bake something, pay someone else to make a homemade specialty. How much is a lost soul worth? Be innovative for serving suggestions. Fresh pastries from a French styled bakery are delightful treats. Chilled watermelon or homemade ice cream is also creative.
If you sincerely desire to win people to the Lord, you can easily join their interests. We can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than we can in two years by trying to get other people interested in us. Your students will likewise respond. Real friends are made by expending extra effort to do things for them. And it will require time, energy, unselfishness and consideration. When they perceive your degree of sincerity and effort, they will respond with kindness and friendship.
Make calls on your students during the week to inquire about their well-being. Keep the visits brief unless they indicate otherwise. These calls verify that you are willing to spend time with them. Week by week you are weaving your way into their social life and spiritual development. Consider how the following acts of kindness will affect your students:
* Send a greeting card expressing enjoyment for the pleasure of teaching in their home.
* Send birthday and anniversary cards to family members.
* Send a thank-you note after the study is complete. Include a gift certificate to a nice cafeteria or restaurant.
* Invite them to your home for a meal on a weekend evening.
* Plan a combined picnic or outdoor activity with their family on a Saturday. Send them a magazine subscription pertaining to a special interest or hobby.
Do not compromise your standards or convictions in your activities together. Obviously, going to the movies or watching a televised sports event are compromises. However, if such suggestions are offered, respond kindly with an alternative that both families could enjoy. As you become involved in these activities, the friendship will grow. If you want to win them, they must feel that you sincerely want to be their friend. Bring them into your circle of friendship and assure them how important they are to you. Be a good listener if they wish to confide. People want to be loved and needed. They will feel this as you become genuinely interested in them!
This article “Winning Souls Through Home Bible Study and Other Methods” by Rich Lyons was uploaded to Apostolic Information Service personally by Rich Lyons. August 1997. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”