Jesus did not spend time arguing with sinners. Jesus did not answer questions. Jesus did not debate His opponents. Jesus is the Master Teacher, so He always turned every question around (defer; do not debate) and brought them to the Scripture, “Have you not read” or “What is written” (Matthew 19:4; Luke 10:25-26). HTHSOE trains Christians to turn all religious questions and discussion into Bible studies. Conversions are not the result of little talks about Jesus, but from studying the Scripture (Psalm 19:7).
We introduce the students to Back to the Bible and Does It Matter. These studies require Bible reading and study. They have up to a 90 percent conversion rate for those who finish. It is amazing how many Christians have never tried a Bible study with their family and friends. The following report is given by Brother Adair. I hope the realism and authenticity of his experience will encourage all who read this to do Bible studies!
“My wife and I were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to absorb the inspiring and necessary message of seeking and saving the lost in training from the School of Evangelism taught by Rob Whitacre. My wife also enjoyed an invaluable lesson by his wife, Nicole. After the first day, we both knew our first target was to reach my mother. She had moved in with us two months before, and I had attempted this conversation with her many times, but becoming distracted as she did, we never got far. After the second day, we decided that first thing the next morning would be to approach her with doing a Bible study using the one study method. Mom claimed to be a Christian, so we thought at the very least it would remind her of her first love.
When we asked her to do a Bible study with us, she was aware that she had sin in her life that needed repentance, but she did not really understand what this meant. As we worked through the booklet and came to the part about the reason for baptism, she reflected on the reason she had been baptized. She concluded that, even though she had been immersed at the age of 17, she had not been immersed for the remission of her sins. As tears were streaming down her face and ours, we asked, ‘What do you see that needs to be done?’ Looking up at us, she said, ‘I need to be baptized.’ We asked, ‘Why do you believe you need to be baptized?’ This study had so clearly laid out its necessity and the reason for immersion that she said, “for the remission of my sins.” Immediately, we went down to the nearby pool, and at 74 years young, having heard the truth, believing every word, acknowledging her need of repentance, and confessing Jesus as the living Son of God who would wash away her sins, she was baptized into Christ.
My Mom is now my sister in Christ, and I rejoice with the angels that she now has the confidence of His promises going forward in life. Prior to this training, I had believed my mother was unreachable. I am so grateful to God for his longsuffering, to Bobby and Wilma Bates and their heart for seeking and saving the lost, and to the Whitacres for developing a program that not only provides the tools needed but also trains us to use the method properly. The debt that I cannot repay has multiplied now that I have not only taken my part in Christ’s shed blood, but I rejoice in my mother’s part as well. I, my wife, and my mom are all joyful and willing bondservants to Him.”
Caddo Mills church of Christ, Texas: Jason Sparks reports, “Caddo Mills had a baptism Wednesday night. We also sent out 60 cards to contacts. The church is excited to grow!”
North Jefferson church of Christ, Mt. Pleasant, Texas: Kris Groda reports, “We are excited to report that Sally Lewellen was baptized last Wednesday. She had an association with the church in the past but was aligned with the Methodist church for many years. One of our elders, Phil and his wife, studied the Bible with her, and she decided to obey the gospel. We have several other studies going on right now in an effort to restore unfaithful brethren. We are now at 14 baptisms since the seminar and three restorations.”
Chase Park church of Christ, Huntsville, Alabama: Pat Cowden (preacher) reports, “We had another good week of Bible studies and personal studies in preparation for holding personal Bible studies. We had almost 30 people attend our second meeting after being assigned to read Growing in Christ. They are now reading How to Close the Study for this Wednesday night. Several of our families have invited friends over to eat (always eat) and to initiate conversations about spiritual matters. We have 27 people now on our contact list that we are either praying for, studying with (10 folks), or scheduling visits. Rob’s seminar has energized our membership to take action and step out of their normal comfort zones. Looking forward to reporting more good news soon.”
Sevierville church of Christ, Tennessee: Kevin Ruiz reports, “Our new convert and mentor classes are going well and providing a solid grounding in the faith. Since we have so many visitors in Sevierville from out of town, we have assigned greeters to meet our visitors and find any from our local community so that we can provide them with welcome baskets and take them out for a meal. Our compassion card workers are doing a great job of sending out notes of encouragement to area residents as we become aware of special needs. We have begun our VBS and have invited non-member friends and family in an effort to make connections toward setting up Bible studies. “
Siwell Road church of Christ, Mississippi: Derek Broome (preacher) reports, “Over the past several weeks, we have continued preaching through Back to the Bible. We have been doing these lessons on Sunday mornings so that we can reach a majority of our members and visitors. We have had a great response from these lessons, and people are beginning to set up Bible studies with their contacts. We have several active studies going on right now, and a teachers training class beginning in two weeks will continue training more teachers to do Bible studies. We are excited to report that one of our young men, Terryl Wilder, put-on Christ in baptism last Wednesday night. It is amazing to see so many Christians excited about evangelism.”
Lafollette church of Christ, Tennessee: Ben Shaffer (preacher) reports, “There are a lot of positive things going on here. We have a young, engaged couple that is in the midst of a Bible study with one of the elders. They have shown great interest in the study and are planning to continue it this weekend. Our door knocking has opened some doors for us as well. We have a few new contacts for our congregational compassion card list. One lady had just found out that she had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s before her door was knocked. She was thankful that we came by. We are starting to send her cards this week. All in all, we have about ten homes that we will follow up with on various needs and try to cultivate the soil. We have also begun the new mover’s program and are looking forward to reaching out to those people with the new mover gift baskets.”
Cordova church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee: Bruce Hatcher (preacher), reports, “I preached through Back to the Bible Study 2 this week while all made notes in their teacher’s editions. Everyone is enjoying the training. Compassion card groups are up and running, but we are still trying to work out some kinks. We have two studies that I know of set for this week.”
Beloit church of Christ, Kansas: Dustin Doughtery (preacher) reports, “I love being able to send you a report every time we have a new convert, and this one is no different. Brother Keith Lyon and I baptized our new sister Alice Vader into Christ for the remission of her sins Wednesday night, June 14, before our mid-week services. She completed the Back to the Bible course with Keith and desired to put on her Savior in baptism. Due to some health concerns, it took a little coordinating, but we are so glad to have a small part in making it happen. We had a total of seven baptisms in 2020; Alice was our fifth so far for 2021, and we currently have several ongoing Bible studies and prospects. We began a compassion card ministry, and it has been well received. We’ve sent out several cards; next we will look into the visitor bags. God is Good.”
Willette church of Christ, Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee: Jack Honeycutt (preacher) reports, “Hollee Kirby and her husband, Kevin, have been visiting our services at Willette. We were able to have three Bible studies with them both. Sunday morning, Hollee responded to the invitation to put her Lord on in baptism. Please pray for Kevin to obey the gospel; he is a Southern Baptist. Souls are searching for the truth. We must reach as many as possible!”
North Tuscaloosa church of Christ, Alabama: Clark Sims (preacher) reports, “Since our last report two weeks ago, North Tuscaloosa has experienced a number of reality checks of life in a local congregation. We have been reminded that this COVID virus is not going away any time soon, and when it hits, families and congregations are affected. We have also been reminded that there are times that those people in a local congregation who are leading and working and serving in multiple ways can be people affected by times of hardship. Inside the last two weeks, we have had two group leader families in our Compassion Card ministry impacted by Covid. It just happens. This provides the reminder that there always remains the need for individual people to step up and step out! Through it all, God continues to bless us with doors and opportunities. We are so thankful for the instruction and encouragement given to us from Rob and the School of Evangelism to help us better see those doors as opportunities to be soul conscious thru any circumstance you face. Through it all, cards, contacts, and outreach continue. For all precious souls baptized this year, we are thankful. One of the great reminders from Rob that is on my mind this morning: a commitment to evangelism is not simply a weekend seminar, it is a ‘from now on,’ ‘through it all’ commitment. God bless all congregations from now on.”