REACHING THE LOST – STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
By Rob Whitacre
Is it scriptural to conduct Bible studies during Bible classes? There should be no doubt about the validity of this strategy. Almost no one would argue against it. Then why are they not being conducted? I grew up in the church of Christ, and such an occurrence was almost unheard of. Yet non-Christians are attending our Bible classes, so an opportunity exists for personal studies.
As HTH School of Evangelism has developed, more and more Christians have reported using the Bible class hour on Sunday and Wednesday to conduct personal Bible studies. Baptisms have resulted. Although there may be better settings due to time limits, it also has advantages. Consider the following recommendations for using this strategy within your congregation.
- Train a few families within your congregation to be Bible Study specialists who use the evangelism training tools.
- Train the congregation by informing them of this strategy so they can use it with the contacts they may bring/invite.
- Select a private room that can used for the studies.
- Ensure all study materials are ready (Back to the Bible, Believe the Bible, Does It Matter, Survey, Evangelism Visualized, Bookmarks, and/or all digital options).
- Start as early as possible and maximize your allotted time.
- It is okay to divide the study if needed. Never allow the student to take the study material home to complete. This is not a correspondence course!
- If conversion is near, do not hesitate to extend the study, but do not forsake the assembly.
- If baptism is desired, arrange it immediately. It is okay to interrupt worship to baptize. Peter was interrupted, and they baptized 3,000 on the Day of Pentecost.
- Sit with the prospect during worship. Also, remember to extend a meal invitation.
- Schedule the following study with an appointment.
- Check on the prospect in between study times to continue building the relationship.
Doing Bible studies during Bible class helps us become more like Jesus (Luke 19:10). Take advantage of every opportunity to reach the lost. Sometimes, the adult Bible class may be like trying to feed steak to a baby. One-on-one teaching is much more effective and can quickly adapt to students’ needs. Now is the time to add this strategy to the congregational model.
Mel Hutzler is the preacher at the Northern Oaks church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas. He has successfully used this strategy for years. We asked him to provide his insight into using this approach.
- A Bible class is a Bible study, and a Bible study is a Bible class.
- It is the most important lesson one could teach during that period.
- People who attend Bible classes are prime candidates for Bible study if they are religiously minded enough to be at worship service.
- I baptized a quarter of our congregation by doing this, so I know it works.
- When I ask for a Bible study, visitors often say “yes” the first time they are asked.
- While it is a shortened time, you could always use it as a springboard to have Bible studies on other nights with more time.
- I usually have the last Bible study at the building. It is easy for baptisms, and the congregation can be edified.
- If we do not ask them for a Bible study when they visit, they may never have the opportunity again.
- Our church buildings have many rooms to accommodate Bible studies. This can lead to multiple baptisms.
- When studying during Bible class, we have the preacher and elders close by for questions, support, and help to close the study, if needed.