In light of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America, this years New
Years resolutions might take on a whole new character.
Everyone was affected directly or indirectly by the events of that day, and
they are seeking answers. People, even nonbelievers, are thinking about eternal
things. According to a television poll in late September, seven out of 10
Americans are depressed and one third reported having difficulty sleeping.
Some things you need to know before you start
Be boldchoose salvation as your goal. There are plenty of
Bible studies that deal with many timely topics. But decide right from the
start that your aim and your prayer are to find ways to present the gospel to
unbelievers. Experts claim that leadership is more important than materials in
determining whether a Bible study leads people to faith in Christ.
Be me-prepared. You may want to read resources for leaders
like Becoming a Contagious Christian: Communicating Your Faith in a Style that
Fits You by Mark Mittelberg, Lee Strobel and Bill Hybels or Out of Their Faces
and into Their Shoes by John Kramp.
Be them-prepared. Choose your material based on your best
guess (or you can ask them!) of what your friends need to hear. There is a
wealth of resources available.
Be personal. People overwhelmingly report that a personal
invitation from someone they knew was the reason they attended a Bible study.
After years of ignoring mail-outs, ads and door-hangers, Jodi attended her
first Bible study when another mom from Swim Club personally invited her to her
home. And thats where Jodi found Christ.
Be small. If you want people to open up and talk about
their personal needs and issues, keep your numbers as close to six as possible.
If you have more than 10 candidates, start two groups!
Be smart. Childcare is absolutely essential for a daytime
study involving women. Some possible caregivers are: ministry-minded women in
your church, older teens that are home schooled or Bible study attendees you
ask to each volunteer for one session.
On mission Christians have much
to offer in these turbulent times. We know the Answer many desperately seek.
Why not make this years resolution one that will bring eternal results? Dont
just focus on losing 10 pounds or catching up on those projects around the
house; instead resolve to initiate a home Bible study group with your
unchurched friends and neighbors. Resolve to create an atmosphere for open
discussion where the gospel can be presented in a non-threatening way. Resolve
to make a difference for Christ by making a God-shaped dent in the fear that is
gripping our continent.
You might be surprised at the far-reaching effect of something as simple as
opening your home once a week for Bible study. Starting Bible studies can be an
effective way to not only reach people but also start new congregations. Many
new churches, including my church of 350 in Alberta, Canada, begin with a
handful of people sipping coffee over an open Bible in someones living
Bible study resources
Following is a smattering of titles and topics. There is an amazing array of
Bible studies that speak to every need. Browse this list and visit the Websites
cited below and you are guaranteed to find something for everyone.
Freedom from Fear
by Cheryl Reccord and Linda Ebert
This six-week series contains practical ways to deal with and lessen fear.
There has never been a better time for a study like this.
The Freedom from Depression Workbook
by Frank Minirth, M.D. and Les Carter, Ph.D.
This 12-week study works well for unbelievers because it appeals to
spirituality without coming on too strongno churchy language. Similar resources
from the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic Series are:The Choosing to Forgive Workbook, The Anger Workbook, The Worry Workbook,
The Mom Factor Workbook and much more.
Perhaps Today: Living Every Day in the Light of
by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
This 90-day devotional from the writers of the popular Left Behind series is
packed with biblical teaching on Christs second coming. It will help the reader
develop a consistent devotional life while learning the principles of the
TouchPOINTS: Sowing Seeds at Home and at
Designed to enable believers to dialogue in a Bible study group with
non-Christian friends about personal needs, spiritual needs and salvation.
Related to issues and needs at work and at home: broken relationships, family
crises, you cant take it with you, healthy marriage relationships.
Jesus the Reason
by James W. Sire
These 11 studies are intended for people who call themselves Christians but who
may have a different definition of Christianity. They help you understand
spiritually lost people and how to give them direction to God. Intervarsity
Press Lifeguide Bible Studies are available at IVPs Bible study store at
The Search for Significance (revised
edition)by Robert S. McGee
Discover the secret to developing a healthy self-concept as you learn to build
your self-worth, not on your own ability to please others but on the love and
forgiveness of Jesus.
The Wounded Heartby Dan B. Allender
Help sufferers of sexual abuse find hope by claiming the promises of the One
who can heal every wound.
Parenting Isnt for Cowards (with study
guide)by James Dobson
Understanding the type of personalities your children have can give you a head
start in raising them.
The Fresh Start Divorce Recovery Workbook (revised and
updated)by Bob Buyrns and Tom Whiteman
Get a Christian perspective on the trauma of separation and divorce. This guide
provides dozens of exercises to help you personalize the issues and understand
where you are on the path to solutions. Includes data on legal issues and
Successful Single Parentingby Gary
Packed with advice, this complete guide covers how to set financial priorities,
help children handle change, explain the other parents absence, deal with
discipline, handle visitation and more.
Failing Forwardby John C. Maxwell
Use your mistakes and failures as stepping-stones as you discover the positive
benefits that accompany them. Full of practical action suggestions and
real-life stories, this strategic guide will help you master fear rather than
being mastered by it and move beyond your mistakes and succeed.
Websites for resources:
Between Friends SeriesTwelve pocket-sized
booklets for teens dealing with topics like divorce, chemical abuse, loss and
Youthcareadult leadership guide designed to equip
the leader of the Between Friends series to help teens deal with difficult
The Way Back to Mayberry: Lessons from a Simpler
Timeby Joey Fann
Fanns study is based on 30 of the 249 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.
Episodes are presented and discussed in relation to a passage from the Bible.
For more information visit www.barneyfife.com.
Foundations for Faith: The Basis for Knowing
GodThis nine-week study presents the Bible as a collection
of books whose central theme is the relationship between the Creator of the
universe and humankind.
It is good for unbelievers because it assumes nothing. Some topics are: What
is God like? How does God relate to the people He created? Why did Jesus have
to die? Whats the point of it all? To order call 800-369-0307 or visit www.neighborhoodbiblestudy.org.
Preparing for an on
mission lifestyle:On Mission with God: The Next
Step to Experiencing Godby Henry Blackaby and Avery
Still not sure whether or not to lead a Bible study? Why not work through this
one first? This eight-session study spells out Gods mission to bring the
peoples of the world to saving faith in Christ.
Becoming a Contagious Christian and
Becoming a Contagious Christian Participants Guideby Bill
Hybels, Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg
This course is designed to help everyday Christians find the approach to
evangelism that best suits their personal style. The authors use Biblical and
contemporary examples to identify and describe six styles of personal
evangelism. To order call 800-570-9812.
How to Give Away Your Faith (revised
edition)by Paul E. Little
So you want to share your faith? This 10-week study will give your groups
practical ways to share their faith and tips for breaking through social
barriers. It will bring the message into focus and explain why Christ is
relevant to the world today.
How to Talk About Jesus Without Freaking
Outby Jim Covell, Victorya Michael Rogers and Karen
A 10-week study guide for small groups. Learn how to share your story simply
and effectively, how to pray for non-Christians, how to use an evangelistic
tract. Includes ideas for creative outreach. Download a free leaders guide from
Resources are available at local Lifeway Christian Stores, 800-448-8032 or
Connie Cavanaugh is a writer and
speaker living in Cochrane, Alberta.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC