May 9, 2012

And the Kingdom Grows

As I mentioned before, these home bible studies tend to yield a family of new Christians in about three months time. Sometimes they can form a church, sometimes they join an existing one. Yesterday we saw another family come to faith together. Just under the three month mark. We will look at baptism and what they would prefer next meeting (for us to baptize them and start a home church or for them to be baptized into a local traditional church).

One family that is now hitting the 6 month mark is starting a new bible study of their own and looking to lead another family to Christ.

We ourselves have been invited to start another bible study with a family in yet another neighborhood. This is one we should have done 2 years ago, but did not follow through when God called us. He was gracious to give us this opportunity again.

Our Bible studies are simple inductive bible studies where everyone learns the passage orally before we begin any discussion of the text. It takes a few meetings to get the technique, but the results are obvious.

May 3, 2012

Church Retreat with Storying

My wife, Loaise, and I led a 4-day church retreat this past week. I told the first six chapters of Daniel, one chapter for each of our six worship services. The continuity of the narrative had a cumulative effect on engaging the scripture.

We also divided the participants into a number of groups of about 5 people, and trained leaders on how to learn a scripture passage by heart together as a group and follow that with an inductive bible study. Our groups learned stories of 5 to 10 verses. Each leader chose his own passages, so there was a lot of Bible story telling from members of one group to members of another.

The biggest observation we had was that based on our use of this method with unchurched non-christians and with long-time churched Christians, is that the latter have a lot of difficulty both learning to tell a scripture story and honestly looking at it to make valid observations. Those with no experience in any kind of Bible study seem to learn it better and draw out much deeper observations. Others tended to skim past the scripture as a familiar passage and went straight to long-remembered sunday school talking points.

I will write more about this later.