Making the evangelistic Bible study work for garage mechanics and research scientists.
It is now clear that large numbers of people have become Christians through peer group discussions of the Bible. And when unchurched participants become serious about the Christian faith, they normally begin attending church—often the church of their group’s initiator.
Whole churches have been built using this method, and the gospel has penetrated neighborhoods and workplaces that likely would not have opened up to other evangelistic strategies.
What are the keys that make these groups succeed, causing the local church to grow? Here are five:
Key #1: A “Safe” Invitation
Instead of being asked to “join” a Bible study, people are invited to a home to hear about an idea: a discussion Bible study group for adults who are not experts. After dessert and coffee, the host or hostess explains how the group will function, using the method of inductive (investigative) study. A 20-minute sampler—one incident from the Gospel of Mark—gives a taste of what is ahead. Those who are interested set a time and place to start studying Mark 1.
The same thing can happen on the job. Any group that meets on neutral territory is less threatening for newcomers than meeting in a church. Lunch-hour groups currently meet every week among business people on Wall Street, research scientists meet at a pharmaceutical corporation, executives and clerical workers at a chemical firm; there is also an after-work study among garage mechanics with their Christian employer, and breakfast studies (weekday or Saturday) among small-town tradesmen and professionals. Workers who know one another through their jobs but meet in homes range from ...1