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How to Give a Better Bible Study I

Steve Keiser


How to Give a Better Bible Study is intended to motivate elders to give Bible studies and to do them with greater confidence. Elder Keiser shares practicle lessons he's learned over the decades as a Pastor, a Bible Worker, and an Elder. You'll learn the to-do's as well as some not to-do's when it comes to finding, maintianing, and closing a Bible study.



  • September 30, 2018
    9:30 AM
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If you believe time is running out and let me see by a show of hands how many of you think time is short and amen. If you believe time is NOW go there for. And make disciples that's our commission I meant we heard about the commission last night we heard about calling so I would ask the question this morning who are called to make disciples so. All right let's take a moment to pray Father in heaven we're thankful to be here we ask your blessings we pray for your spirit we asked that you would help me not to be a hindrance anyone learning. We pray that everyone would hear your voice is our prayer and Jesus' name and so who are called to make disciples the Savior is commission to the disciples included what all the believers all the believers it includes all believers in Christ to the end of time it's a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister all to whom the heavenly inspiration is come are put in trust with the gospel all of whom received the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men for this work the church was established and all who take upon themselves its sacred Biles are thereby pledged to be coworkers with Christ. You have been identified by your various church congregations as having spread the spiritual gift of leadership spiritual leadership. So you are definitely called to be workers with Christ and meant it I believe that you all believe that or you wouldn't be here right now. We're all ministers. And interestingly in all parts of the church where the membership views themselves in that capacity the church is growing very rapidly 60 percent of the baptisms in the Philippines are the result of the work of the laity and in East Africa and Mexico where pastors have 20 to 30 churches there's tremendous growth worldwide as the pastor to member ratio increases for growth 3 dropouts look at the slide that's very telling and. 12 percent growth in areas that are really short of pastors now of course there could be other things going on to explain this. But there's probably some evidence here in the numbers that when people see themselves as responsible for God's work. Rather than as their pastor as bearing the responsibility it results in rapid church growth. So we do like to know how to double your church's membership. Let me ask you this question if you had the opportunity in your church to hire an evangelist that could convert a 1000 people in a day or have one person that did some Bible studies and had one convert a year but that convert went out and also got another convert the next year what do you think would be the most effective method. This chart shows that after a period of time look at the 23rd year the 2nd approach wins out. And by the 26th year the 2nd approach has 7 times the effectiveness we want to be on God's plan always Amen this is God's plan for us to be out working for him now there is a learning curve. I like this text here and it means more than just a learning curve but cast your bread upon the waters for you will find it after many days give a serving this 7 and also the 8 for you don't know what evil will be on the earth if the clouds are full of rain they empty themselves upon the earth and if a tree falls to the south or the north in the place where the tree falls there it shall lie he who observes the wind will not so and he who regards the clouds will not reap as you do not know what is the way of the wind or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child so you do not know the works of God who makes everything in the morning so your seed in the evening do not withhold your hand for you do not know which will prosper either this or that or whether both alike will be good can you see sawing in that text yeah amen Behold I will send for many fishers says Jeremiah 1616 saith the Lord and they will fish them and after that I will send for many hunters and they shall hunt them from every mountain from every hill and out of the holes of the rocks so God's call is for each of us now giving a Bible study isn't the only way for us to heed God's call right. Some people have more of the gift of teaching than others. One of the benefits of the belief that traditional public evangelism doesn't work anymore is that people have been experimenting with a lot of other kinds of things that's been a benefit but I'm here to tell you this morning that public evangelism still works. Amazing facts ministry is built largely upon the idea that it still works and I know it works. We had a moment when I was at amazing facts we evaluated evangelists effectiveness based upon the baptism rate of the opening nights not Adventist attendance and if it wasn't at least 20 percent we figured well this person needs more training or something's going on. So the. The idea that public evangelism and. Personal Evangelism like doing Bible studies it may sound old fashion but it works it indeed works now I'll claim something that maybe some of you don't believe here but I hope you believe it by the end of this seminar I believe that every single one of you can give a Bible study. I believe that whether you're highly gifted with the with the spiritual gift of teaching or not you can still give a Bible study. Today we really have very few excuses because most of the Evangelists have their tapes and their C.D.'s and everything available and anybody can be somebody else's friend right you can go in with somebody else's teaching and just be a friend with that person so I don't think any of us. Cannot experience the joy. In the rewards of giving a person Bible study and you know another thing I believe that. I'm not even above guilt thing you into doing it even though I know guilt is not a very very good long term motivator but the reason why I'm willing to use even guilt is because if you experience it it will become a lifetime passion so even when the guilt quits being the motivator your motivator will be I just love doing this and that's a motivator your love for Jesus spreads to a love for other people and he gives you a a passion for any gives you a burden for the last that you only get by participating in his joy Well what happens when we don't heed the call member I said I'm not above. Here's the deal part and then will be done with the guilt. When professed Christians feel no burden to enlighten those in darkness when the seas to impart grace and knowledge they become while. Less discerning they lose the appreciation of the richness of the heavenly in down because of neglected opportunities and abuse a privilege is the members of these churches are while they are not growing in Greece and in the abundance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2nd Peter 3000 referenced their for their what. We can faith deficient in knowledge and children experience they are not rooted and grounded in the truth if they remain thus the many delusions of the last days will surely deceive them they will have no spiritual eyesight to distinguish truth from error so what happens when we don't witness a long list of things that we probably can identify as problems in some of our churches right but let's turn it around the other way what happens when we do witness look at this list we gain discernment we appreciate the riches of heaven we grow in grace and knowledge of Christ were strengthened in our faith we gain spiritual knowledge we become more mature in experience we become rooted and grounded in truth we're protected from the delusions of the last days and we gain spiritual eyesight to distinguish truth from air but most of all we participate in the joy of Jesus what was it that was shown to Jesus just before he went to the cross that strengthened him he was shown a picture of those that would be saved as a result of what he was about to do so we share in the joy of Jesus and you will develop friendships lifetime friendships that will be closer and more enduring perhaps and more. More Precious and treasured than maybe you've ever experienced before. That's a pretty good list is not a pretty good incentive. So why are we as a church and I'm not identifying I'm not saying we here is an audience. Many of you may be giving Bible studies in fact let me see how many of you currently have an active Bible study with or not have been a Swede Yuri's your hand. Looks to be may be just shy of a half happens that's great praise the Lord. So for the rest of you the title of this talk is how to give a better Bible study if you could just be talked into giving a Bible study there and there you have it there is a better Bible study right. So why aren't we fulfilling the commission heeding the call well I think for a lot of people it's fear it's fear what are we afraid of well rejection that's not pleasant is it anyone here raise your hand if you like be rejected. There's not a hand no one likes rejection being made to look foolish as not very pleasant either ridicule. To what other people might think maybe you are afraid of short changing the cause of Christ are maybe the thinking is I don't really have anything to offer I'm not an expert Well we knew. You were really honest with ourselves and look at this list who are we focusing on. It selfishness to keeps us from from up to subpoenaing in winning souls for grace. So if we're afraid of things what is it that overcomes fear. Or is done for 18 there is no fear in love but perfect fear casts out love or casts out here because fear involves torment but he who fears has not been made perfect in love so what overcomes fear. Love for Jesus' love for the last training helps experience helps How do you gain experience. You go do it you gain experience. But there is something that the Savior did what was that that helps with fear. He said people to buy to my wife is fearless when it comes to beating new people so when we were at APCO getting our training and we would go out she was my partner and that worked out pretty good for me because I usually would let her do the spiritual into interest surveys for about the 1st hour and then finally get my nerve and then pretty soon I'm participating enjoying it but if any kind of a gap in time we passed by I'd kind of rely upon my wife she go up there and she do and then I finally gain the courage Christ knew that some of us are into her thoughts he says go out to buy to. 2 people that complement each other are always going to be stronger than a person by themselves they meant so if you're fearful find a partner what is commission you all know this but let me just read Matthew 28 in 1000 through 20 says Go therefore and do what. Make disciples of all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and while. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo I am with you always even to the end of the age now did he just tack on that or was that a special promise to those that are out trying to fulfill the Gospel commission if you are working for Jesus says I'm going to be with you. Now he's with all of his people right. So this is like just an extra frosting on the cake kind of promise I will as maybe I should add a word but I will especially be with you if you're going and teaching and baptising. If you're fulfilling the Gospel commission Jesus will be with you you have nothing to be afraid of so what were Jesus' metaphors about sharing. I will make you. Fishers of men and then what was the other metaphor farming right you talk a lot about harvest remember in John forward he says looked up your eyes and look at the fields for they are already white for way harvest Jesus is looking forward to the harvest Now if you think about those metaphors there is actually a lot we can learn in terms of giving Bible studies if you want to be a good fisherman What do you need to do you need to have some fishing equipment right. You need a knowledge of fish where you think without help and what about a strategy in technique sure sure they're all involved. When I was a kid my parents went to visit. An elder uncle that lived in Minot talk about Minnesota and the lake was right on one of his house my brother and I asked if we could go fishing and my uncle says yes there's a there's a rowboat down there by the dock that's mine you can feel free to use it at specie equipment right he said there's bamboo poles out in the garage that's fishing equipment right he said if you go out to the railroad tracks behind my house there you'll find a bunch of little tiny frogs just cut them in after put them on the hook they make great bait so. There you have some bait right OK so he gave us a strategy he equated this with the equipment we never had so much fun in our lives I mean the the hook would barely touch the water we'd have a fish the whole boat bottom of the boat was full of fish. I don't know when the talk of bass still like that but all right so let's think about fishing equipment a moment what is your fishing equipment what do you need. When you need some kind of Bible study right OK could be something you wrote yourself could be something you got from seminars unlimited or amazing facts or you know all the media ministries I think have a set of Bible studies OK So you know look through find something that's you know you have to fight your own armor so find something that fits well with you and your and your style in the way you want to do it. You can do topical Bible studies and you can do through magic you can concentrate on a book like The Book of John are you know even Genesis you can teach the whole Adventist message out of the Book of Genesis. You need a Bible now. I'm going to make some recommendations about a Bible. Don't go in there to your bible study with your Ellen G. White's a Bible. You'll have some things where people will tend to say well my Bible says this and what they're doing is looking at study notes and people have a hard time sometimes distinguishing between what's God's word and what's man's word so you don't want to compound it by having your own study bible with you so my recommendation is just take a plain jane Bible not a study bible. I would also recommend that you not use the N.I.V.. Now the N.I.V. is a great readable book I mean it's there it's so readable that it's become a favorite of many administers and I don't know not going to argue with anyone that that's their favorite Bible I have no problem with that but you'll find issues using it as a Bible study book. So my recommendation is to probably use a new King James version that's probably the one that you have all these problems with you you want another. Interesting Lee enough you'll have less problems with the N A S B than you'll have with the N.I.V.. And that's really a Catholic Bible but the N.I.V. evangelical think set comes through too often in some of your key texts and you'll you'll find submissions that now in terms of the person you're studying with let them study other own Bible that's much better don't try to persuade them don't even get involved in the issue of what kind of Bible. This is these are just recommendations for you. Know if you come across an unclear passage that they're reading from their bible then I often will say oh that's interesting that it that it says it that way let me read to you what it says from the New King James Version or whatever version I'm using and then I just reread it. Also I recommend The Chew actually use of physical Bible. And not the Bible on your phone or your computer and the reason why I say that is as you do your bible studies the repetition of going over those texts over and over with different people at different times you're going to cement into your mind where that that text is you're going to remember that a certain text is in the left side of your of your Bible about 2 thirds of the way down and you've got it highlighted your mind takes pictures of these things and it will help you to find things you have no kind of reference like that on your phone I use my phone to to you know when I'm in a Bible study often to find a text that I can't remember where it sat but I think it's good to read that's just my recommendation. I think having a projector is great if you have a Bible study. It really helps people it helps you to keep people on track it helps you keep people focused. A lot of times in a Bible study especially early on you'll have people want to go off on rabbit trails or have a chases and having a projector and screen will help you to regain. Kind of some directional. Maintain the direction in your Bible study but it's not necessary don't feel like if I don't have projector I can have a group Bible study. Says many times I've had a group in and I have my laptop in the corner of a table and there's people sitting all around the table. So you know none of these things need to be barriers to doing it but they're helpful if you have. If you have the resource available to. I do like to use a laptop even on a one on 11 to one Bible study because often when you read a text to somebody say well let's let's go to whatever you read in you share the text with. What people often say now what book or you were just saying and then they find the book what chapter was it what verses it and they get embarrassed by having to ask those questions over and over but if it's right on your screen and they can just look up at your screen when they need when they need that refresher it's easier for them or comfortable for them so I like to do it that way but again it's not necessary. We need a knowledge of fish right. I don't know if those of you that haven't. Been doing Bible studies recently realize this but let me tell you my experience very strongly is that people are hungry for a system of truth they are hungry. For an explanation Bible Prophecy one of the reactions to many churches after the great disappointment was just to give up on the study of prophecy and then what little there is out there there's all kinds of different definitions so so many people just think it's all a bunch of opinions and so when they see a system of truth that's based completely upon the Bible that makes sense to them that has a powerful appeal and people are hungry for that many Christians don't know really what they believe. Or why they believe that their ideas have been assembled kind of cafeteria style Well this is something my parents believed I've not found any reason to disbelieve it so yeah believe that and there's this preacher I really like any said this and that made sense to me and so yeah I believe this and a lot of times their beliefs don't align in any way with that actual of the they did nomination they happen to be a member of. So when people can see a system of truth that's all anchored upon the Bible that makes sense to them and one thing fits together with the other. Has a powerful. Appeal brothers and sisters and as a result of that they will compliment you perfuse slee those say you have so much knowledge. Don't accept those compliments because it's not you God has gifted us with extraordinary light. He's given us this light because he knew the world would be dark at this time and very confusing and a lot of people convinced like pilot was well who can really know what truth is. So what if fish like to eat where do they go into the where do they hide what are they attracted to what do they need we can apply all that stuff to learning about giving Bible studies and then. Do we fish from the shore or a boat what time of day to fish the type of bait the depth of the bait the setting the hook the let landing of the fish anyone can do it but there is a place for training and time to gain some experience the training experience helps you to refine your strategy and your techniques and makes you a better tool in the hands of God. What about farming. It was amazing to me how often this would come up in strategy planning at amazing packs because we all learn to ask the question well is this idea is this seed sowing or is this idea related to harvesting OK. Now if you go out and you're just passing out some literature door to door what would that be sowing. If somebody asked you a very specific question but in the way that they asked it you know you're not going to engage them in a whole topical series of Bible studies but you were able to get them involved in well let's see what the Bible has to say about that and you had a one on one Bible study with them what are you doing seed sowing right there's some Bible studies that that's your only objective sowing seed there's others that you know that well the fruit is ripe. And the objective is to lead them into the full life occur. So when sowing you're preparing the soil. You're sowing the seed the Holy Spirit waters the seed there's weeding and there's cultivating. And then with the harvest when do you harvest. When the fruit is why when it's right so there's this idea of bringing in the harvest and then when the harvest is in what still needs to happen you have to protect the harvest brothers and sisters it's my belief. That as a church we're pretty good about evangelism but maybe not so good about the idea of protecting the artist. I don't know how many of you have shared the experience that I've had where you work with somebody for a year and a half and they decide to completely embrace the truth and they're baptized and you come into potluck and they're sitting all by themselves in a corner. Maybe we're not so good about protecting our. Day We consider ourselves friendly but all we have to remember that those people left there are a whole social system behind. They're now in a completely new environment and what do they need more than anything else friendship. Studies bear that. Very strongly. All right so I I think I invented this word I don't know if you didn't maybe I saw it somewhere disciple ology What does that mean what's ology when you technology on the end of the word what does that mean the study of the study of making disciples disciple ology when you think the science of making disciples for Jesus so how did Jesus make disciples This is an oft quoted passage from the Ministry of healing Christ's method alone will give true success in reaching the people the Savior did what he made with men is one who desired their good he showed his sympathy for them he ministered to their needs and what won their confidence all leave then did he say why. There's a prescription for us to follow a man. Now think about how health evangelism. Follows this method right this is why it's commended to us as being our right arm for being able to propagate the jewels messages so it's a method that opens doors wins confidence shows people you're interested in you care about them. Jesus method alone he mingled he showed people he desired their good he showed sympathy he ministered to their needs he won their confidence and then he said follow me so what do you think would be a good plan for doing a Bible study based upon this method my thinking is you share the things that you're in agreement with with the person you're studying with in till you've won their confidence into you have a close friendship with them and then. You think that would be a good strategy. Indeed. Know what is our mission as a church. OK I agree with all that. So far I haven't heard the answer I'm looking for though. The 3 messages. We have a special mission to spread the messages now some of us our mouth might have gone dry at the mention of the 3 angels messages but perhaps that's because we think of it as a bunch of complicated doctrines What's the 1st part of the 1st angels message. The everlasting Gospel That's right it's all about righteousness by faith and it's the 1st part of the 1st message for a good reason because until somebody understands that there's no point in while. Doing it you go you know that's right Sister That's right there's no point. The everlasting Gospel the 3 angels messages are all about righteousness by faith now. None of us like to fail right so what I did is I made a list of everything I could think of that. Has caused failure to me in the past or that I saw cause of failure in other people. One would be going for the head what I mean by that because later on I'm going to say you should appeal to the intelligence of your listeners it sounds like a complex. So why do I say going for the head. Because in my experience in the past many times I thought the admin is system of truth is so beautiful. That if they only saw it they couldn't help but believe. What's the fallacy I was focused on. Communicating truth and that so much on pursed developing the relationship. That's right. That's right going to the hat's what I mean by going to the head I want to be right arguing now if you argue who's in charge. How does fail the being a tool for the whole the spirit if I'm caught up in an argument right you will accomplish nothing with arguing don't do it. I want to make somebody into somebody like me. Ever seen that happen. In Action lack of follow through not taking it seriously and one of the things I'm going to recommend is do not cancel on your bible studies plan your personal schedule around that appointment you made a commitment to that person do not cancel. Unless it's your funeral. Do not cancel they'll cancel often enough. Lack of prayer. Like appropriation boy I seen this one. Coming up on something that I know. I have to say so I feel like I need to say something this week to this person what should I be doing all that week before that Bible study I should be in prayer I should be soliciting the prayers of other people I meant pray pray pray pray you can't pray for that person enough too much too soon. When I was of Africa. We would. Before going out to buy 2 and finding Bible study leads and then starting Bible studies then we would come back afterwards and we'd share our experiences and what a joy it is to hear other people's faith sharing experiences hearing how people have come to Christ or how they've embraced something new or whatever it is it's thrilling to hear but I remember in one of the one of those. Testimony kind of things we did there were a group of young guys and they came back and they said yeah we did a 5 hour Bible study we went through this and this and this and this and this How long do you think that Bible study lasted. Very long too much too soon is an issue and we'll come back to that later. A plan of Christ's teaching should be ours he was plain and simple striking directly at the root of the matter in the minds of all we're met. Page $376.00 so disciple ology since the 1st thing we need to do is what. Is we in hearts then maybe it would be helpful for us to spend a little time thinking about how to do that 1st thing I agree with people whenever you can sometimes there's a temptation when people say things to feel a need to correct it but that doesn't follow this mantra of agreeing with people whenever you can. Maybe the Rapture will happen soon. Well. You know here's what the Bible has to say about that no I agree with people in whatever way you can and you know naturally it's the great Christian hope Christ's return we're all looking forward to that isn't that one won't won't that be a wonderful day if you have that belief in common with them right share what you have in common with them early on don't disagree because that tends to be disagreeable I'm so thankful that mom is in heaven now what can you say about that I'm so thankful mom is in heaven now it's the great Christian hope to meet our loved ones again in the presence of Jesus right there's lots of things we can say that that puts us more in agreement with them than into disagreement with them right OK don't win debates. When what friends. Evangelism 141 agree with the people on every point where you can consistently do so let them see that you love their souls and want to be in harmony with them as far as possible give approval whenever you can to Jesus to that. He did. So giving approval is following Jesus method what she has done will be told in memory of her Jesus said All Woman great is your faith Jesus said you could say you ask great questions I love how deep and considerate you are there's all kinds of things that you can say but of course be sincere. People have a pretty good sniffer for detecting insincerity OK. Your success will not depend so much upon your knowledge and accomplishments as upon your ability to what. Find your way to the heart and then thirdly in terms of winning through friendship except people where they are to Jesus accept the woman caught in adultery he did what about the few people on the cross. What about the woman who touched the hem of his garment. What about your own experience remember except in this does not equal approval OK you can accept someone where they are even though you may not approve of something in their lifestyle. Ask yourself Will my behavior when there are hearts in love so that they will be more likely to accept Christ as their personal savior. Jesus accept us where we are can we not accept anyone that he died for in the same way he accepts us and when you start a new Bible study. What is the 1st unwritten dynamic that's going on between you and that person that you're getting acquainted with what are they assessing in you they're assessing can I trust this person does this person truly love me to they accept me will they be critical and Judge Mental of me they want to feel safe OK your job in the beginning is to do that is to build that trust that's part of that idea of winning their confidence are you trying to turn them into you. And remember the goal isn't necessarily to move everyone to the end of the scale think of people as somewhere on a can to a spiritual scale of 0 spiritual interest to maybe a 10 if somebody that you me is added to maybe your goal is simply to move them to 3 or 4 if you meet somebody in there maybe it is 7 your goal might be to take them to a 10 K. depends on where people are all right. So if somebody is a baby what do you feed babies. That's right I just pause because I wanted us to let that sink in a little bit. Because often there is a distance between here and here or between here and what we actually do OK so we all know where that makes sense if somebody is a baby Christian you don't feed them adult Christian prude right you feed them baby food. Meet them where they are just try to move them to a higher point on the spiritual scale that might be your only objective with them right it might simply be seed sowing you know looking for a harvest with that person perhaps. Babies need milk you remember this it's important what we say how we say it and when we say OK there's 3 common errors in that respect we can say the right word in the right way at the wrong time the right word in the wrong way at the right time or the wrong word of the right way or the right time and I had to read that or I would have been thoroughly comperes. So it's important what we say. How we say it what we're saying between the lines and when we say. So we establish a common bond with the other person by showing concern for them. Now can you still concern for them by never allowing them to talk. All right you look at the person as a human being not as you're witnessing project. Right. And then you discover the other person's interests. Now you can do that this is why I like to do Bible studies in the other person's home because if you look around their home you're going to find a lot about that person and what their interests are just by looking around at what's on the walls and what's in their bookshelf and and so forth. So the next part of disciple ology is teaching them to observe all things now and to talk a little bit about I'm sorry. OK I want to talk a little bit about the type of Bible studies now you know to drop out bible study is. This is where you can get somebody to invite you into their home Ari they won't come into your home. But yet they seem a little bit open so you you know you kind of do the best thing you can and you drop off a Bible study now I've done I'm guessing hundreds. Maybe thousands I've done lots of drop off Bible studies and never see the fruit from it granted it's seed sowing. And I pray for those seeds the Holy Spirit will water him but I never see the results but from a sit down bible study there's a percentage of the time that's very predictable that person's going to go all the way and they're going to be baptized and you're going to be sitting next to them and you're going to help them learn how to do bible study with somebody else OK sit down bible studies are far more powerful but why why does a drop of Bible study not produce much fruit. You guys got it it's the relationship that's missing So if you're doing a drop down drop out Bible study what your goal is is to try to get acquainted with that person OK. Maybe you say hey this next lesson is really exciting I love this next lesson can we do it together OK And then you watch the video together or whatever OK drop off Bible studies they can be written video. At one point I thought I need to ramp up these effectiveness of drop off Bible studies and I was doing drop off you know written ones and I thought I'm going to make copies of millennium or prophecy I had a copy you up there was Zeus and I was handing those things out of the this is going to change it all it did. Sit down bible studies has obviously when I recommend groups or groups are pretty cool because the time that you spend might you might have a limited amount of time to spend doing Bible studies and doesn't it make sense to leverage that time by saying well when I rather study use that time with one person or with 5 people. Just has a natural peel right but I understand there are some particular dynamics that you need to be aware of with with the demonstrate the 2. In a one on one sit down bible study it's a lot easier for you to figure out when somebody is convicted over something it's a lot easier for you to figure out when they're understanding when they're not understand it's a lot easier for you to figure out this whole pressure release tactic OK. All these things are much easier in the debt in the dynamic of a one to one Bible study and here's another thing. And a $1.00 to $1.00. Maybe every 3 or 4 text the person just can't find the text takes a long time. But one on one you multiply that times the number of texts going through in a Bible study maybe you've added a few minutes but when you've got a group you've got 5 people and each of those 5 every 3rd tax they have a hard time finding it. Her a lot longer spiral studies so you either need to take more time form or you need to reduce the number of texts or you need to put some of the text on the screen or whatever and by the way I like people to look up their or the text in their own Bible and read it in the Bible study to me that's more powerful. But in a group Bible study often I resort to putting the text on a slide I have the person still read it but it's on the slide it saves a whole lot of time when you're waiting for 5 people to look up something as opposed to one person look at something and if you get to bigger groups like 10 forget it you gotta have almost every text on screen. So those are some tips for sit down versus group but there's also some beautiful dynamics in the group experience as well sometimes people in the group maybe it's somebody that you are having out there you're struggling a little a little bit with really sinking with that person but they just jog with somebody that's sitting next to them in the group and so they help each other through the process because it's the relationships that help people through difficult difficulties in the Bible study and then there can be the seminar style Bible study and some of you have conducted seminars now in terms of type of sit down studies it can be a video fill in the blank written type thing. A Bible marking. I like to do powerpoint I like to do a question and answer thing we ask a question and then you display a text Well this is where we'll find the answer to this question in let's go to the text and you talk about a little bit explain it go to the next question and I think it's really powerful answering difficult questions. Well one way to handle that is well what do you think about that. Very often what I found. Early on I thought always had to answer every question. But what I've what I found is that often the person knows the answer maybe they're not sure of it or maybe they're testing your or whatever but it often works really well to just say well what do you think is the answer to that I think that's a pretty powerful response. Sometimes people ask you questions that and you just you just don't want to get into right now it may be the 1st time you've studied with somebody and they're asking you about tongues or the rapture or who's the any Christ or whatever and you know what how do you deal with that well $11.00 thing that I usually do is I say you know there's a study coming up on that is it OK if we wait till we come to that study and most of the time people accept that now occasionally someone doesn't there was a Mrs G. I studied with and she had one thing on her mind she wanted to know about the Sabbath and you know what we've got to study on that let's do these other studies 1st and she only stated twice she dropped out because I was listening she was determined that's what she wanted to start a study with because I didn't do it last the study. The different strain what. If I say well we've got a study coming up on that and they say OK that's great well then you you know you can bypass it for now but boy market down and make sure you do come back to. That's a good question all right avoiding common mistakes arguing. Again who's in control when you're arguing. Before the Bible study what did you plead for that you would be a tool of the Holy Spirit right in the minute you are arguing you're no longer that tool Are you don't argue you can accomplish anything by the way how powerful are your words anyway. They are not at all powerful Where is the power come from in the Bible study it's God's words it's God's words they're watered by the Holy Spirit by the way the power is in the Word of God It's already there he doesn't have to add anything to his words they're there already it's the power is already in the promises of God OK. Thinking you need a answer every question I used to raise my hand after all the time and I'd say Now Gary what if somebody asked me this and he laughed Steve people want to ask you that well turned out he was right you know you don't have to know every single thing before you give a Bible study most people are going to ask you if they do ask a question you don't know you say you know I don't know that and I certainly will study into that and I'll try to have an answer when when we study next time people are very open to that and then they know why you didn't come off like you're the some big expert anyway your friends you're sharing OK. Too many texts and. How many of you are analytics here. There are a few people that will admit to it all right you will tend to put too many techs and your bible studies OK you don't need every single text there is on a given subject. Communicating on things only known in the Spirit of Prophecy doing a a group Bible study with some some people that were. Not yet part of the church and but I've gone through bible studies and I happened to say something about a wing snake in the Garden of Eden and Larry C. came up afterwards I'm just I'm not identifying people by name because I guess this is being recorded and I don't have their permission username so Larry C. came up after Z. says Where in the Bible does it say the snake was weighed. I says I says Larry you know I'm going to have to look better up and I'll get back with you unfortunately I found it tax the snake it implied the snake had wings to my knowledge there's no text that just makes it you know black and white the snake had wings that's something we know because the spirit prophecy tells OK So be careful about that cancelling. How often are you allowed to cancel. Please don't cancel you'll lose a Bible study you will lose Satan is looking for every opportunity to head this thing off and you just gave them one by canceling a Bible study try your best to never cancel and that's really difficult when you're in a Bible study crosses over the holidays OK because between Thanksgiving and New Years there are so many things going on there's so many obstacles. But try not to to cancel if you can all avoid it getting into controversial subjects too early. Before that person trust you you want to avoid like the plague anything that's going to be a test for them OK. Until they trust you. Until they have come to understand that nothing you say hangs on one text in fact I make a practice if we read something and somebody says you know I don't really see that in the text. Well let's see if we can find that same idea somewhere else and him just go to another text don't argue with somebody about whether something's in a text or not OK and after a while they'll quit challenging you because and when they do then you realize they trust you OK they trust this process that you're building foundations and understanding of truth systematically and everything is built upon the. Nothing is personal and opinion nothing is outside of Bible inspiration. Don't argue about a proof text I just said that if they don't agree with the texts go to another one. Don't get ahead of your studies now when you 1st start out you may not understand why certain things are given and certain in certain order but after you've done a profile you realize well this study is building a foundation for this study and this study is building a foundation for this study and this study is building a foundation for this study so if you're jumping ahead and trying to answer somebody question they'll do they have the foundations for them to even understand that yet they do not so don't don't get ahead of yourself if you can avoid it truth is progressive don't give materials for future lessons. I have a. Series of Bible studies that I did in collaboration with another pastor of my wife it's called keys of the kingdom it's danger in Revelation but it's a kind of a unique way of doing Daniel revelation. We we take a key from from every chapter and use that and we're building a very every every lesson has a like a personal application. I've got why I started that oh good materials for future lessons every lesson has a written lesson and I give the lesson. The written lesson for the study that we just did at the end of that study don't give the head somebody had to hand it. That's my recommendation. Yeah but the problem is when they get to some testing truth then you're not there to help them through the process there's a dissonance that's created in people's mind when they come up to some information that they can't relate to what else they know OK And it's the friendship that helps get them through the process if you're not there and they're reading something that becomes a test for them that's going to be an issue I recommend against it. Well if it if it's not create a problem for you you have to fight your own armor is just my my recommendations. Don't give material for future lessons don't give full message books too early Ok wait until you've already covered the subjects that are in that book before you give the book. Avoiding common mistakes be positive without being pushy don't waste time with someone who is trying to convert you to their religion or just wants to argue. I used to participate in prison ministry. Outside of Eldorado Kansas and. What I found pretty quickly is the prisoners they'll go to any Bible study because they don't have anything else to do and they really study their Bibles and their are very knowledgeable but. For some of them has nothing to do with a love for Christ has everything to do with them just feeling good about getting into some intellectual ism kind of thing and so kind of discouraged me against that kind of minister I know that's a powerful ministry and there's many people one through his prison ministries but my experience was a good. Because I had a lot of people that just simply wanted to argue. Don't stay too long now with you extroverts this will be where you'll be challenge. Because you will be enjoying the Bible study you're enjoying the friendship and you want to you want to make a day out of it. And the people will encourage it because they're enjoying you too but guess what will happen the next time that they have to set aside some time for the study they're going to say I don't have 3 hours. And they'll cancel. OK So even though you will be naturally inclined to have one Bible studies my recommendation don't do it. When that hours up you leave. Be on time Leave on time that's my strong recommendation. Don't underestimate the time it takes to learn something be patient implanter repeat over and over oh boy I've been slow in learning this one. I can't tell you how many times I've been tempted to think we already started that what are they asking this question for. In fact we study the 3 times we do not underestimate the difficulty in an learning something so that you can absorb something new it takes time it takes repetition what I've found some people really need to hear the full message 3 times before they really understand some people more who had. The positive without being pushy about it did that somehow I went backwards. Call each Bible study. This was a challenge to me because as I was participating in the writing of the keys to it came to mind Dan you won't know what's what's the commitment there while there is one if you think hard and fast you can come up with something they can commit to giving your heart to Jesus can they commit to that do they know Jesus well enough to give their hard whatever you can think of all kinds of things for every single lesson doesn't have to be commitment to are you going to start keeping the Sabbath I'm not talking about that comes maybe later but there's lots of other kinds of commitments you can ask people for you should have a commitment for every lesson because otherwise when you do come to something that's a testing truth and you ask for a commitment that well that's out of the norm you never asked me that before but if they're used to you asking a commitment every single lesson then that's not going to seem abnormal. Every single lesson. Asked for some kind of a decision to be made pressure avoiding common mistakes pressure what do you mean by that So I mean you should never put anybody under any kind of pressure it does not mean that but. There is a tactic of pressure and release pressure and release knowing how much pressure when they when not to pressure them in and what it is that you're saying that could be pressure OK. If your constant putting pressure on somebody that's not friendship evangelism is not going to work for most people. All right here's a difficult one. Knowing when to quit now what do what I mean I don't mean quit an individual study but I mean quit doing a Bible study with a person how do you know when to do that. I don't know when to do that. I've struggled with that David L. I thought was a big waste of my time because he was way out away from all this is what I was working on as a bible worker and I had 30 to 32 Bible studies a week and David L. lived way up north of Wichita and took me a long time to get there in then he was constantly falling asleep he got to where we would go and walk down the road with the with our Bibles doing the Bible study with my thinking well I can't fall asleep I was walking. This guy was so frustrating and then he was. Somewhat disabled in he didn't he wasn't employed during the day and so he was studying with everybody that would study with him and he would get confused as to who is teaching what he'd say well you told me that none of that was in me. And I just thought I'm just wasting my time and I put it to prayer and I was praying to God. Help me to figure out what to do with the study I think I should cancel it God had other plans. God inspired me to challenge David to to ask him David I want you to commit to studying only with me and cancel all your other Bible studies that's my request that you give that some thought and suppress or came back to the next study says I cancel all my other Bible studies. That was a God thing. It was a year after that the David was baptized. Later on his wife was baptized. And I was talking to David it turned to one day and he says yes is. There is this good friend of mine Larry C. he wrote he has he's the he's the the sea air conditioning business here in Wichita I mean this guy is influential and wealthy knows everybody and so I gave him the 27 fundamental doctrines book. Ah. It's not the book I would have chosen but. By letter you see and his wife and 2 daughters were baptized Larry see when he was really active with giving Bible studies he was given Bible studies to his employees many of whom were baptized he started a ministry there and in I guess some identifying who he is by just saying where he's at everything but he started a ministry outside of Wichita with it was like a a center where people who were burned out could come to kind of get rejuvenating. And I'm thinking God I'm glad you knew the future because I didn't I was going to cancel on David. So how to know when to cancel. I would pray about it. Because many times after that because that's when I decide I will never cancel Bible study but when I felt that they were a waste of time I would pray God bring this Bible study to an end of this is a waste of my time and dislike that every time God would cause something to happen Bible study be off the table by just let God take care of it that's my recommendation. We're not wise enough to know these things here's another recommendation. Do not answer questions except from the Bible. Your awareness has no power and if you if you have a habit of just answering their questions they're going to think it's all just opinion anyway what better or how better is your opinion than someone else's So every time that they ask a question you go to the Bible and you answer their question out of the Bible. I can't recommend that more strongly. So some Be sure to do's you talked about some BE SURE TO DO NOT Here's some Be sure to do in the beginning you're just building trust so keep that in mind work on building trust and remember it's not what you say that's important what's important is only what God said. Another thing is look for conviction sometimes we fail to close the sale because we don't realize when somebody is ready. Ok course the converse is true as well. How do you know when somebody is convicted. I was studying with a young fellow that was doing engineering studies there in Wichita and he was from India and well I guess if he's Indian he's from India that's redundant anyway. We're doing these studies and he's like eating them up and it's like it was fun to study with him because he was. Expressing of this joy in learning these things we came to the Sabbath and all of a sudden his whole demeanor changed man he is speeding about and he's moving around in his chair he doesn't say a word this expression is changed what was seen there. He'd already been convicted on the Sabbath before we ever started our study. So learn to recognize and in remember to look for conviction review the last lesson at the beginning of each lesson I like to take a few minutes and review what we discussed last time maybe stressing the key points to see if they remember anything about it. And if they if they can remember or if they're confused don't hesitate to go back and redo that lesson OK Remember it takes a lot on learn it takes a lot to learn something new you. Develop a technique for staying on track. I find the powerpoint helps with that. At one point when I was teaching a new believers class I actually had a picture that I made of some train tracks. And when people would start going up and going off track I would reach over and grab that picture out Hold the picture up. So you doesn't matter you know you get quite your own armor but find some technique some strategy that will help to get things back on track. I use the term rabbit trail and after people started would be for awhile they'll realize well what I'm saying is well that's kind of off subject let's get back on track. Begin in down time appealed to the intelligence of the listener make practical applications in each lesson remember to define your terms. This is really important because most terms we use sane has very successfully redefined in the minds of a lot of people. Think about one of the most prominent terms there is within Christianity and that would be the word love. Now what does love mean it doesn't mean the same thing every person to some people is to another word that we would call indulgence to some people indulgence is love now to a person that has that's their new definition of love if you start speaking of God's justice can they reconcile love and justice together if that's how they're defining love. They cannot. Don't underestimate how strongly important this is for you to spend enough time with people that the words that you're commonly using you realize you're on the same page about what this word means it's astonishing how many people don't you can't define gospel it's astonishing how many different interpretations are Arkell what righteousness by faith means or what baptism me. Or what tongues mean we think we know when somebody brings up the word tongues we think we know what they're talking about by palm out it can mean different things to different people so. Slow down and be sure that we use a word. That the other person is understanding the way you're using the word remember to define your terms make assignments with each lesson I want to Simon I make a lot especially when I'm studying with young people is. To learn the books of the Bible in order now I do I make that assignment. It makes the Bible study go a lot smoother that's one reason but they're going to benefit from it as well and they're really proud when they you know when they feel like they've really accomplished something when they when they can do that. I think that's a pretty good assignment another assignment is to read the written lesson that you just gave them if it's your practice to give in the lessons. That you just did so don't be afraid of making assignments emphasized the literal interpretation. Sometimes we have a tendency to want to look at the original language and extract some additional meaning. And there's no question that often we can find deeper meanings by original language study but in this Bible study you don't need that. OK you're usually not getting that deep with people so seldom there's occasionally there's occasions where you have to get to the original language like upon this rock I built my church you know there's there's times when you need to use the original language but it should be. Not very often when the plain sense of scripture makes common sense see no other sense therefore take every word at its primary literal meaning said David Cooper in 1950. In the great controversy it says Similarly the language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning unless a similar figures employ the Bible says and Isaiah 2820 verse 10 Switching gears a little bit. About this idea of truth as progressive What does it say there precept. Must be upon precept. And just in case you didn't get it the 1st time it says it again precept upon precept line upon line in case you still don't understand it says it again and line upon line here there a little what is that saying truth is what is progressive. OK. People are going to learn it all once. You patient go slow infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself and therefore when there is a question about the true and false sense of any scripture it must be searched and known by other places in Scripture that speak more plainly. What's a good lesson we can learn from another faith in men but is something we can apply toward our Bible studies OK again if somebody doesn't see something in a particular text go to another text OK if somebody has a question in one text somewhere find the answer within the Bible do you know the answer so your temptation is going to be to try to explain it to him but again your words have no power the power is in the Word of God or he'll use you he will empower the words that he's instructing you to give but just don't be off on your own. Scripture interpretation this is something a kind of a promise or or an idea I like to explore with people if you're looking down imagine this diet as being a fence post OK and that fence post that's kind of like a nugget of truth we're searching for nuggets of truth now if I look at that 2nd da do I know where the fence line is now with 2 dogs might be tempted to think so but I look at 3rd one and then move. It Away at the corner of a fence line what's the deal what's going on here but when I look at it. In a ray of texts what I find is the Bible will agree with itself it has to it's the Word of God right. And so if I find what the Bible says and then go back and study that original text guess what it actually is in line with the others I just initially didn't see it. And people really get that idea it really helps you with your Bible study. And. 4 minutes to 11 and says have a conclusion. But I think the slide is going to take 4 minutes so. Teaching without a conclusion is like what. It's like fishing without a hook. The fisherman may have the best lowered equipment be a skilled fisherman maybe spend $30000.00 on his boat but if he doesn't have a hook. You can't catch fish if teaching is for decisions then the conclusion should be designed to have pupils make a decision all right where you think. I'm going to forge ahead how to qualify people for bible studies. And the subtitle was be fruit inspectors. What. Matthew 7 verse one say. Judge not the cheapy not judge that's correct OK So we think at chapters about not judging right while the chapter goes on and it says this in Matthew 7 or $1617.00 you will know them by their fruits judge not you will know them by their fruits what's what's is talking about the chapters about judging the 1st verse is saying don't condemn people. OK. You we can judge behavior we know what's right in what's wrong if somebody is behaving in a certain way we can identify whether that's consistent with the Bible teachings or what a Christian should be doing or not doing we can judge that right but we should never condemn somebody right it starts out this just this chapter and judging by saying don't condemn people but you will know them by their fruits right can you be food inspectors can you look at a piece of fruit and tell whether it's right or whether it's Agree remember one of the. Didn't. One of the approximations Jesus made for small winning was that of being a farmer a gardener anybody you're a gardener All right several is an Important to know when something is right. Harvesting is kind of depend upon that is not all right so we should be able to tell when we're dealing with right crew versus Green. I here's some examples of what might be right per person manifests an earnest desire to seek and find Bible truth they accept their bible studies and they complete their courses and their assignments. Maybe they're lonely or unhappy or dissatisfied with their lives. Maybe they visit or attend your church regularly they speak favorably perhaps of your church and its services and they accept major doctrines and make positive decision what kind of food you're dealing with green fruit All right. That's right OK they display signs that they're under conviction they may be dissatisfied with their own church they maybe they don't even belong to a church where they're backsliders they have evidence to change in lifestyle as they learn turf and they demonstrate a desire to share with others what they've learned that's a real powerful indicator right there of bright What are green for how to identify that well they might just talk to sparingly about your church maybe they're refusing some of the bible studies or refusing them altogether they don't accept clear teachings of the scripture maybe they're deeply involved or strongly committed to their own church and they won't make commitments a kind of proof. You have a different objective with working with green proved them with rape or indeed you should. Close with this idea a priest seminar Bible studies. Sometimes you might be working in cooperation with an upcoming evangelistic series now I like to look at it evangelistic series as a seed sowing or a reaping event which as a reaping event so my Bible studies then would be what seed sowing All right good. If I'm just sowing sea then I treat it a little bit differently than I do a normal Bible study. I make sure I don't do any testing truce before the seminar I make sure I time the starting of the bible studies so that only a certain number of studies are done because if you go way too long they're going to just want to continue the Bible study continue the relationship with you and then they're not going to come to the seminar OK so if the objective is to start a Bible study plant some seeds invite the person to come of the seminar then there's a will there's a little bit of a strategy that you do for that so you start 9 to 12 weeks before the series you know for objectives when their friendship and confidence lead them to Christ lay a foundation for testing truths and get them to the seminar and go with them sit beside. Leverage that friendship. Leveraging friends that's a poor choice of words right now to sound like you have an objective or even have being a friend. Don't cover testing truths your goal is to get them to the meeting and then let me close by reading this from testimonies Volume 9 page 126 in the visions of the night representations passed before me of a great reformatory movement among God's people hundreds and thousands were seen visiting family and opening before them the Word of God The world seemed to be lightened with a heavenly influence. What's called a prayer Father in heaven we pray that whatever you design for each of us to learn here this morning that those things would come home to us and that we would be able to implement them. We pray that we would be inspired by your plan for using our circle of influence to further the cause of Christ and this is her per Jesus name that throughout this day you would bless us and inspire us in. 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