After preparing the soil of the heart with friendship and service and creating interest by planting the seed of God’s Word, the next phase in the disciple-making process is to CULTIVATE the growing spiritual interest. This is the longest and most labor-intensive part of disciple-making process and is best accomplished by engaging in ongoing personal Bible studies:
“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (2 Corinthians 9:6).
Local Church Goal – Vibrant Bible Study Ministry
To ensure that spiritual interest is being cultivated in preparation for a bountiful harvest, a Vibrant Bible Study Ministry should be at the heart of every local church’s evangelistic activities. Vibrant means more than the pastor, Bible worker, and a few eloquent church members giving Bible studies. It means involving every member in some way. EVERY LOCAL CHURCH is a Bible school.
Here are 7 Keys to a Vibrant Bible Study Ministry:
- ELECT a Bible school coordinator to oversee the Bible study ministry.
- CHOOSE a Bible study plan or lessons/videos for members to use in giving Bible studies.
- TRAIN every member to be involved in some way—offering, advertising, hosting, giving, and/or inviting to Bible studies.
- GENERATE Bible study interests using every means possible (ask people you know, ask door-to-door, offer at events, advertise using tracts, advertise on Internet or social media, mail offer, etc.).
- RECORD and TRACK Bible study interests.
- PROVIDE leadership support—promotion, financial support, and participation.
- PRAY for laborers and for the salvation of souls through the Bible study ministry.
“Let ministers teach church members that in order to grow in spirituality, they must carry the burden that the Lord has laid upon them,—the burden of leading souls into the truth” (Christian Service, p. 69).
“There are those in the world who are reading the Scriptures, but who cannot understand their import. The men and women who have a knowledge of God are needed to explain the word to these souls” (Christian Service, p. 142).
“The plan of holding Bible readings [studies] was a heaven-born idea” (Christian Service, p. 141).
“The more one tries to explain the Word of God to others, with a love for souls, the plainer it becomes to himself.” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 354).
“In visions of the night, representations passed before me or a great reformatory movement among God’s people. . . . Hundreds and thousands were seen visiting families and opening before them the word of God.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, p. 196)
Giving Personal Bible Studies
This booklet shares practical methods and tips for Bible studies with others.
Cultivating Spiritual Interest, Part 1
What do I do if someone expresses spiritual interest?
Cultivating Spiritual Interest, Part 2
What can a local church do to develop spiritual interests in its community?