Matthew 28:18-20: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
As we go out into the world and make disciples of all nations, we need to be as effective as we can to win souls for the Lord!
If we are not effective, then people are not going to want to become disciples. If a car dealer is trying to sell a car, he needs to be very effective in terms of the dealings, prices, etc. He must do this in order to get the customers to buy their car from him. We must do the same things in our Bible Studies with people.
Point 1: Take the plank out of your eye first.
Matthew 7:3-5: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
When studying with people, we are going to be challenging them on their convictions and way of life.
When we challenge them on something that we ourselves are not even doing, we become hypocrites and the person we study with is less likely to want to become a Christian.
For example, in the Seeking God study we challenge someone to start reading their Bible every day, but sometimes we ourselves struggle to have a consistent quiet time! It would make no sense to challenge someone else to do what we are not doing as we would just look like the rest of the religious world.
As God’s chosen people, we need to be separate from the world.
Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Through the studies we can’t hide our hypocrisy; eventually the people we study with will start to see it.
Luke 8:16-17: “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
The light of God will reveal everyone and everything they have done.
We need to take care of our planks now before it’s too late!
Have you taken the plank out of your own eye?
If not, how are your quiet times?
We can’t study the Bible with people effectively if we can’t even study the Bible effectively with ourselves.
No one is going to want to join a gym when they see that the trainers there are overweight themselves.
Are you spiritually overweight?
Point 2: Preach effectively and with DEEP CONVICTION!
Acts 14:1: “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.”
For Paul and Barnabas, the success was refreshing, because they had just been kicked out of Pisidian Antioch, after much success there.
Effective teaching produces a godly sorrow.
1 Thessalonians 1:5-6: “Because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.”
We need to preach with deep conviction to produce deep convictions in the people we are studying with.
Wrong Convictions produce sin: Achan (stole gold at Jericho), Ananias and Sapphira (wanted the blessing of recognition without sacrifice and lied to the Holy Spirit)
Weak Convictions produce quitting and fallaways: Judas, Pilate, Demas.. Preachers quit because of weak conviction. Disciples fall away because of weak conviction.
Strong Convictions produce character and conviction in others.
Joseph preferred purity over popularity. His conviction cost him his coat but not his character (Genesis 50:20)
Daniel wouldn’t defile himself! (Daniel 1:8)
Joshua: “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, but as for ME and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
John the Baptist, before Herod, stood for the convictions that marked his ministry: “It is not lawful to have your brother’s wife.” (Matthew 14:4) It also marked him for death!
Simon Peter: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
Do you teach with deep conviction? Why not?
Remember preach with conviction, not performance hype. Believe what you say, don’t perform what you say!
Jeremiah preached for 40 years with no converts. Why? He had deep conviction!
Practice doesn’t make perfect. PRACTICE MAKES PERMANENT!
If you preach with deep conviction, people will receive it with deep conviction.
Point 3. Build a friendship that will last a lifetime
Philippians 2:1-4: “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
If there is one thing people are looking for in the world, it is true friendships.
Without God in people’s lives there is a hole in their heart, and they often try to fill it with the love and affection from other people.
Of course, as disciples we know that the world only produces this false image of love, but in the Kingdom of God we can all find true love that comes from God.
It is a fact that many people start coming out to church and other meetings of the body for the sole purpose of wanting friendships and a feeling of being “wanted.”
That is what attracted me to the Church: the disciple’s love for one another.
When we are trying to convert people, we have to love them always and seek out their interests and not just our own.
That means outside of the studies we need to spend time with the person we are studying with by doing something with them that they like to do (video games, basketball, movie nights etc.).
This is very important because we have to be close them by the time you reach the more intense and personal studies such as L&D and the Cross.
We need to be “like-minded” with them and be “one in spirit and of one mind.”
How have you been building friendships with the people you have been studying with?
John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love on another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The world needs to see by our love that we are true sold out disciples for Jesus Christ. Jesus says this is a new command because the old command was just “love your neighbor as yourself.” Now it’s love everybody!
How has your love toward non-Christians been? Do you have compassion on them? It is only by this love that our friends who are studying the Bible will not only be our friends here on earth, but also in heaven!
Point 4: Equip yourself
Hebrews 5:11-6:3: “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.”
We need to know the elementary truths of God’s word!
Praise God we have the awesome First Principle studies that allow us to break down these elementary teachings from the Bible.
Of course, in order to study the Bible with someone (with a study derived from the First Principle studies) we must know them and learn them.
If you are a young Christian, start studying out the First Principles so that you can start to fully equip yourself with God’s Word.
If you are an older Christian, be fully equipped with the elementary teachings and move on to the solid food which is meant for the spiritually mature.
As good practical way to get familiar in leading the studies is to start listening to how other people lead the First Principle studies. This will help you understand what style best fits you in leading a study.. As people, each and every one of us has our own style to how we do things, including studying the Bible with people. Of course, you obviously don’t have to imitate someone completely. At the end of the day just let the Bible speak for itself because the Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12-13)
1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Why do we need to do an effective job at studying the Bible with people?
So that we can give an answer to the world why we do what we do as disciples. We need to show people why we get up early in the morning to pray and read our Bible, and why we go on campus and share our faith with people in over-100 degree (F) weather! It is these standards and convictions that blow people away, especially when combined with our knowledge of the Scriptures.
People learn more from studying the Bible through the First Principles series in a month than spending 20 years of their life in the religious world. This helps people come to Christ and join us in our hope for eternal life in heaven!
Below are some other good practicals in studying the Bible effectively with people:
- Spend an hour just asking tons of questions and getting to know them. Believe it or not, knowing a person’s musical taste, sporting team, environment they grew up in, etc., will sometimes tell you just as much as a Light and Darkness study.
- Have the study in a quiet place, an undistracted environment with good lights. Always bring a notebook and pencil. Bringing an additional Bible is wise.
- Have other Christians in the study. Coach them beforehand. Disciple uncommitted disciples through the study. If someone is always canceling on the person studying.. disciple them. Also disciple pontificators.
- Don’t be afraid to challenge the people studying the Bible through the Scriptures. If you are afraid, people will sense it and respond with insecurity.
- Have daily communication with the person you are studying with.
- Get them their own Bible.
- Pray together.
- Buy them lunch.
- Bring them to special Kingdom events.
- Take nice clean notes during the study.
- If they are a student, help them out with their studies.