by Jim Howard
So why did this new method of sharing the Bible generate such excitement in the young Adventist Church? The answer can be found in an advertisement for a Bible study training session published in the Signs of the Times on October 18, 1883.
“Not only young men and women are wanted, but men of mature years; even if their heads are sprinkled with gray hairs, they are none too old to visit families and tell what God has done for them, and read the Scriptures.”
Notice who was being recruited to give Bible studies: old, young, men, women – anyone who could tell what God had done for them, and read the Scriptures. Here was the genius, the “heaven-born” wisdom, of the Bible study method. Here was the secret to the excitement it generated in the church! No longer was the church dependent upon the traditional preaching of the ministers to spread the truth. Bible studies would present the truth in a way that was simple, personal, and powerful. Here was a method specially designed by God that would empower thousands of laypeople and be an important means of finishing the work.
You don’t have to be a scholar, have a good memory, have long experience, or be eloquent in speaking in order to give an effective Bible study. So what are you waiting for? Join the hundreds and thousands of other Seventh-day Adventists that God showed Ellen White in vision. Decide now that you will be part of the Bible Study Reformation. You don’t have to create your own lessons because there are multiple sets from which to choose. Or, you could simply invite someone to join you in watching an evangelistic series on DVD, many of which have study lessons to accompany them. The tools and resources are abundant. You only need to be willing.
Before we can expect an abundant harvest of baptisms in our churches, we need to dramatically increase the number of regular Bible studies being given to those seeking truth. It is time that we align ourselves with the reformation vision given by God through Ellen White. It is time for a Bible Study Reformation.
The Bible Study Reformation is focused on strengthening the cultivation phase of the agricultural model of evangelism given to us by Jesus. For Bible study training, check out our upcoming training opportunities. For other Bible study resources, check out the links on our resources page.