Bro. Anthony, tell us a little about yourself and your ministry.
Currently, I am serving as lead pastor of Bethel Christian Ministries in Bellevue, Nebraska. I am 46 years old. I was assistant pastor in 2000, co-pastor in 2005 and became lead pastor in 2008-present. My wife, Michelle, and I have been married 25 years. We have three children: LaJoy, 20, Isaac, 18, and Peyton, 16.
You have had good success with the Home Bible Study Ministry. Tell us about it.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul” Psalm 19:7. There is nothing that compares to the simple yet powerful Word of God. Many people give their opinions about the Bible. Others quote what they have heard about the Bible. Many claim to believe the Bible, yet they themselves are Biblically illiterate. My goal is to create an opportunity to open up God’s Word with them. The Word of the Lord is alive and powerful. It is like a heat-seeking missile. It will find its target. The Bible study teacher is usually ignorant of the real heart issue, but systematic planting of God’s Word has a way of revealing the true unseen heart issues. Do not wrestle with people, but let the Word of God do the wrestling. I cannot convert anyone, and I do not want to manipulate anyone. I lead by example and, consequently, several saints in our congregation are sharing the burden and are moved to teach Bible studies.
Please share some HBS success stories.
For Dave Eikenburg, faith had flat-lined and in his own words, he was “as close to atheist” as he could get. After several weeks in Bible study, we watched his faith heart-rate increase. I once told my wife, “I see life in him!” One Sunday, we were thrilled to see him walk to the altar, lift his hands, and Jesus filled him with His Spirit.
Another example is Sis. Liz Thompson. She and her family were converted to Jesus through a home Bible study. Today, her two daughters are married and have children of their own. Both their families attend Bethel Christian Ministries and are heavily involved in ministry. The Word of God converts generations!
What is the best way to find people to teach home Bible studies to?
As Jesus said, “… look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” John 4:35.
My neighborhood needs to hear the Word of the Lord. My community needs to hear the Word of the Lord. Everyone needs to hear the message of the Kingdom! Guests that visit our church are also great candidates for a Bible study. The fields are ready.
What is the best way to train HBS teachers?
There are several ways to find and train teachers. 1) Bring an individual with you to the Bible study. 2) Have resources available. 3) Have monthly classes to go through a particular Bible study. 4) Locate those who have a call to evangelism in the congregation. These people are not better than anyone else; they are just serving God in their calling.
How do you keep the HBS Ministry visible in your church? How do you promote it to your people to encourage them to get and teach studies?
I publicly remind the congregation to pray for those who are teaching students. We have public, corporate church prayer for teachers and students. It’s also a good idea to share testimonies of lives changed through Bible study.
Have you found any successful ways to promote and advertise the HBS ministry to your city?
The Apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” I carry a passion for souls and hopefully others will catch the vision and the passion of soul winning. We ask friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors for suggestions of places to promote Bible studies.
If pastors want to build a successful HBS ministry in the local church, how would you suggest they go about it?
Find the people in the congregation who have a heart for evangelism. Meet together, pray together and get resources. There is only one wrong way, and that is to do nothing. I believe God just needs willing people.
Which home Bible study do you use and recommend your church members use, and why? I personally use Exploring God’s Word as a basic structure for a longer systematic study of the Bible. In addition, I currently ask beginner teachers to teach Into His Marvelous Light Bible study 3-5 times to different people to get the New Testament layout in their spiritual DNA.
For more information or if you have questions about Home Bible Study Ministry, you may contact Bro. Anthony at the church website: www.bethelchristian.org or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org