In the 1930s my father was a deacon in a local Baptist church. During that time a woman came to our home selling books, and my father bought Bible Readings for the Home. Then the colporteur returned to our home and led us in Bible study once a week.
Eventually my father accepted the three angels’ messages and was baptized. Then for many years, using his Bible and the book he had bought, he guided many people into an understanding of Bible truths and membership in the Adventist Church. He liked to declare: “Bible study is my name.”
I am convinced that “the Sabbath School should be one of the greatest instrumentalities, and the most effectual, in bringing souls to Christ” (Counsels on Sabbath School Work, p. 10).
In Sabbath School ask each member to choose a partner and develop a religious-interest survey to take into homes. Survey topics would address final events in earth’s history, church attendance, and Bible prophecies, plus a series of questions.
The last two questions on my own survey sheet put the prospective student in the driver’s seat: “Would you be interested in a free Bible correspondence course?” And “Would you be interested in having someone come to your home to study the Bible with you?”
I have found that about 5 percent of the people surveyed check “Yes” for the course, and about 3 percent check “Yes” for having someone come to their home to study the Bible with them. These respondents have opened the door for Sabbath School class teams to use Bible Readings for the Home as an effective evangelistic tool.
Why this tool?
- It has 300 quick references to Bible topics in a systematic question-and-answer arrangement of relevant subjects.
- A large number of Bible scholars, including non-Adventists, have contributed to this book.
- Its style encourages reaction to the immediate answers to questions.
- It provides insights comparable to a Bible dictionary and a Bible commentary.
A suggested procedure
- Visit the people who have requested Bible studies.
- Find out their preferences: the best day and time of day for the Bible study, and the frequency (once a week, twice a month, etc.).
- Make sure that each student has a Bible and a copy of Bible Readings for the Home, which can be purchased at an Adventist Book Center.
- Develop lessons that cover the main subjects of the book.
- Each teacher of a Bible study class should compose a true-or-false quiz that reflects the needs of each student, and should give the quiz after each lesson.
- At the end of each lesson, endeavor to get a simple response about the student’s understanding of the lesson covered.
- Set up a meeting with Sabbath School teachers and Bible study teams at least twice a month to evaluate progress, answer questions, and share experiences. Winning men and women from darkness to light is God’s work. “The Sabbath School teacher should be a laborer together with God, cooperating with Christ. . . . The object of Sabbath School work should be the ingathering of souls” (Sabbath School Worker, Jan. 1, 1892).
John C. Smith, Jr.
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists