For the first time in many years, I am not even attempting to start an adult Bible study class at my church.
Last year I tried to finish off our study of John with chapters 17-21, but since I could only get one regular student (and she was an attractive woman) I called it off after just a few Sundays. (I didn’t want people whispering about the two of us going into a Sunday School classroom all by ourselves every Sunday. And they were.)
This September I have heard not one word in our church about any adult classes, not Bible study, not book study, not current events discussion.
Back when we had a couple liberal pastors, we had two adult classes: one that I taught which was heavy on the Bible; and one that studied liberal books, off and on for short periods of time. I had members of my class tell me they liked my class because it was the only place they could go to hear the Truth of the Scriptures.
Now we have been enjoying having an evangelically-minded pastor for three years. He preaches the Gospel. He believes in the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit. And our church services on Sunday mornings are very well-attended and most people speak well of the pastor. You can really see the difference he has made in the people of our congregation. Lives are being changed. People are more open and friendlier to visitors. New people have come into our congregation and stayed. They know we are Christians by our love, as that old song said.
But they won’t know we are Christians by our Bible study! There is none! Sure, individuals are studying their Bibles. There has even been an attempt by a couple women to start a young moms’ Bible study on weeknights, but I don’t know if that’s still going on as I haven’t seen nor heard about it for quite some time.
Why can’t we get adults in our congregation to attend Bible study classes? Do they think they get all they need from the pastor’s sermon on Sunday?
Maybe having an apostate pastor would be a good thing, if it gets people to be willing to study their Bibles! (Did I just write that?)
Well, we have just hired a new fellow who is going to be in charge of “discipleship” for children, youth, and adults. (This is the first time they’ve ever included adults in that job description!) I think I’ll wait a few Sundays, maybe get to know this guy a little, and see if he has any ideas how we can get the grown-ups in our church to participate in Bible study classes.
And I’m busy praying that the people of our church would become hungry for the Word of God!