I’m sure I’ll get some flack for being cheesy here, but I am changing the name “inductive Bible study” to “funductive Bible studies” in my own personal verbage.
I didn’t know that interacting with the Bible could be so easy and fun!
I was inspired by Caleb Lin’s (from UCLA) stories of starting simple churches in fraternities, so I decided to try it.
I built a relationship with the president of a local fraternity. (I walked into the house, introduced myself and started to get to know him. I asked him if there were any leaders in his fraternity who would want to start a spiritual community (simple church) in their house that they led. I would start the initial meetings, then soon back out and help him choose leaders, who I would offer to coach and mentor FOR FREE. J )
On the day I was supposed to go into the fraternity and begin, I battled depression and discouragement all day. (Sorry to burst any bubbles, but that’s usually how I feel before I try anything new with God – afraid and insecure. I’m glad God knows that we are “but dust”! In spite of our fears, He often seems to bless our feeble attempts to step out in faith to make space for others to encounter God.) Anyway, my wife encouraged me, and an hour before the meeting I went downstairs and prayed. That helped build my confidence. Yes, what an earthshaking revelation. Prayer helps you overcome fear and bring the gospel to people!
Finally, I went into the fraternity at 7pm to start the simple church. I met with the president of the house. I wanted him to gather people, not me, so I sat out on the patio and waited as he spread the word around the house that anyone curious about God should come. Seven guys came out and we sat on the porch talking.
I had chosen to lead an inductive study on the 7 Signs of Jesus (see The Blueprint, pg 240 or campuschurch.net for more how-to’s). From the beginning, I didn’t want to “wow” them with my charisma or Biblical knowledge (or should I say, “try to wow them” ha ha.). I wanted to give them a simple model for examining the scriptures that every one of them could reproduce themselves.
We read the story from John 2 – Jesus turning water to wine – then discussed four simple questions:
What does this story tell us about the way people are?
What does this story tell us about what people need?
What does this story tell us about the person of Jesus?
How can I apply this to my life?
As we looked at John 2, I was amazed at the insight and revelation these fraternity guys discussed. Maybe the Holy Spirit really can be people’s teacher if we give Him space to do so!
Here is a paraphrased version of some of our discussion points:
“Wow, these people were really in a jam. They were probably really worried and stressed out. I guess the thing to learn is that maybe Jesus can help us when we’re stressed out. That’s cool to think that Jesus actually stands ready to help with the problems I have.”
“I’ve never read the Bible before, so I’m not sure if this is right, but it seems to me like the Master of Ceremonies really screwed up. But Jesus didn’t take the credit or embarrass the MC. He had the servants report to the MC and give him the wine first. That’s interesting to me to think that maybe God doesn’t want to embarrass me.”
“It seems like Jesus’ mom believed He could do something to help, so she told Him about the problem. It seems to me like Jesus responds more when we believe in His power first and ask Him to help.”
“Jesus is really dependable when we have problems.”
“Jesus wasn’t just a normal person. He had miracle powers.”
“Jesus liked to be where people were – at the party.”
I am humbled at how powerfully God moves when we bring His word to where people live and let His word speak!
In the middle of the meeting, one of the guys was so excited about what was happening, he spoke up and said, “Guys, I don’t know why I’m saying this, but I suddenly have this feeling that this is going to be the smallest meeting we’re going to have all year. This things’ going to explode.”
I am now working with this fraternity to coach them and choose leaders to lead their own simple church meetings in their fraternity. I challenged the students at this first meeting to believe to reach every student in their fraternity and believe to see fraternity churches spread to every house on campus (ok, I’m praying they will spread all over America, too. Hey, it’s a lot easier to hit the ceiling if you shoot for the stars, right?)
Let’s keep praying through our fears and insecurities to bring the gospel to unexpected places!
Hopefully, I’ll be able to bring some of these guys out to Las Vegas for our Student CPx gathering in January.
Go funductive, baby,