The Explore the Bible adult resources include at least one lesson in every issue marked as the evangelistic lesson (noted in the Table of Contents). This lesson will include specific suggestions in the group plans for sharing the gospel. Just because one lesson is identified does not mean the other lessons in that study are void of opportunities to sharing the gospel with the group. Here are five things we can all do to be more focused on sharing the gospel when we teach a Bible study group.
Look for opportunities. Most if not every Bible study will have some place that opens the door for sharing the gospel. Many times, we pass over those opportunities without thinking about it. For example, the lesson suggested for August 7, 2022, looks at 2 Kings 12:4-16 and Joash’s financial reforms for the repair and upkeep of the temple. The lesson looks at confronting people not living up to expectations and honoring God through our financial practices. When we look at honoring God through our budget, the issue of salvation sits in the background. In the Personal Study Guide and Daily Discipleship Guide, we find this sentence in the comments about 2 Kings 12:15-16: This story is a reminder that handling our money and financial obligations with biblical integrity bears witness of our Christian faith. We can point our group to this statement, asking for reaction and reinforcing the discussion by emphasizing that we honored God because of the salvation He provides through faith in His Son as opposed to trying to gain salvation through how we use our possessions. While subtle, the sentence included gives us an opportunity to share the gospel… if we look for it.
Be prepared to share. This should go without saying, but we all should be able to tell someone how we became followers of Jesus and how they can do the same. If we need some help, we can always point to the information on the inside front cover of the Explore the Bible adult resources. We may have a favorite verse (John 3:13, John 14:6, Romans 6:23) or set of verses (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:1-13) we may point to when sharing the gospel. The point is not so much which verse or verses we use, but that we are prepared and ready to share when the opportunity arises.
Invite people to share their stories. The people in our groups have stories to tell if we let them. Some will not tell their life story unless we invite them to do so. We may want to give them a heads up that we will want them to share about how they came to Jesus. This also gives a way of helping the people in our group improve as a witness for Christ.
Include some way to respond. Telling a person about Jesus and His offer of salvation is only half of the work. We need to give them an opportunity to respond respectfully and reflectively. Asking them in front of the group may not be the best approach when it comes to demonstrating respect for them. We are also asking them to make a big decision which requires some careful thought. We may want to let the group know we are available to visit with them after the group time or give our cell number so they can talk to us more about what it means to follow Jesus. However we do it, we need to make sure they are not left wanting to know more or wanting to respond without us giving them the opportunity to do so.
Encourage the group to pray for, invite, and bring people who are far from God. One reason we may not teach to share the gospel is we are teaching the same group of people week in and week out. In effect, our group has become functionally closed. By encouraging our group to pray for opportunities to share the gospel, inviting people not currently involved in a Bible study group, and bringing the people the invite, we may find ourselves more intent on sharing the gospel while we teach. Notice that invite and bring are differentiated. We can invite people to attend, but if we invite them and OFFER to pick them up or meet them in the parking lot, they will more likely say yes to the invitation.
Interested in looking at a digital sample of Explore the Bible? Complete this form to view samples of the first four lessons for the Fall of 2022.