Elder Isaac not only serves as chaplain of the Porter Sanitarium but also teaches the classes in Bible and evangelism for student nurses. He is deeply interested in providing a very practical experience in soul winning for those in training. His pointers in the following outline are of special value for freshman nurses, but there is also valuable help in this outline for all who participate in cottage meetings and community Bible classes, as well as sanitarium Bible instructors who reach individual patients.—L.C.K.
I. WHO SHOULD GIVE BIBLE STUDIES.
a. Those who have a burden to win souls.
b. Those who know the truth and can tell it.
c. Those who are willing to learn. (Those who are troubled with doubts and infidelity should not go out to labor for others. Testimonies; vol. 1, p, 377.)
II. TWO OR MORE SHOULD GO TOGETHER.a. Jesus sent His evangelists out two by two.
b. One gives the study, and the other adds thoughts that may be appropriate, and helps answer questions.
III. ENTERING THE HOME OR ROOM.a. Greet all who are in room.
b. Talk about general things first.
c. In the general talk you may be able to lead up to thoughts of subject to be given.
d. Distribute Bibles.
e. Offer a short prayer.
IV. BEGINNING THE STUDY.
a. State subject and explain its meaning.
b. Give object or objects of your study. In other words tell what you aim to teach.
c. Give a short introduction to your study.
d. Give out the texts you plan to use.
e. When giving out texts, state book first, then chapter, and next the verse.
f. Don't act nervous.
V. THINGS NOT TO DO.
a. Never ridicule some other religion.
b. Do not argue.
c. "Unbelief is seldom overcome by controversy."—The Desire of Ages, p. 8o8.
VI. ANSWERING QUESTIONS.
a. Don't be afraid to say, "I do not know."
b. Never ridicule a foolish question.
c. Answer in a way so that people will come again and ask more questions. Soon questions will come from the heart.
VII. FIRST IMPRESSIONS.
VIII. IMPORTANCE OF THE VOICE.
a. Your tone of voice often tells more than words.
b. Your tone will tell if you believe what you teach.
c. It will tell if you are really interested in the subject yourself, and are enthusiastic about it.
d. Guard against a dull, tiresome voice.
e. Do not speak in a high, sharp, or shrill tone. Speak in a mellow, pleasing voice.
IX. CORRECT SPEECH.
Frequently it is well to use charts to make the subject more vivid and plain. 2300-day period can be made much more understandable by a chart.
A picture of the sanctuary will do more than many hours of explanation. Pictures or plywood cutouts of the beasts of Daniel and Revelation make the story more vivid and interesting.
10. KNOW YOUR SUBJECT.
a. Be so familiar with your subject that you need keep your eyes on your notes but very little.
b. Fully understand each step in your study.
c. Be able to clarify each verse you plan to use.
d. Be logical. Build one point upon another.
e. Present events in the order they occurred.
f. Explain Bible terms that may not be familiar to your hearers.
g. Do not take too much for granted. Many people know little about the Bible.
h. Using part of a text may give the wrong thought. You may need to use it all. To illustrate: "Having abolished . . . the
law of commandments," and not reading "contained in ordinances," gives the wrong impression. (Eph. 2:15.)
11. ALL STUDIES BASED ON BIBLE.
a. Bible contains practically all the material you need.
b. St. James Version is mostly used, but at times it is well to look up texts in other versions to see whether they are clearer.
c. Testimonies explain many texts and give additional light.
d. Other commentaries may throw light on texts.
12. COMMON GROUND.
a. It is well to discover what your readers are interested in. Talk about it and then lead to Bible truths.
b. Find out what Bible themes they may be puzzled about, and work out a study on same.
c. A wonderful example in Philip addressing the man of Ethiopia, which every Bible worker should be familiar with. (Acts 8:35.)
d. Jesus was able to burn the words of truth into the hearts of two disciples when He told them that prophecy predicted the very story they were talking about. ( Luke 24:32.)
a. Vary your procedure.
b. Give out texts, and have each read his when you come to it.
c. The more you have all take part, the more interested they will become.
d. You may ask question before they read text or after text is read.
e. You may have someone look up text while you are talking about it.
f. Be sure to make each text plain before going to next one.
g. Ask your readers if they have any comments to make on texts.
a. When the Lord knows that He can use us, He will provide opportunities for us.
b. When patients are convalescing and want something to read, it is a good time to judiciously suggest Bible themes to them.
c. Ask them about current events, and what they think about them—if they could be fulfillments of Bible predictions.
d. When patients show interest in Bible truths and are ready to leave, ask them if you might visit them in their homes and talk further about these things.
TIME AND NUMBER OF TEXTS.
a. Study should not be more than thirty minutes.
b. When interest is high, a good time to stop. Then they will want more. If you wear them out, it will be difficult to work up an interest again.
c. Do not have your readers look up more than fourteen texts.
d. If you quote or refer to others, do so without having them read.
e. Do not let time lag. Put life in the study.
17. THE APPEAL.
a. Before you close each study make sure that all readers express faith in what you have presented.
b. Ask if it appeals to them and if they see light in it.
18. LOANING BOOKS AND LEAFLETS.
a. If possible take a book or leaflet with you on subject to present.
b. Tell them that you will leave it until the next time.
c. Tell them that there are other points on the subject that you did not have time to study with them, which are also very interesting.
d. Next time ask them if they thought of questions they would like to ask.
e. Never act disappointed if they did not read what you left with them.
19. FOOD FOR YOUR OWN SOUL.
a. Remember that Christ is our example.
b. Study His methods.
c. Rely upon the Word as He did.
d. Pray as He prayed.
20. How TO PREPARE A BIBLE STUDY.
A new Bible worker will want to use Bible studies already prepared by experienced workers, but readers will ask questions and exprcss opinions that will necessitate constructing a study that will fit the occasion. Therefore it is well to learn something about how to make out a Bible study.
Suggestions on preparing a study.
(1) First, decide upon a definite title that will answer your reader's query.
(2) Next, write down a list of points you will want to make to answer the queries.
(3) Every Bible worker should have some of the published studies, such as the Home Bible Course, the 20th Century Bible Course, The Bible Made Plain, Bible Readings for the Horne, or other studies that may be available. (See also Part IV of The Bible Instructor, "Bible Readings by Our Bible Instructors.")
(4) Select from these studies the texts that you want to use in connection with the points you have listed.
(5) Ten to fifteen texts are enough to make up a good study.
(6) Now write out your approach and objectives. Also mention importance of subject.
Select point you want to use first. Write it in question form, and the text that gives correct answer.
Text may precede question, or it may follow.
Next select the point that would logically follow the first one, write it in question form, and find the best text to answer that question. Then take points as they follow in logical order, and lead up to an appealing conclusion.
Close with thought that we should always live up to what the Lord makes known to us to be truth.
If you wish to make your points in direct statements and substantiate them with appropriate texts, that will many times be as well as asking questions.
If you have certain points you wish to make regarding certain texts, it is well to jot these down, as they may not come to mind when giving the study.
Briefly, concisely, and in your best language, sum up objectives. Tell how they appeal to your own heart, and express the hope that their hearts have been touched also, and that all will endeavor to live up to truths in Bible.