I started the New Life Bible study as a layman at the church I attended 30 years ago, at the request of my pastor. It was very from the beginning popular. Which puzzled me, because the class dealt with very common subjects of Christianity that ordinary Christians should already know.
When we were planning the first House Church Seminar for Pastors, our Children’s Pastor Seo suggested that the New Life Bible study be included in the curriculum, because the spirit of the house church, which includes servant leadership, is the most important aspect of the house church, and the New Life Bible study teaches that. Without understanding the spirit of it, pastors who came to the seminar would not be successful in implementing the house church.
At first I was hesitant to lead the Bible study in front of pastors, many of whom have more experience than me in leading studies. But I decided to follow her suggestion.
During my talk, I was afraid that some pastors might walk out, humiliated at having to sit and participate in a Bible study on Christian fundamentals.
However, the response was very positive. Some even said that they were spiritually inspired by it. Comments like these puzzled me as much as they pleased me, again, because I discussed subjects every pastor should know.
The pastors who went back and offered the New Life Bible study at their churches reported positive results as well. Some said that the response was muted when they modified the content, but when they taught it exactly as I did, with the same illustrations, the results were positive. This puzzled me even more. What makes the New Life Bible study so unique and popular?
Many years later, I think I’ve figured it out.
First, it answers questions that non-Christians may have. I became a Christian after struggling for a long time with many questions about Christianity. The class addresses these questions.
Second, it deals with important topics of Systematic Theology, but explains them in a way that laypeople can understand. Two different pastors with PhDs from prestigious seminaries pointed this out to me.
Third, it fits the Asian way of learning. Westerners are more logical and learn by analyzing and critiquing. Asians are more emotional and they learn by seeing and experiencing. The numerous illustrations in the New Life Bible study help the Korean-speaking class members understand theological truths more easily.
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