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The mission of the Bethel Series is to lead members of a local church into disciplined study of Scripture in such a way that they encounter the Living Christ.
Overview study of the Bible.
One of the most unique features of the Bethel Series is the fact that it uses the entire Bible as its textbook. Instead of teaching through a series of the most popular areas of the Bible-- or by the "bits-and-pieces" method--it presents a total framework for a strong foundation of biblical understanding.
This overview study presents the Bible without imposing theological knowledge. It speaks the language of the lay person, and it meets the students where they are - not where the church wishes they were.
The overview gives each student an understanding of the biblical concepts as they relate to the entire book, and of the entire book as it relates to the concepts. Through the Bethel Series, students gain an overall understanding of the Bible and the messages it really holds for them.
Congregational classes are scheduled for two years.
Weekly congregational classes are scheduled for six 7-week sessions... seven weeks in the fall, seven weeks during the winter, and seven in the spring over a two-year timeframe, adding up to a total of 42 weeks.
Because of this flexible format, members can begin courses at three different times throughout the year, and new members can start as they join the church. This flexibility helps to involve many more adults in the congregational phase of the Bethel Series
Learning the Basics
The Bible is the Word of God, our guideline for daily living. It is certainly not a book intended only for Sunday School ... yet it is basically treated as such in many congregations. The simplest tales and moral lessons are the most easily understood and remembered.
This is really the starting point of biblical education for many church members. The challenge is to meet those members at that level and then get them involved in what the Bible says - and what it means.
The problem: the Bible gap.
What the pastor means from the pulpit and what the congregation hears in the pews can be two entirely different things. Without a strong base of Bible knowledge, the church members have a difficult time understanding and responding.
This "Bible gap" exists in most churches and on most levels of church activity.
Many churches conduct Bible study sessions, but have a hard time in gaining participation, especially with less active church members. And because of this lack of participation, there is a fairly common perception that there isn't any interest within the church for adult Bible study. This is an inaccurate perception.
There is abundant interest within the great majority of churches. However, administration of the idea is necessary for turning that interest into action and activity.
The solution: return to the basics.
How can we narrow the Bible gap? By returning to the basics. By building a Bible base of knowledge for better understanding. By having more church members who really understand the Bible. The church must be strengthened from within before it can reach out to the community and the world. The Bethel Series can help.
The Bethel Series produces teachers who are equipped to use the Scriptures -- men and women who are qualified and willing to assume leadership roles in a wide range of church functions and activities.
When adult members commit themselves to Bible study and become involved, many other positive factors take place in the church. Congregations report that this commitment to Christian involvement often results in benefits such as these: