OUR SAVIOUR LUTHERAN CHURCH
"A Joy-Filled People with Christ as Our Center"
1029 Sixth Street
Port Huron, MI 48060
EMAIL: Pastor Don Doerzbacher: email@example.com
Secretary, Ruth Reim, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Family Life Ministries: DFLM@oursaviourlutheran.com
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The Bethel Series equips disciples by biblically educating the laity. We invite you to explore our Web site and learn about this program of adult education.
Time has taught us that the Bethel Series is unique in its format of education. Rarely will a Bible study program last 10 or 20 years, but the Bethel Series is now celebrating 50 years of ministry. Regular updating keeps the material current, but the success of the program rests in a format that requires discipline and commitment.
The Bethel Series provides an overview of the entire Bible. At the end of two years, the students will have an amazing understanding of the Old and New Testaments.
Over 6000 congregations are enrolled and more than 1,000,000 lay people have graduated and benefited from the Bethel Series course.
Teaching tools are available for those of you who are pastors or lay people who have finished the training and are preparing to teach the Bethel Series. Log in to our Teaching Tools section and find some practical suggestions that will help you.
Your church will be energized as you develop a biblically literate laity in your congregation. You will witness the difference in all areas of your church’s ministry.
A Unique Approach
The Bethel Series, an overview of the Scriptures, uses the entire Bible as its textbook. It's a two-year program that involves disciplined study and commitment.
First we train the pastor and/or a qualified lay teacher at a Bethel Series Training Seminar. At the seminar, the pastor receives guides on how to select members of the congregation to embark on the two-year intensive training journey. These trainees become the foundation of leaders in the congregation.
Because of their biblical knowledge, they have the confidence to serve in many areas, but some members of this class will become the teachers for the rest of the congregation. The long-term result of the program is a biblically literate, mission-minded congregation.
There are 40 studies and each one includes a colorful poster that is used as a memory tool to reinforce the message of each lesson.
Students testify to the results of this two-year study. Lives are changed--and congregations have changed--because the people have met the true Christ of the Scriptures. It makes all the difference.
After attending the seminar, your minister and/or a qualified lay teacher carefully selects a number of key men and women from the congregation to enter the intensive training phase. For two years, the prospective teachers study with the Bethel trained teacher for 2 1/2 hours per week, with required homework and reviews (test). At the conclusion of training, the church has a strong nucleus of well-trained, knowledgeable teachers who are ready to assume leadership roles in the congregation.
Following their two years of study with the Bethel trained teacher , the congregation's lay teachers are ready to share their studies with the church members. Having followed the well-developed plan for recruitment, interest among church members will already have been cultivated, and everything will be in place to start the congregational phase.
Weekly congregational classes are scheduled for six, seven-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.
Levels of Commitment
The format and disciplines of the Bethel Series guarantee broad participation and involvement by your adult members. The extended study results in a corps of well-trained men and women who really know and understand the Bible.
Commitments of Time, Work and Money
The Bethel Series is an investment in the Christian life of your congregation. It requires a minimum of four years, many hours of challenging study, and it costs money. These commitments of time, work and money are some of the key factors that contribute to the success of the program.
Commitments at the Center of the Church
In any congregation there are different degrees of commitment. Perhaps 10 to 20 percent of a church's membership can be described as strongly committed. Yet, many times, when a Bible study course is offered, it's expected that the entire congregation will participate. More often than not, this is wishful thinking
The Bethel Series departs from this strategy by starting with a small group having the strongest level of interest, and then spreading that interest throughout the rest of the congregation. By the time the nucleus group of lay members has completed its training, the next commitment level within the congregation is ready and willing to start Bible study.
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.
The Bethel Series Provides the framework -- the Minister Provides the Theology
The Bethel Series crosses denominational lines because while the Bethel Series provides the biblical framework, each individual minister continues to provide the church's theology. Through this approach, the minister is the trainer of the lay teachers within the congregation.
The Bethel Series Builds Long-Term Involvement
This feature of the program cannot be overemphasized. Most Bible study courses are short-range and fragmented. They are centered around a once-a-week meeting, with no follow-through or transition into other study. They don't consider an overall understanding of the entire Bible in order to build a strong knowledge base. The Bethel Series is an intensive, long-range program which studies the entire Bible.
Blessings Through The Bethel Series
The Bethel Series is not a means to an end. It is a means to new beginnings--a tool for helping your members grow in their understanding of God's grace as revealed in Jesus Christ.
Here's how the Bethel Series has been a blessing to five congregations:
What They're Saying
To reach the office, please email us:
Ruth Reim, secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Don Doerzbacher, email@example.com