Who Knew? The Bible Club.

Teaching and preaching is a craft, it is an art.  A good and faithful preacher does not stand in the pulpit unprepared or lightly prepared and believe that he is ready to rightly divide the Word of Truth.  Maybe it is just me, but there is no way that I could stand in the pulpit with a good conscience on a Sunday morning after preparing for the first time the Saturday night before.  Meditation cannot take place, personal application cannot take place; basically all that can take place is a half-hearted outline floating in and out if the ears of the congregation, carried by hot air.  We preach the Word of God with the seriousness of a prophet (1 Peter 4:11), knowing that we have been entrusted with the well-being of his flock

In the crafting of a sermon, there is a certain intentionality regarding the desired response of the listeners.  For example on November 14 I had the privilege of stuttering my way through Psalm 31 (you can hear it here if you like).  I found out on that preceding Tuesday that I was going to be let go, and that the church was going to be informed of our difficult financial state as a faith community that Sunday.  My desire was to be an encouragement to the church, reminding us all through Psalm 31 that God is our refuge, our fortress, that He has proven his faithfulness in the past, and that our entire lives are dependent upon His sovereign goodness, wisdom and mercy.  My hope is that this was accomplished through the faithful exposition of His Word.

Sometimes, however, we are taken by surprise with where the Holy Spirit takes His Word.

Back in September our Junior High group was talking about See You at the Pole.  Most of them had never heard of it before, so we talked about the grassroots student-led origins of the day and how it has grown to a world-wide movement of prayer.  Somewhere in our conversation I happened to mention that there was a “students bill of rights,” and contained in this bill was the fact that Christian students had equal right to establish a gathering on campus just as much as any other group had a right to assemble.  I gave the example of having a Bible Club on campus. It was a comment made in passing, unplanned.  Well, it was unplanned by me at least.

This idea got one of our students (Allen) so jacked up about having a Bible Club on campus that the very next day he sat down with his principal, presented the idea and got approved for starting this club, to meet during lunch on Tuesdays.  Principal Peterson told Allen that this was the first student-lead club ever established at the Middle School, all spurred on by a passing comment during a mid-week Bible Study.

This past Tuesday we had our 7th meeting or so.  Over the past 4 weeks, our average attendance each week has ranged from 50-70 kids!  Tuesday at 11:23 AM has easily become my favorite time of the week.  Just this past week, Pastor Paul Benehmann from Valley Center Community Church polled the kids during his talk, “How many of you think that you can get to heaven by helping homeless people?”  90% of the hands went up. It blows my mind that we are able to stand there on the public middle school campus and proclaim the Gospel of Christ, the free gift of salvation He has given to us, to a room full of teens and pre-teens who need to hear about the hope we have in Him.

And all of this because the Holy Spirit knows far better than I know.  All of this because Allen Roth responded to something that was said in passing, not something said that came from the hours of preparation I prayerfully poured into the lesson.  Sometimes you have no idea what the Lord is going to do (who am I fooling? Most of the time).  Our responsibility is to trust Him, to prepare to the best of our abilities, and to watch Him do great things through His Word.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Debbie Roth on December 10, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Amen Brandon. It is a monument for us all, especially for those of us that know Allen, a special ed student who is pretty much invisible on that campus. That God turned him into a courageous man to take on the adults and articulate enough and follow through enough that it is now a reality. God does work, mightily in unexpected places and people. Love being there with you and Paul and watching lights turn on above these kids heads..awesome.


  2. Posted by Paul Behneman on December 10, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Well said my friend! 1 Cor 1:27-29. Why God would use fools like us to bring His truth? I am humbled, yet if He can use me, He can use anyone!


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