Issue #39   January, 2016
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How to Get "Time" on Our Side
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth … And that includes time. Think of all the devices we humans have developed to manage time—from time zones to calendars; from kitchen timers to the clocks in our phones (or on our wrists, for those of us who still wear watches). “Time is on my side,” sang the Rolling Stones.

Yet, with these gadgets and devices, we still don’t seem to have enough time for all that we want to do within our daily 24-hour allotment. As Christians, we struggle to find time for daily prayer and devotions. Just getting to church for weekly worship with other Christians can be a feat. How in the world are we going to find time for group Bible study?

January is the traditional month for making resolutions, most of which relate to our determination to make this the year to shed those extra pounds and get healthy! That’s great.

What about spiritual fitness? The same principles that help us to get more exercise and to develop healthy eating habits apply to spiritual growth. Two principles are key. First, set a goal, and second, find others with similar goals to provide mutual encouragement, accountability, and celebration.

Adults lead busy lives! As pastors, Christian educators, and lay leaders, we can help church members and visitors to make and keep resolutions for spiritual fitness. Time can be on our side; not just for the Rolling Stones.
For Planning
To get time on our side, we need to change the ways we spend our time—and change requires that we engage both heart and mind.

First, the heart (our emotional center) has to connect with why participating in Bible study matters. Churches that held Kerygma Bible studies in 2015 observed that group Bible study helped participants to:
- better understand the Bible
- learn more about the Bible, regardless of prior study of the Bible
- understand how the Bible is relevant to Christians in today’s world
- draw closer to God and to each other
Knowing why Bible study is important and what will be gained from it makes it more likely that a person will set a goal to participate.

Second, the head (our rational center) has to connect with practical plans and strategies to make change happen. This is where Christian education directors’ or lay leaders’ organizational talents are useful. Give people in your congregation a specific plan to help them achieve a goal of participating in a group Bible study.
Here are some suggestions:
- Publicize the date, time, and place of the Bible study well in advance. A great starting place for some people may be a 6-week Bible study at the church during Lent.
- Provide food! Ask some volunteers to provide simple refreshments or a light meal so that people can attend a Bible study before or after work. Food really helps. 
- Provide options. Your church may offer Bible study on Sunday mornings at the Christian Education time. Offer the same study at an evening or morning time. Multiple options allow people to find a time when they can attend. It also provides an opportunity for leaders to plan together or to share ideas about options to use from the Leader’s Guide.
Did your church have a Kerygma Bible study in 2015?

Even if the study was in another year, thank you for offering a Bible study using Kerygma materials. We have heard from churches across the country and want to hear from you.
Please tell us about the impact of Bible study for participants, and your comments about the Kerygma materials you used.
If you were not the leader of the Kerygma Bible study, please forward this email to the person/s in your church who led the study.

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Thank you for helping us to assist your church and churches across the country in our shared mission of Christian education for adults.
Questions?  Comments?
Please send them to me, or call me at the Kerygma office at 800-KERYGMA

300 Mt. Lebanon Blvd., Suite 205 Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1507
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