"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." 2 Tim 2:15
The church’s responsibility in helping its congregants grow in their ability to “rightly handle the word of truth” has long been a concern for the leadership here at Fellowship Bible Church. Our aim was to provide a foundation in biblical knowledge that would include content, theology, and interpretation. Developing a curriculum and finding enough qualified teachers has proven difficult. Quite by accident, we stumbled onto the BTI website and were amazed to find how it solved both of these issues.
Fellowship Bible Church has partnered with Biblical Training to develop a custom course of studies designed to meet the above stated purpose. The resulting track is a three-year study which we named “Fellowship U”. Our students now have access to online lectures taught by some of the top bible scholars in the world, each an expert in their respective fields of study. Each year of study is comprised of two 15 week semesters (fall and winter). Our students are provided study notes and assigned weekly audio lessons which can be heard at their convenience. We scheduled the lesson plans so that a typical week consisted of about 60 minutes of audio. Classes of 10 to 20 participants then gather for a weekly discussion forum led be a facilitator. Discussion questions are provided each week in advance in order to stimulate discussion.
The response of our church body to this learning opportunity has been overwhelming. We introduced this program three years ago with a pilot group of 14 people in the 1st year study. This group is currently taking the 3rd year classes. This fall, we have 3 groups going through the 2nd year study and a total of 5 new groups starting their 1st year. It’s been exciting to see the enthusiasm for God’s Word that has been bred by the classes provided BTI. In the future, we look forward to using this resource to customize additional courses of study in areas such as spiritual growth and leadership.
The impact that BTI has had on Fellowship Bible Church is quite remarkable. In a few short years this incredible resource has drawn a large segment of our adult body into in-depth discipleship. Previous endeavors had been frustrated by the irregularities of people’s schedules but BTI bypasses these difficulties by offering excellent teaching on a convenient platform. I look forward with anticipation to see how this online resource will strengthen our people and nurture the body. BTI is, in every sense, a God send.