OBS Lecture Day 1: Introduction To Outreach Bible Study

Introduction To Outreach Bible Study

Outreach Bible Study (OBS)

Is an excellent method of leading Bible studies. This approach to evangelism is highly effective and has already been used by many churches and has proven its worth in the field of evangelism.

The goals of this manual are the following:
1. To develop highly trained leaders who are effective in the OBS method.
2. To develop leaders that will actually lead an OBS group.
3. To take away the excuses and barriers of someone’s becoming an OBS leader OBS is not the kind of evangelism that will teach people to witness and then gather their list of those who accepted Christ. It is all about reaching new people and then teaching them the elementary things about Christ and the necessity of becoming a true Christian in the household of God.

OBS is a dynamic presentation of the gospel of Christ. Its method of presentation is systematic, cost efficient and time efficient. This manual however, is not a substitute to our sole authority, the Bible, but merely a tool to help teach new Christians how to understand the word of God, gaining new and deep insights on their own and how to make a dynamic presentation of the gospel to others.

With the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ, guidance of the Holy Spirit, and blessings from human authors of this method, David White and Ptr. Joel Indico, I will present this method as clearly and systematically as possible.

Advantages of OBS

There are many reasons why a church should adopt the OBS method or develop their own like this one.

1. OBS is an open program. It’s not as strict as other methods. A church can develop its own materials for use with OBS. All we have to learn are the basic principles of creating and conducting Bible Studies.
2. It is easier to use than other methods since it uses only one book in the Bible, the book of Ephesians. Most methods are topical in nature and unbelievers are forced to flounder in searching the Bible for the correct passages and verses.
3. OBS is a method that encourages participation in the entire group.
4. OBS is cost efficient and practical to use. It’s cheap since there is no “text book” except the Bible. There is no need of extra money unless you prefer to use extra.
5. It is also a time-efficient method of quality evangelism. With the use of timetable, OBS was proven to be more time-efficient than chronological Bible study methods of evangelism.
6. OBS focuses on the truths/answers found directly in the Bible. It is completely independent from other Bible study materials.
7. In OBS the Bible is the sole authority and the only material that you need to conduct a Bible study.
8. The OBS method helps the leader to be creative and more confident in presenting the gospel.
9. It helps the OBS leader become skilled in leading Bible studies in a shorter period of time.
10. OBS is not boring. When the leader is teaching from his own created bible studies, he does so with more conviction and enthusiasm.
11. Its design is excellent for church planting in that it begins to train future leaders right from the start.
12. It is excellent for massive, quality evangelism.
13. It follows the essential church planting principles from the Bible.

How is OBS Different to Other Evangelism Methods

1. Other evangelism methods use expensive evangelism materials while OBS use only one material, the most essential one, the Bible.
2. Other evangelism methods are material-dependent while OBS is Bible dependent.
3. Other evangelism methods may be time efficient but not cost efficient or vice versa, while OBS approaches evangelism with both efficiency measurement.
4. Other evangelism methods are too complicated to use by the Bible Study leader while OBS simplified everything.
5. Other evangelism methods are only applicable for a particular group or class of people while OBS, since it promotes flexibility, can be used to a wider range of classes or groups of people.

Limitations of OBS

1. OBS is not intended for long-term discipleship. Discipleship will be another program of the church.
2. OBS is designed for those who know how to read and write. It will not be effective in reaching indigenous tribal groups (those people found in the mountains).
3. OBS is not intended to divide the church, but to multiply it.
4. OBS is not the only method for church planting. There are others that may work better in your area.

Analyzing Target Groups

There are different groups that need Christ’s love. Here we will see these different groups in light of their background with the Bible.
1. People who do not know Christ or the Bible and are obviously not a Christian. These are people who haven’t heard about Jesus and/or the Bible. These people most probably came from tribal groups that are remote or from other religious groups like

Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists that work hard to keep the Gospel as far away as possible.

If this is your target group, OBS probably will not work since you first have to establish their respect and acceptance of the Bible as the sole authority for spiritual/religious reality. If this foundation has not been established, OBS will not be an effective method to use for them.

2. People who have heard about Christ but do not accept the Bible and are not a Christian. There are lots of people like this in the world. Many of them are atheistic, or if not that, they still deny the Bible as being the sole authority for faith or religious matters.

Using OBS as your method of evangelism will only be effective with them only if you can cross the hurdle of having them accept the Bible as the Word of God and the sole or only authority for religious matters. If they do not accept the Bible as authoritative,

OBS will be useless. But thanks be to God that bringing conviction and changing hearts is God’s business through the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8).

So all we have to do is get them into a Bible study and present God’s truths through the Bible. If He brings them to conviction, we can “harvest” them. If not, we need to move on to other “fruit” that is ripe.

3. People who accept the Bible as God’s word, but are not yet a Christian. These are the people who have not yet heard, or if they have heard, have not yet really understood the Gospel or what salvation is and how was it given to men. For us in the Philippines, most of the people we will work with are in this group.

OBS is easy to use with people in this group. They are a perfect target group for evangelism using OBS. People from this group can be the true “cream of the crop” once harvested, as they are immediately ready to be discipled and trained to start doing the same.

4. People who have a background of Christianity but are not living as Christians should. The only lacking thing for this group is an understanding and acceptance of Jesus Christ and the salvation that he gave. OBS can be very effective for people in this group.

But there are people in this group can be the most difficult to really reach. Because of their background in Christianity and religious practices, they are often, as we say, “immunized” to the Gospel. They already have just enough knowledge to keep them from really “getting it.”

They have a false sense of security in their good life or good works. Their greatest need is to repent and to truly trust in God’s finished work in Christ rather than their own trying. They can be very resistant to the Gospel. But like the apostle Paul, if they are truly converted, they can become a powerful witness for the Lord throughout their life.

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