FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH
A Passion for God, Compassion for People

Bible Studies
Check out our studies and small groups!

Becoming a caring community:
The coffee percolator is making contented burps and gurgles.  The first person arrives and helps himself to fresh-brewed coffee or tea.  Soon the room fills with people.  Conversations buzz; people sip.  I clear my throat.  “Let’s open our Bibles and get started…”  It’s time to shift gears, settle into God’s Word, feed ourselves.
Our small group Bible study is a lively oasis—a time for hearing friends discuss what the Word says and means.  From the hot blast of work, pain, loneliness, hassles, joys, and achievements we enter each other’s shade and drink God’s draft.  We cheer each other’s triumphs, bear each other’s burdens.  The bond thus forged is strength for the road ahead and salve for the wounds collected since we last met.
Sixty to ninety minutes later we say good-bye.  Some hugs, smiles, and handshakes are exchanged.  We go off into the night, strengthened and encouraged, and a satisfied hush descends on the room.

The Basic Components of our
Bible Studies and Small Groups
Fellowship:
The goal is a deep relationship with other believers that makes the application of nurture, support, and mission possible.  As we learn to live our lives together as brothers and sisters in the family of God, we should begin to live out the commands to bear one another’s burdens, to be kind to one another, to be hospitable, to encourage, comfort, exhort, serve, and accept one another.  We have found that being a part of a small group or Bible study helps us to better live out these commands.
Prayer:
Prayer is necessary for strength and a proper focus on Jesus and the Cross, the source of our hope.  It is also a part of the process God uses to bind people together into a cohesive unit for His glory.  In prayer we are engaged in a supernatural endeavor that is a work of God.  By praying in our groups, we acknowledge this not only by words but by humbling ourselves before the Lord.
Outreach:
As Christians we are called to be reaching out to the world around us.  At First Christian, we stress the importance and value of building relationships with non-churched and non-believers so that we have a position to speak about Christ and His redemption.  People who have a problem with the institutional church may feel comfortable attending a small group Bible study in a home.
Bible Application:
One of the aims of the small groups and Bible studies is to provide a place for Christians to take what they are learning and apply it to their lives.  The Bible tells us to be doers of the Word as well as hearers of the Word.  Typically, groups study a book of the Bible, a topical study, or a devotion, all of which are focused on handling God’s Word.
How Can You Get Involved?
Call any of the group leaders to find out more information about that particular group (even after it has begun).  Or feel free to call the church (569-4272) with any questions you may have.  Then sign up for the study of your choice! (Sign-up lists are available in the church fellowship hall.) Or just show up!


STUDIES


HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn
LEADER: ---
LOCATION: Fellowship Hall at FCC
TIME: Tuesdays 10 PM
START DATE: October 2nd
COST: None
SUMMARY: with notes and comments from Chip Ingram’s study of “The Real Heaven—What the Bible Actually Says.”  Study guides for group discussion will be made available, and all are welcome.  Studies will be held on Tuesdays at FCC at 6 PM, on October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and November 6 and 13.  A sign-up sheet is available in the fellowship hall.

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN
LEADER: John Bjorkman
LOCATION: The Ledges
TIME: Tuesdays 10 AM
START DATE: October 2nd
COST: None
SUMMARY: The Gospel of John will be taught on Tuesdays at 10 AM at The Ledges, starting October 2nd.  (If you are a non-resident of The Ledges, you must be an invited guest.)  Led by John Bjorkman, this is a verse-by-verse study of the Gospel according to John, intended to reveal the full meaning of the text.  We will be primarily using the New King James Version, but will also utilize other versions to expand the meaning of passages, as well as delving into the interlinear Greek when necessary.

INTRODUCTION TO TACTICS, WORLDVIEW, & APOLOGETICS:
LEADER: Len Johnson (986-3705)
LOCATION: Johnson home, Sewall Road
TIME: Tuesdays, 9-10:30 AM
START DATE: Sept. 18 (7-week minimum)
COST: $15
SUMMARY:  This study’s intended audience (maximum size: 8) is Christians desiring to engage the culture (i.e. share the Gospel message).  This will be an in-depth study requiring extensive reading and memorization.  What is a worldview?  Why is a knowledge of worldviews important?  If you wish to share the Gospel in a postmodern culture, it is vital to know 1) what you believe and why, and 2) what a non-believing friend and/or family member believes and why.  How do I precipitate a conversation on the big questions of life and what tools/ knowledge are required to continue it?  “I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments” (Colossians 2:4).  “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).  “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6).  Much of our culture has been “taken captive” and deluded by “plausible arguments” and “deceptive philosophies” (read worldviews).  “What is truth?” Pilate asked 2000 years ago, and our postmodern culture answers it derisively just as he did—there is no truth. How do we “gently instruct?” How do we give an answer to a grandchild who tells us evolution is a fact?  These are a few of the questions and topics we will study and discuss.

NEW BELIEVERS’ HANDBOOK: 
LEADER: Mike/Shirley Lymburner (490-6925)
LOCATION: 57 Federal Corner Road
TIME: Tuesdays, 7 PM
START DATE: September 18 (8 weeks)
COST: None 
SUMMARY:  As you begin a new life as a Christian or if you are already a follower of Christ, the truth of Scripture is paramount to your understanding of who He is and your relationship to Him.  This easy-to-follow hand book will help you get off to a great start as a new or developing Christian.  You’ll find out more about Jesus through Bible readings from the Book of Mark. You’ll also discover answers to: What happened to me? Where do I go from here? How can I understand the Bible? How can I pray effectively? How can I be a strong Christian? What does God expect of me? How can I know the will of God? What are the two baptisms? This book will start you out on a journey that will change your life. Welcome to the family of God!

WOMEN’S BIBLE STUDY:
LEADER: Jan Hawes
LOCATION: FCC Fellowship Hall
TIME: Tuesdays, 10:30 AM to 12 PM
START DATE: September 18
COST: None 
SUMMARY: The Women’s Bible Study, Fundamentals of the Faith, is a 13-week study suitable for a wide audience, including those new to the Christian faith as well as seasoned believers who want to be refreshed in basic doctrines.  The essence of Christianity is truth—truth about God the Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit; truth about man’s sin and God’s plan of salvation; and truth about God’s will for the Church and for our individual lives.  What you believe does matter—even eternally!  Please join us. 

THE THURSDAY BIBLE STUDY: THE BOOK OF DANIEL
LEADER:      George LeClair
LOCATION:      FCC Fellowship Hall
TIME:              Thursdays, 3 PM
START DATE:    October 4th
COST:              None 
SUMMARY: Daniel and his 3 colleagues were Sunday School heroes to many of us, but Daniel was much more.  Called “Daniel the prophet” by the Lord Jesus during His Olivet discourse, Daniel has given us many insights into the end times.  He established his credentials by prophesying the historical unfolding of four major empires.  Join us as we study the life and writing of this amazing prayer warrior.

THE MEN’S BIBLE STUDY: Welcomes men of all ages, just show up.

LEADER: George LeClair
LOCATION: FCC Fellowship Hall
TIME: Saturdays, 7:30 AM
START DATE: To be determined (year round - on going - currently Romans)
COST: None 
SUMMARY:  (See description of The Book of Daniel - Thursday Bible Study)

THE SERMON SERIES SMALL GROUP:
LEADER: Fred and Beverly Funk
LOCATION: Funk home in Alton
TIME: Thursdays, 7 PM
START DATE: To be determined
COST: None 
SUMMARY:  This study focuses on the Sunday morning sermon series, with added thought-provoking questions and great discussion!

BIBLE BUDDY:
Need a Bible Buddy? One of the first challenges as a Christian is to begin reading the Bible on a regular basis. Understandably, it’s a challenge that is often avoided because of the Bible’s intimidating nature – thin pages, small print, unfamiliar style, and Holy! I’ve often heard people say that they don’t know how to begin (but wished they did!).  I was one of those people many years ago.  Today, I lead a Bible study – so miracles do happen!  It would be my privilege & pleasure to help you begin, too. I’m offering to meet (one-on-one) for an hour or so to help you get started with the mechanics of getting into the Bible, looking up verses, and identifying the many study aides that are included between those two covers. Please call Jan Hawes 569-0327 or email jan.hawes47@gmail.com.