Thousands of Bible studies are breaking out across the country, following commitments made at Urbana 12, InterVarsity’s Student Missions Conference, held December 27-31, 2012, in St. Louis.
At Urbana 12, attendees were invited to commit to lead an Evangelistic Bible Study (EBS) with a friend and 8, 153 responded by filling out a commitment card and by taking an Evangelistic Bible Study Guide. The Bible studies (also known as GIGs—Groups Investigating God in InterVarsity parlance) are focused on passages from the Gospel of Luke.
InterVarsity staff were sent an email this week to help them follow-up with students in their chapters who had made the EBS commitment. They were encouraged to offer additional training in leading a Bible study for anyone who was interested. InterVarsity is offering a free Evangelistic Bible Study Guide called "Come to the Party," which extends the invitation theme of Urbana 12.
The 8,153 who made the EBS commitment represented about half of the 16,000 Urbana 12 attendees. (All 50 states were represented at Urbana.) Over half of them, 4,372, were students. Training resources are available on InterVarsity’s Evangelism website, and a Facebook group has been created for those leading the Bible studies to share their stories.
On the Facebook page one student told of sending handwritten Bible study invitations to all 27 girls in her hall. Another student has invited the entire drumline of his school’s band, while another is inviting her sorority sisters.
“In a week when the Barna organization has highlighted the most Bible-Minded and least Bible-Minded cities in the U.S., and classes have resumed on college campuses across the country, it’s exciting to know that thousands of college students are leading many of their friends into new relationships with God through Bible study,” said InterVarsity Evangelism Director Terry Erickson.
During Urbana 12 attendees participated in Bible studies focusing on portions of the Gospel of Luke. They also heard teaching from the Gospel of Luke by expositor Calisto Odede, Senior Pastor of Nairobi Pentecostal Church. Bible study has been an InterVarsity distinctive throughout its more than 70-year history in the U.S., and remains so. InterVarsity's Bible Studies webpage had 2300 hits just in the past month.