YES, HERE WE ARE – Paul Blackham and myself as we looked when we first launched the House Group DVD studies and TV programmes for ‘Open Home, Open Bible’ not all that long ago! The aim was to communicate, in an accessible easy style, a Bible study between the two of us and a specially invited international guest.
In contrast to our parallel set of programmes on books of the Bible (‘Book by Book’) we attempted to cover, in sixty 15-minute programmes, all the major teachings of the Scriptures - THE BIBLE, CREATION, HUMANITY, SIN AND THE FALL, GOD, CHRIST, THE HOLY SPIRIT, SALVATION, THE CHRISTIAN, THE CHURCH, THE LAST THINGS.
Each programme lasts for fifteen minutes, and the accompanying study guides enclosed in the DVD packs are there to encourage house groups and student seminars – even whole churches – to stay on and do a little further Bible study on the chosen topic. All in all, ‘Open Home, Open Bible’ takes the viewer through sixty programmes – enough to last a year and more!
Our invited guests include Anne Graham-Lotz, John Stott, Gottfried Osei-Mensah, Professor Don Carson, Joni Eareckson Tada, Rico Tice, Tom Parsons and Ivan Fawzi. About the series, Billy Graham was to comment, “It is my prayerful hope that these studies will introduce thousands of new believers to the thrill of discovering what the Bible says, and that they will send many of us older Christians back to our Bibles with a renewed vision for its truth.”
The Right Rev Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes, declared “Open Home, Open Bible is a stunning achievement and a truly wonderful resource for the Church.” He goes on, “Those looking for the right programme to follow on from an evangelistic church course will find it in Open Home, Open Bible.”
We owe a great debt of gratitude to our technical colleagues in the Christian Television Association (CTA), and it must in a great part be due to their professionalism that ‘Open Home, Open Bible’ was to win an award in the Los Angeles Festival of sound and vision.
The programmes feature on various TV stations in different parts of the world, but – perhaps even more importantly – they have been taken up by thousands of churches – either for their house-group programmes, or for mid-week or Sunday central church gatherings.
QUESTION: Do you need trained leaders to run these programmes? The answer is ‘No!’ We have known of churches that had no trained leadership, yet within a short space of time were able to create as many as ten house groups – each with between eight and twelve members - inter-acting with these studies.
You simply dig out some Bibles, slap in the selected DVD and switch on! Enclosed in the pack is a CD with re-printable study guides for follow-up questions and further study that can complete the event. The whole thing can run itself, and at the end all that remains to be done is put out the coffee cups and stick on the kettle!