One Bible study, a great heart, and a lot of Christ

By January 28, 2016

USA (MNN) — Sometimes ministry work isn’t just a job; it’s a way of life.

Photo Courtesy Mark Grapengater Via Flickr

(Photo courtesy Mark Grapengater via Flickr)

David Cross with PIONEERS has been passionate for years about sharing the Gospel with Muslims and Arabs. So when an Iranian couple visited his church, Cross was all about helping them.

“Naturally I gravitated to them, hearing that we had Muslims that were visiting our church,” says Cross.

During the visit, Cross asked the couple if they understood what they were hearing at church, and they answered, “Very little.”

Cross, who has studied Arabic, offered to lead the couple through a Bible study with his wife. Though the couple was already familiar with some stories like Isaac, Abraham, and Moses, they didn’t jump right into the New Testament. Rather, Cross and his wife guided the couple through the Old Testament.

“We started studying Scripture twice a week, my family and their family, and walked through…creation [to] Christ to really illustrate who He was,” says Cross.

As Cross and his wife laid the Biblical foundation, God used the Scripture of Isaiah 53 to speak to the Iranian couple.

“Right in the middle of the study, as he was reading through the Scripture in his own language, he stopped and said, ‘This is the history of Jesus.’ And his wife said to him, ‘Yes, but it was written 700 years before Jesus.’ That was the day that they decided to begin to follow Jesus,” explains Cross.

About a month later, the two were baptized in the church. But the unique part of this story meets where it began, in the Bible study. Cross used the *Discovery Bible study–the same study tool used by PIONEERS–to lead the Iranian couple through the Scriptures. Part of the Bible study, however, is the confrontation of these two questions:

  1. What are you going to do about this passage of Scripture that you’ve read?
  2. And who are you going to tell?

“That question of ‘who are you going to tell ‘ immediately makes it replicating. They naturally told their family. Through any means available, they had to tell them in Iran. They also told other friends different stories and different pieces, as we were going through these 30 different Bible lessons,” says Cross.

As friends and family desired to learn more about Christ, more Bible studies began popping up. As a reaction, the people this couple shared the Bible study with were also confronted with the same two questions, creating an exponential effect.

“In this process, we’ve seen about a dozen people come to faith in the past 6-8 months and 10 different Bible studies start, with multiple generations deep,” says Cross, “It’s been a pretty exciting process both for us and for this couple because they really are passionate themselves about sharing the Gospel.”

Cross’s story is a great example of what PIONEERS is doing all over the world.

“This [discovery Bible study] is being used in refugee camps throughout the Middle East, for example, where we have so many Syrians that are coming there. And our folks within PIONEERS are using the discovery Bible study approach in order to lay again the foundation of the Gospel, who Jesus is, why He was the only person in history that could be the person he said he was: The King.”

You can be a part of this replicating growth in a couple of ways.

Getting Involved

  • Be hospitable to others and share the Gospel
  • Volunteer with PIONEERS
  • Give a gift to PIONEERS, helping others to share the Gospel

For discovery Bible study Resources, click here!

*The discovery Bible study approach is based on David Watson’s writings about church planting movements.


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