The Truckers Bible Study originated with my father-in-law, Arlo Gieselman. He noticed a new truck stop in Oak Grove, Missouri, visited the manager, and the manager agreed to make the truckers lounge available for Bible Studies on Sunday morning. Arlo asked me to help out with this project, and I have been honored to do so, and since then others in our congregation have indicated an interest in participating.
It is not all that unusual for truck stops to have a ministry for truckers who are passing through. In fact, truck stop managers generally want what the truckers want, and if there is a need or desire for this type of thing, they are quite willing to oblige.
We did not feel it appropriate to have a mini-church service, as do some truck stop ministries. Were Sabbath-keepers, and a Sunday morning worship service doesnt feel right. Even more important, our purpose is to promote a greater understanding of Gods word, and an interactive Bible study is a better format for this.
We have received many positive comments on this approach. People who have an interest in Gods word want to share their understanding, and are just not content to sit and be spoon fed. Rather than having a curriculum or lesson plans, sometimes we begin by reading a few scriptures and asking for comments. Often, this is enough to get an hour-long discussion going. Sometimes we just go around the table and ask if anyone has questions. Usually its good to have a short topic planned because it is impossible to know whether someone is new or old to the study of the scriptures.
These methods allow for a free flow of ideas and open up interesting opportunities relative to true Biblical doctrine. What did Jesus mean when He said, "The meek shall inherit the earth"? Why do we pray "Thy kingdom come" instead of "when we go to Thy Kingdom"?
The studies have allowed us to touch people where they are. One gentleman who is just beginning his search for God told us about his little brother who died at two weeks old, and that he still thinks about him all the time. This opened up the opportunity to talk to him about the resurrections, and how he will see his brother again. Perhaps he could be the one to teach the child about the truth of God! It is difficult to describe how rewarding it is to connect with people on this level, and in most instances it is more effective than scoring points in doctrinal debate.
So why are we doing this? It is not going to build our local congregation, so whats the point? Our purpose is not to convert people. Rather it is to help people in their search for God and their walk with Christ. If we can plant a few seeds here and there, then we know that at least some of it can take root, and God will give the increase. As Paul said: "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth" (1Cor 3:6-7).
We are planting seeds, and we are watering seeds. Who knows what will happen somewhere down the interstate? If the word of God is planted, we have His promise that something will happen. Isaiah wrote it: "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isa 55:11).
If you would like more information or some tips on organizing your own Truckers Bible Study, please feel free to contact me. For updates on our latest studies, check out our web site: http://home.swbell.net/shemp/kccog.html [NB: URL is no longer valid]
705 NE Bryant Drive, Lees Summit, Missouri 64068