Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine
By Dean Annen
It’s the morning when busy people like Dave Endrody catch up on their sleep. That’s why Dave struggled with the idea of attending the Saturday Men’s Bible Study that starts at 7:00 am. But after attending one Saturday, he was hooked—and he never looked back.
There he met men from all walks of life and found the large-group teaching to be “open, authentic, and very interactive.” He adds, “My faith was strengthened as I was challenged with questions from the teacher and joined in discussion with the other men.”
Dave also feels the impact of the prayer requests the men write on a sheet that’s passed around each week—requests, he says, that are “genuine, deep, and filled with ‘hard things.’” As he prays for the items on the list throughout the week, he becomes even more committed to the group of men he meets with on Saturday morning.
The mission of men’s Bible studies at WBC is “to provide an opportunity for men to become more Christlike by experiencing God’s transforming power through Bible study, prayer, and personal interaction.” At the Saturday study, a good part of that “personal interaction” takes place when the men break into small groups following the large-group teaching to clarify their responses, work through a study guide tied to the message, apply what they’ve learned to their lives, and pray together.
When asked if he saw men in his small group being transformed, Dave’s answer was an immediate yes. He followed that response with two stories about men in his group.
Paul (not his real name) was fresh off a divorce and facing a major career decision—a choice between two great jobs. He felt God convicting him through the teaching he heard on Saturday morning that our lives are His and not our own. This time, Paul decided, he was going to do it right.
“The men really ministered to Paul,” Dave said. “They gave him biblical guidance, and that’s when we saw God work. Paul later told his group, ‘I’ve made a decision on my job, and on paper, it’s not the best of the two jobs. But I know it’s the best for my family. I wouldn’t have made this decision a year ago.’” Paul is now taking his family to church regularly and has put God and family as his first priorities.
When Zak (also not his real name) came to Dave’s table, his relationships with his wife and family were splintered. At Zak’s request, two men from his Saturday-morning small group visited him at home. That led to the family receiving professional biblical counseling. The family is now on track, and Zak’s marriage is blossoming.
Scott Duncan has been the teacher for the Saturday Bible study since it began five years ago. When asked what motivates him—a husband, a father of four, and a business owner/ operator—to make this substantial time commitment each week, he said, “It’s an investment that will make a difference and will last for all eternity. The Word of God has the power to change men’s lives, save and build marriages, and bring others together like nothing else can.” He’s also blown away when he sees close to thirty men come a half hour early for open prayer time at 6:30 am, before the Bible study itself begins.
Two and a half years ago Scott was diagnosed with a blood disease, and last spring with cancer. Though both are under control, those new trials only motivated Scott to reach more men with the Gospel. He said “God continues to teach me it’s all about Him and not about me. Time is so short. No matter what lies ahead, at least we have today to live for God.”
Providing an opportunity and environment for the Holy Spirit to work in men’s lives, Saturday Men’s Bible Study has become a “can’t miss” gathering for the more than 80 men who regularly attend—well worth the cost of missing those “precious” hours of Saturday-morning sleep!
Dean Annen, a member of the Saturday-morning team since the studies began five years ago, is thankful for all the men who minister by taking care of setup, coffee, greeting, prayer sheets, attendance, cleanup, blogging, and leading table groups. They are, he says, “the lifeblood that keeps this ministry going.”