You Know, That One Guy’s Friend

There’s a lot of things that I don’t know that I wish I did know (there, I said it). For example, I’d love to know how every person at our Bible study tonight found out about the study and ended up there. This would give us a good idea about how contagious we are, and how many people tell other people about what’s going on here. It would also help us find out the most natural way people tell others about our Bible study.  

Tonight for instance, a young couple came to the Bible study that we’d never met before. My wife asked them where they were from and how they found out. Turns out they’re the friends of Jack, who I don’t know, who is friends with N., who I do know. I met N. at an English corner a long time ago, and he’s been coming to our Bible study semi-regularly for a couple months. But I guess when he comes, he brings some guy named Jack, who, as this couple told us, really likes the Bible study but couldn’t come tonight, so he sent them in his stead. Don’t we wish every church member sent substitutes when they were out? 

Then there’s some girls that have been coming lately, and they are serious attenders. They’ve really gotten into the Bibles they’ve bought themselves, and they can’t get enough of the Bible study. My wife asked them tonight how they ended up at our Bible study in the first place. Turns out, one of the girls heard from a classmate at her university about the Bible study. Her classmate is not a Christian and has never been to our Bible study but told her about ours. So she took her classmate’s advice and now she brings a couple friends every week.  

It’s pretty neat to see friends of friends of friends that we made when we first arrived here. The one observation that strikes me every week is that there are without a doubt many people slipping through the cracks each Bible study. And it’s a race against the clock to train enough leaders to work a crowd of this size before those that go through the cracks each week stop coming. Some of them are starting to get it, and hopefully will get it big time tomorrow at our leaders meeting when we talk about sharing the Gospel with others.  

The Bible study is starting to develop a little more stability, which I’m really thankful to see. When the Chinese was less, we were having 25+ first-time attenders every week. Which is great, but when your numbers aren’t growing near that amount, it doesn’t say much for your second-time attendance. We still have about 15 or so first-time attenders every week, but the number of regular attenders has grown much stronger. Lots more familiar faces every week. It’s kind of scary trying to balance out a good number of first-time attenders with a good number of regular-attenders.  

Speaking of balance, the two services were the most evenly balanced yet. Hopefully the elbow room in both services will give us more personal contacts in each service and lead to better attendance in each one. My throat is killing me, my tongue feels like it got caught in a handmixer, and my head’s throbbing. We really had a great time tonight, though! More on that tomorrow!

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