Community Bible Study for Men: Impact group meets at local church, aims to go official | New


In keeping with the long-standing women’s community Bible study group, there will soon be a men’s community Bible study group.

“Community Bible Study is an international organization,” said John Vanhoose. Vanhoose, coach and teacher at Russell Middle School, said the women’s group had been strong for 40 years and there was growing interest among local men to start a similar group.

“CBS started in 1975 in Maryland,” Vanhoose said. “And at first it was just a class for women.”

The program received serious interest and grew rapidly, however. Today, it has grown into a worldwide movement that encourages individual study and participation. Trained teachers assist the study group and respected theologians help understand historical passages and how these passages apply in the modern world. Those who participate in the program enjoy universal support.

“There’s a lot going on in bands,” Vanhoose said. “And one of the advantages is that it is non-denominational. You want to study and fellowship within your own church, but it adds different ideas and perspectives when you study with people from different churches.

Vanhoose’s wife, Julie Baker is the educational director of the women’s group.

Vanhoose said not only was the student aspect rewarding and rewarding, but the social aspect was as well. He said the pandemic has forced the women’s group to come together virtually, but they hope to see each other again in person soon.

“CBS has so many courses to offer,” Vanhoose said. “Of course there is the female class, but they also have a lot of mixed classes. And there’s classes of men, and within those, there’s so many different ministries to choose from.

Some of the ministries available are children’s ministries, prisons and even ministries involving people with disabilities, Vanhoose said.

The male class, Vanhoose said, is not just attached to the female classes, but will be its own class.

“And that in itself is a bit rare,” he said. The new class of men is something that doesn’t exist widely at the moment, as most of the groups are mixed or were created as women’s groups.

“When I googled the closest men’s groups I could find were in St. Louis and North Carolina. But I think this is a ministry whose men could definitely benefit,” he said.

Vanhoose said multifaith groups are designed to encourage study, but respect the opinions of others.

The classes are inclusive, Vanhoose said, but they try to discourage discussion of political issues and they don’t meddle in heavy doctrinal issues.

The goal, he said, is to learn and share knowledge of scripture and faith.

A recent discussion in their impact group – they have not yet become an official class, but are currently going through the process of becoming one – included reading some verses and discussing what each of them thought those verses said about the value of prayer.

“We were given these questions and these verses,” Vanhoose said. “And the discussion was really interesting. Along with this, another thing was that each man was encouraged to bring a small item from home and then tell everyone how it represented prayer to them. There were men talking about glasses that helped them see better, and shoes, and I brought a flashlight. And I talked about how prayer was like a light, illuminating the things that we needed to work on. There were a lot of interesting perspectives, and that shows the value of the class. It is much more than a Bible study.

Currently, the Impact group meets at Bridges Christian Church on Mondays at 7 p.m. Anyone interested can feel free to contact Vanhoose at (606) 547-8715.

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