Churches Rejoice! A Unique Bible Study

The Little Church in the Big City: A Small Church Approach for Big City Challenges is now available on!

The Little Church in the Big City: A Small Church Approach to Big City Challenges is a new Bible Study for ALL churches of ALL sizes in ALL places. This Bible Study has been endorsed by Rev. Don Ng, former President of ABC-USA and pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church of San Francisco, Rev. Steve Bils, Executive Minister of ABCCPC, Rev. Alfred Centeno, former Area Minister for the Hispanic Convencion, and Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. pastor emeritus of Allen Temple in Oakland California and professor at the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, California. Take a close look at this Bible Study and pass the word to others.

After 18 years of researching churches, I designed a unique Bible Study for churches that deals with 8 major challenges facing churches today. Each challenge takes 8-10 weeks. Each provides a way for your congregation to discuss important issues that face churches today such as indifference, betrayal, homosexuality, racism, immigration, pluralism, polarization, and ideology vs theology. Each of these will guide your church to fulfill the great commission and the two greatest commandments (love God and love your neighbor).

Buy the Introduction and Challenge 1 on Read them. Make an appointment with your pastor. Ask him or her to use this series in your church!

The Great Commission: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

The Greatest Commandments: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:36-40).

This Bible Study uses a ‘small church approach’ to ‘big city’ challenges which will help you improve relationships both inside and outside of the church. By design, small groups nourish relationships. This curriculum allows and encourages outsiders to be in a group, thus, inviting them into the conversation. This book instructs pastors and leaders in how to set up this series in their church. Here is the link to get you started:

Challenge 1: Indifference
The Loving Way
Are you concerned about indifference in your church? Churches are in crisis today largely due to indifference and isolation. Pastors are afraid to share with other pastors that they are losing members. Denominational leaders are at a loss. Pastors are stymied, out of ideas, and overwhelmed. Many churches are struggling especially those who serve the least of these in the inner cities. Though some churches send mission groups to Mexico, Haiti, or Belize, rare are those who help churches in the inner city. When churches of all sizes in all places work together to advance the kingdom of God, they bring glory to God whereas indifference, apathy, complacency, and a lack of concern does not. Dr. Bennett has crafted a unique approach that will stimulate your congregation to confront indifference. Here is a link for Challenge 1:

Challenge 2: Betrayal
The Essential Way
Congregations rarely suspect members or leaders of betrayal but many who have been hurt by the church rarely attend. After Jesus’ crucifixion, all of the disciples either abandoned, doubted, or denied they knew him. Many feel abandoned by those they trusted. Many wrestle with doubts about their faith. Due to a decline in membership, many churches have been closing at an alarming rate. Dr. Bennett has crafted a unique approach that will stimulate your congregation to confront feelings of betrayal. Here is the link:

Challenge 3: Homosexuality
The Integral Way

Is your church confused about homosexuality? The recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same sex marriage has disheartened many who believe homosexuality is an unhealthy lifestyle or a sin. Churches are divided on this issue. Liberal churches have become welcoming and affirming of homosexuals and many have ordained homosexual pastors. How are conservative evangelical churches confronting this issue? In fact, how is your church responding to heterosexual couples who decide to live together, bear or adopt children, buy a home, and continue to remain unmarried? Dr. Bennett has crafted a unique approach that will stimulate your congregation to respond to a difficult issue that is dividing families as well as churches. Here is the link:

Challenge 4: Racism
The Incarnational Way

Does your church welcome people of another race? Often churches claim to be friendly and welcoming simply because they greet people at the door and offer a welcome packet or gift. Is this what Jesus had in mind when he said to love your neighbor? Most protestant churches in America are divided by race or ethnicity. Some do not even reflect the community where their church is located. Dr. Bennett has crafted a unique approach that will stimulate your congregation to commit to loving neighbors of different races and ethnicities. Here is the link:

Challenge 5: Immigrants
The Dynamic Way

How do your members feel about legal immigrants or refugees? God promised to bless all nations through Abraham and Jesus asked his disciples to go into all the world and share God’s good news to one and all. Immigrants are pouring into America. Some are Christians fleeing persecution. Many have ties to family and friends in their homeland. Churches in the inner city are perfectly located to reach “strangers in a foreign land.” Sadly, many newcomers are being harassed, bullied, and even killed. Unfortunately, many have discovered that the American city is a dangerous place to live and work. Dr. Bennett has crafted a unique approach that will stimulate your congregation to connect with immigrants and protect them. Here is the link:

Challenge 6: Pluralism
The Missional Way

Are you concerned about pluralism seeping into the church? In this new age of tolerance, many wonder if all faiths lead to God. God set boundaries of belief for his people. Does your church know those boundaries? Have you prepared your congregation to share God’s good news with their multi-ethnic and multi-faith neighbors? At Pentecost, God made a way for the early church to reach neighbors who spoke a different language. How are you actively and effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those of a different faith, with a different language, and from a different culture? Dr. Bennett has crafted a unique approach that will stimulate your congregation to care about those who believe differently. Here is the link:

Challenge 7: Polarization
The Relational Way

Is your church conservative or liberal? The last national presidential election highlighted America’s conservative/liberal divide. America continues to be hopelessly divided. Denominations are separating over conservative and liberal ideas. What are those ideas? Why are we divided? How can either side be obedient to Jesus who prayed to the father that his church be united as one body (John 17)? Is it possible with God’s help to listen to those who do not agree and love them? Is it possible to agree on the essentials yet collaborate with those who disagree otherwise? Dr. Bennett has crafted a unique approach that will stimulate your congregation to cooperate with those on the opposite side of the aisle.  Here is the link:

Challenge 8: Ideology/Theology
The Redemptive Way

How did Jesus accomplish what he proclaimed? Did he open a food bank? Did he start a non-profit? Did he send out requests for support? Did he open a hospital or a day care center? Did he ask for tax exempt status? Did he organize a protest march? This last challenge focuses on six questions your church should be able to answer in order to share the good news of Jesus Christ. 1) Who is God? 2) Who am I? 3) Why is there suffering in the world? 4) Why is there evil in the world? 5) Why do I need a Savior? 6) Why am I a Christian? Dr. Bennett has crafted a unique approach that will stimulate your congregation to restore God’s true purpose for your church. Here is the link:

Here is what the endorsers say:


“Unfiltered remarks by Dr. Bennett lead the users of this congregational resource to confront beliefs and perspectives to assist churches seeking for renewed purpose in challenging times. Dr. Bennett is unafraid to speak her mind shaped by her own personal experiences as a pastor and teacher. The book addresses some of the most troubling religious topics today: racism, immigration, pluralism, homosexuality and others. Extensive biblical references offer an opportunity for church groups to study and pray together.”

Rev. Dr. Donald Ng, Retired Pastor of First Chinese Baptist Church, San Francisco, CA; 2014-15 President of ABCUSA

“Too long we have waited for this must needed and well written Bible Study by Dr. Bennett. Her beautiful writing style keeps the eyes of the reader glued to the page without a dictionary close by. Readers will treasure the insights that are shared from her rich experiences as a small church pastor. The book also shares insights from interviews with small church pastors who reflect the diversity of race, class, gender, and denominational perspectives. She is courageous in addressing the explosive issues that are controversial today. With fairness and emotional maturity she calls each of us to practice the love ethic of Jesus. Her observations show interdisciplinary expertise in theology, history and sociological analysis. This book is informative, instructive, inspiring, and it has led me into deep introspection. Denominational (national and regional) executives and will discover this book as a needed tool to use for church planning. Seminarians will learn effective urban ministry from a proven and respected urban leader. May others be refreshed with spiritually enriching and thought stretching biblical lessons designed for personal devotional use and for public theology practice. This is book like new wine in the new wine skins of urban ministry.”

The Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr., Pastor Emeritus, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland CA; Professor Emeritus, American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, CA

The Little Church in the Big City is an incredibly valuable resource to congregations seeking to think their way through some of our culture’s thorny issues. Dr. Bennett’s thoughtful and even-handed approach to issues includes both historical and contemporary summaries as well as clear presentations of the relevant biblical teachings that should inform our faith and actions. The beauty of her work is that one can randomly pick and choose from the material and still effectively utilize the sections dealing with issues of particular interest.

Rev. Steve Bils, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast, Portland CA.

“It was an honor and privilege to be asked to read Dr. Bennett’s books and comment on it. I was reluctant to accept at first due to my English limitation, (Spanish is my first language), but I’m please I did. The book is written in a way that is easy to understand by anyone who is eager to learn. It touches very deep on subjects affecting our society now-a-days’ and provokes prayerfully a deep reflection to search one’s own heart to fulfill God’s mission in love. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is struggling to find God’s will in serving others with open arms. I pray this book will be translated into other languages for the benefit it will bring to the Christian world. I know it did me a lot of good. God bless Dr. Bennett, I deeply value her friendship. I pray this is the first of many to follow.”

Rev. Alfredo Centeno, Pastor of Iglesia Bautista Nuevo Horizonte, San José, CA; Former Area Minister of the Hispanic Convention of Churches; Former pastor of Primera Iglesio Bautisto Hispano, San Francisco, CA.

“Drawing on interviews with church members, pastors, and denominational executives, Dr. Bennett in The Little Church in the Big City presents a passionate case for the positive role that small congregations play in city neighborhoods. She combines in-depth analysis of some of the most controversial issues churches face, with detailed Scripture study, but also with plans on how congregations can move forward as Christians. Any church facing tensions over race, gay marriage, immigration, theology, and other critical issues will benefit from using her book as a manual for reconciliation.”

Rev. Gordon S. Grose, Ph.D., American Baptist pastor, pastoral counselor, author.


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