30 years of discipling results in stronger churches and communities

The Mekihima Bible Study programme began in 1991 when a missionary saw the need to disciple new believers in the rapidly growing churches in Ethiopia.

Now over 40,000 groups and close to half a million individuals study the Bible using the Mekihima Bible Study program. Thirty-nine study books have been written to date. While the books and training materials were originally conceived for churches, they are now being used in prisons, universities, colleges, and even refugee camps as well as Amharic speaking communities outside of Ethiopia including Sudan Khartoum, South Africa, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Singapore, North America, and as far as New Zealand.

 Mekihima allows people to connect in biblical community and helps them become disciples of Jesus. The Bible studies develop the lives of believers through daily Bible reading and answering questions in preparation for weekly group discussions. The studies encourage Biblical applications to daily life experience. Participants are taken through all of scripture over time. Where Sunday morning sermons may expose a congregant to selected passages of scripture, Mekihima takes them through each of the books of the Bible, chapter-by-chapter. Passages are examined in their context. Participants don’t just read about the Bible, they read it.

 The studies also foster community. While the participant reads and reflects on passages daily on their own, they then meet regularly - usually weekly - to discuss what they have learned as a community. It is in these small groups that people get to know each other, support each other, and learn to confide, confess, and forgive. As Mekihima participants are accountable to each other, they grow and mature together. Personal spiritual growth rarely happens in isolation.

 Mekihima studies have also been effective in exposing unbelievers to the Bible and connecting them to others within the church and where believers or churches face difficult circumstances the group studies provide a sense of community that helps members stand firm.

Mekihima has grown because it is reproducible. It involves five principals or steps that can be taught, easily understood and practiced, and then passed on.

 One church leader comments, “In our local church with over 250 members, there are 18 study groups. Most have completed the first 10 Bible Study books and the group leaders have completed 30 study books. For leaders, studying the Bible is not optional. It is mandatory. Through the Mekihima Bible Study programme, all 250 church members are being discipled. This is positively affecting their personal and family life, as well as impacting their communities.”

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