The long term downward trend in church attendance for the UK continues fall. Even more alarming is the declining number of young adults dropping out of church. But praise God for the work being done by the Precept UK Team! Mike writes:
“Growing up I believed the key to being happy was for me to be the king of my own life and have the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. Success, power, and relationships were some of the things I thought would make me happy and bring contentment. I viewed Christianity as a life of lots of rules that would keep me from having fun and doing what I believed brought happiness.
“Over time I realized that no matter how much fun I had, it only gave me temporary joy. Nothing was ever enough. I always wanted more. What I didn’t realize, this wasn’t freedom at all, but was bondage. Bondage to a lifestyle that the world says I should have. I was following society’s unwritten so-called rules and it wasn’t working.
“What really made a difference was seeing God in other people's lives. I saw it in my sister and some good friends. I wanted to know more, and as I started seeking God, I found it's not about rules and regulations, but living life to the fullest for Him as we were made to do. God changes your heart if you just allow Him to.
“One day after sitting on the fence for a number of years I finally said to God, ‘I don't know all the answers, but I'm going to trust you and make you King of my life.’ Since that day, I've found that the more I draw closer to God, the more He draws near to me. Life with Him has given me a purpose, peace and joy that I've never felt before. I think it's just so incredible that the God who made the world, who created it all, longs to be in relationship with us. All we have to do is repent, humble ourselves and say yes to following Him. I'm so thankful that I did!.
“As someone who hated reading and English as a child, when I first heard about Precept Bible Studies through a friend, I had to admit I wasn't that keen on taking a study. I thought it was going to be just like going back to English class again. However, it has been anything but this. We studied, Discovering the God of Second Chances, a study on the book of Jonah. It was amazing! Precept has helped unlock the Bible for me! It has made the Word come alive and allowed God to impact my life through His Word. Precept has had a huge impact on my faith and I find the more time I spend studying God's Word, the more passionate I become to faithfully follow Him with all my life.
“I've recently started studying Precept Upon Precept® and I absolutely love it! It's definitely been my favorite study to date and although I thought I would struggle to get through the work each week, I've actually found it so good I'm a few weeks ahead because I just can't get enough! I would highly recommend Precept to everyone; you won't regret committing to study God's Word Inductively. It really does change your life.
“I would really appreciate your prayers with some of the youth work I’m doing on the local estate. Following a few years of getting to know the young people through football, we are now running a youth group every other Friday. We also enjoy eating food, playing games and sharing who God is with the young people. It's challenging because their behavior can be hard to manage. It can be difficult to know when to share with them about Christ. Please pray for wisdom, guidance and breakthrough. Thanks!
“I’m eternally grateful for the Precept UK team and how they are touching the lives of so many in this region!”
Prayerfully consider your part in helping establish people in God’s Word around the world.Donate Online Now
Have you ever doubted God? When the storms of life come, where do you turn? God used an unexpected tragedy to help Valerie grow deeper and stronger in her amazing walk with the Lord. Valerie writes:
“I’ll never forget the day when my dear friend Sarah called and told me that her precious child, who was just 4 months old, had died due to cot death syndrome. She was devastated. I was heartbroken. I knew at that moment, I had reached a crisis with my faith. For quite a long time I had been questioning all that I had ever believed about God.
I was raised in a Christian home with godly parents. I committed my life to the Lord at age 10, and I was very active in church as a teenager. God continued to bless and He brought me a godly husband. At that point in my life, I had three lovely children all less than 5 years of age. With the constant demands of being a wife and mother, I had slipped further and further away from God. On the outside I was still going through the motions like everything was fine, but my relationship with God was suffering greatly and I stood at a crossroads.
I was at a crisis of belief. Could God really be in this horrific trial? This one event, the death of Sarah’s baby, brought me to a point of making a choice: would I turn away from God or walk again by faith and cling to His Word? As I watched my friend encounter God in her pain, I hungered to know Him again. I knew that knowing God’s Word was exactly what I needed and I committed my life again to knowing Him through His Word. Wherever God was leading, I would follow.
My hunger to know His Word was strong. God answered my prayer. Through an organization called Evangelical Ministries, I was introduced to a group of ladies who were keen to study God’s Word. I had developed a strong interest in learning to study the Bible, but no studies that I had taken seemed to work. They didn’t teach you how to engage with the Bible for yourself. Together we started to produce and write our own Bible studies, and as part of this process we decided to attend a Precept Training Workshop held in England. I was hooked. The Word of God came alive to me and I realized with some commitment, anyone could learn to study the Bible Inductively.
God’s timing was perfect! The next summer Kay Arthur was the keynote speaker for our Northern Ireland Women’s Conference. Through God-ordained delays on her travel arrangements, I was able to spend time with Diane Vereen. At that time, Bob and Diane Vereen served as the Ambassadors At Large, international liaisons for Precept Ministries. She encouraged me along with two others friends to attend a Precept Summer Training at Precept Ministries headquarters.
It was exactly what we all needed. We studied every Training Workshop that was offered. It was fantastic! God was birthing in me a strong desire to help teach others what He was teaching me. I prayed and God moved. In 2002 a link was forged between Evangelical Ministries and Precept. Precept was the “Bible Study arm” of EM.
In time there grew such a strong hunger for others to learn to study the Bible that we believed that God was directing us to start Precept Ministries Northern Ireland. The strategy God gave us was to begin by focusing on Leaders. Raise them up; support them; and establish them before moving on. We set up a class, identified potential Precept Leaders, trained them and then gradually handed over the class to them.
It’s remarkable to see what God has done from starting one class and praying for new Leaders. Today there are over 60 Precept Inductive Bible Study classes and 930 students in these classes. We stand amazed at the growth we have seen in such a short period of time. It’s been challenging at times, but I’ve seen God continue to provide for our needs here. We’re so grateful to those who financially support Precept Ministries International. Here are just a few comments from some of our Students and Leaders who have been impacted by Precept Northern Ireland:
“God has used this ministry to help me, to change me, to cause my heart to desire God more than anything else. I’m so thankful for Him leading me to Precept.” Mary—Precept Student, Newtownabbey
“As a Leader it’s very positive and encouraging to see something new happening. To see men discussing issues and God’s Word openly, speaking out and being honest in real terms. As a Leader this is so good to see.” Campbell—Precept Leader, Carrickfergus
“It’s very encouraging to see girls of different backgrounds coming together with dedication to study God’s Word. It’s thrilling to see their new Bible Study Inductive skills and a desire to grow.” Rona—Precept Leader, Londonderry
We desire for others to stand strong. Crisis will come. Storms will hit our lives. But praise God He never changes. I’m glad I stepped out in faith and determined to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. Teaching others to discover Truth for themselves has been one of the greatest adventures of my life!”
We are thrilled to see the work in this region continue to grow. Prayerfully consider your gift today to help establish more people in God’s precious Word around the world.Donate Online Now
In a country ranked fourth from the bottom in church attendance for all of Europe, one might ask why and how Precept is able to reach so many people who are interested in studying the Bible inductively. Precept’s UK National Directors Nigel and Molly Watts believe the answer is simple—people want to know Truth, and the only real Truth is found in God’s Word!.
People want to know Truth!
Although it’s been said that “the United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language,” it’s the common love for God’s Word that unites us. In 2007, several Americans accompanied Kay and David on a speaking trip to England and caught a vision for the ministry.
“That was the tipping point for the ministry in the UK,” explains Precept’s Bob Vereen, who serves as Senior Vice President for the International Ministry. “With Nigel as full-time director, they were able to really start reaching out and making the contacts needed to expand the Ministry.”
Today, Precept UK is active all over England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In two recent introductory seminars, more than 160 people were introduced to Precept and the Inductive Bible Study Method. In a place where the average church congregation is only about 80, that’s a great turnout! Students learned how they could lead small groups using Being a Disciple, Count the Real Cost from the 40-Minute Bible Study series. By the end of the seminar, they were equipped with an incredible tool for developing their relationship with God and for discipling others.
Please pray for Nigel, Molly, and the entire Precept UK team as they serve the people of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. God is using them in a great way to bring glory to Himself!Donate Online Now
There’s a spiritual crisis looming in the United Kingdom.
It’s tragic that in England, where the Bible was first translated into English by Wycliffe, Tyndale, and Coverdale, so few regularly read the Bible or attend church. We praise God for Nigel and Molly Watts who are helping to bring light to a region where God’s Word is so desperately needed.
Molly was first inspired to study and learn God’s Word by a speaker she heard at a Bible conference. She asked, “How can I learn to understand the Bible the way you do?” She was shocked to hear, “It’s impossible for you. You have young children and you have too many other things going on in your life.” Molly was heartbroken with his comments.
Later that year, Molly’s husband Nigel saw an ad for How to Study Your Bible and that’s how the couple discovered Precept Ministries International and the Inductive Bible Study Method. It was just what they’d been looking for. They quickly began doing Precept studies together, with their children, and with study groups they had formed. Because Nigel was in the British Army, the family moved often, and everywhere they went they started new Precept study groups.
“"We praise the Lord for the opportunities that He has given us just within the last month across the UK to teach people Inductive Bible Study. ”
–Nigel and Molly Watts; Directors, Precept UK
In 1998, the Watts along with two other couples first established a Precept office in Bath. Today Nigel and Molly are our National Directors of England and Wales. There are over 1,200 people studying weekly with over 170 groups. People are eager to begin studying, and new groups are starting on a weekly basis. Nigel and Molly are excited about the doors God is opening up throughout the UK.
“We praise the Lord for the opportunities that He has given us just within the last month across the UK to teach people Inductive Bible Study. From Cardiff, Wales, to Devon (SW England), to Eastbourne (SE England) to London and more recently to Salisbury, each event has provided the means for people to know our God better through the amazing resources Precept Ministries has to offer.”
God is continuing to open doors in this region. We have three Precept offices within the United Kingdom: England (& Wales), Northern Ireland and Scotland. We’re grateful for the generosity of individuals and groups who support the work of Precept around the world. Countless lives are being changed, and His Word is going forth in a profound way.Donate Online Now