We like to say, “starting a Torah Club is easy.” In many ways, it is, but committing to lead anything requires a step of faith.
Terri and Andrew Cheong had no existing group of people to start with over a year ago, but they felt God was leading them to step up and step out in faith to begin a Torah Club. They are glad they did! Recently, we sat down with Andrew and Terri so they could tell us a bit of their story about starting what has become a flourishing Torah Club with twenty-four members.
What inspired you to want to start a Torah Club?
For us, Torah Club had been our main source of Bible study even before the new format. We used the older Torah Club commentaries to teach Bible studies at our church. We were excited when we learned that there would be a new format for Torah Club. It wasn’t until we attended Malchut 2019 that we felt as though God was leading us to start a club. The conference was very inspiring! We came home and continued to pray, and then we stepped out and got started. We are thankful that we did. Even though we attend a church, in some ways, we still felt alone because we embrace Messianic Judaism. With Torah Club, we now have a community of people who share our desire to grow in knowing the Jewish Jesus. Our club meets every Saturday. It has been great.
How did you get your club started? Did you begin with an existing group of people?
We had no existing group before Torah Club. We prayed for God to open doors to start this club. We began by getting to know the leadership at our church, and they allowed us to tell people about Torah Club. A few people from our church joined us. The Club Finder also led some people to us. Several members of our family have joined as well. It has been great to see how God has assembled such an eclectic group. We like to think that we showed up, obeyed, and God took care of the rest. We now have twenty-four people in our club, including the associate pastor from our church.
With a diverse club like ours, we get all kinds of questions in our weekly meetings. Some of the questions are basic. Others are deep theological questions. However, the material is accessible to everyone. As leaders, we try to emphasize that Torah Club is a safe environment where people can ask questions. We can agree to disagree. Torah Club is much more than a Bible study. It has become a lifestyle for us. There is great fellowship and community. People are hungry to get to know God more and learn about what it means to be a disciple of Yeshua and to walk his path. This is where the success of Torah Club is happening. It is giving people the ability to get a grip on their faith and make changes in their lives by soaking in the Word and applying it on a deeper level.
The two of you lead the club together as husband and wife. How has that been?
In our former congregation I was the main Bible study teacher. With Torah Club, we co-lead, and it has been great. Some of our students have commented that they enjoy how we lead together and complement each other. We take turns, and it has worked well. I (Andrew) am the more academic type, and Terri gets more of the big picture and brings out the spiritual and practical side.
We are thankful to have younger leaders like yourselves in Torah Club. What would you say to other young leaders who are interested in starting a club?
Andrew - I would say you do not have to be a gifted leader or scholar to lead a club. However, it is important to have the right attitude and spirit about leading. Reading the book “Restoration” helped me feel prepared theologically. Boaz’s Tent of David book helped me to have a humble attitude toward those who may think differently than we do.
Terri - Some may feel unsure because they do not believe they know enough. I would say to press into humility. This puts us in the right place where we are constantly seeking. Humility can be a strength because you are learning and trusting in HaShem. Another important thing is that we try to learn from our members—especially the older ones. We try just to show up and obey and remember that this is the Lord’s ministry, not ours. Anyone can lead a Torah Club if God calls you!