Good Soil E&D is for ESL Ministry–English as a Second Language

as well as many other kinds of ministries.

Girl writing Do you speak English?

More than one in five (21.6%) USA residents, ages 5 and older, now speaks a foreign language at home!

The Census Bureau released 2016 data from the 2017 American Community Survey on languages spoken by USA residents five years old or older.

The data reveals that the number of people who speak a language other than English at home has reached an all-time high of 65.5 million, up 5.9 million since 2010.

Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic were three languages with the largest increases. Languages with more than a million speakers were: Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, French, Korean, and Arabic. Haitian was a new category that previously was broken into several types of French Creole.

Of those who speak a foreign language at home, 40% reported that they speak English “less than very well.”

Center for Immigration Studies.

Teaching ESL – English as a Second Language – is a great ministry opportunity for you and your church!

English as a Second Language Stats
Year 1980 1990 2000 2010 2013
Speaking a language other than English at home 1980: 23,060,040 1990: 31,844,979 2000: 46,951,595 2010: 59,542,596 2013: 61,748,740
Speaks English less than “Very Well” 1980: 10,181,036 1990: 13,982,502 2000: 21,320,407 2010: 25,223,045 2013: 25,125,132
Source: Data for 2000, 2010, and 2013 are from American FactFinder for the American Community Survey and the 2000 Census. Figures for 1990 are from 1990 Census tables. Figures for 1980 are from the 1980 Census.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to show recent immigrants to America that you care for them.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to introduce them to Biblical Christianity and your local church.
  • It’s an opportunity for you to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them.

The first question many Christians ask, regarding a ministry of ESL, is “What ESL resources can I use that will explain the gospel clearly?”

The Story of Hope

The Story of Hope – Global English

The Story of Hope – Global English is an adaptation of The Story of Hope evangelistic Bible study workbook to a 4th - 5 th grade reading level by a professional Global English translator.

It presents the gospel in the way people of non-Christian worldview cultures need to be introduced to the Bible—begins in Genesis 1:1 and unfolds the Bible’s BIG redemptive story all the way through the Old and New Testaments. Thus, it provides the overall Biblical context that makes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ clear and meaningful, even for people who know nothing about the true God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ.

For intermediate or advanced ESL students; not appropriate for beginning English learners.

The Story of Hope – ESL Teacher’s Guide

A FREE download. Eighty-three professionally designed pages. Created by ESL instructors with years of ministry experience and educational preparation for teaching English as a second language. Includes Teacher’s Notes related to key vocabulary terms, Grammar Overview tips, as well as answers and explanations related to the Bible-related questions in the study.

Download it and see for yourself. It’s FREE.

Download Free

Also, there are many translated editions of The Story of Hope. If an edition is available in the language your ESL student speaks, we recommend that you also provide him/her with a copy of that edition.


We all want to share our faith effectively…but how do we do it?

Additional Resources You Might Be Able to Use in Your ESL Ministry

The Bible's Big Story Teaching Visuals

The Bible's BIG Story Teaching Visuals - Set of 105

Set of 105 laminated, double-sided teaching visuals for teaching the Bible's redemptive story, from Genesis through Revelation.


Look Inside +

13.5” x 10.75” laminated printed teaching visuals. Key Bible event content on the back, event image on the front. 100+ teaching visuals, 50 Old Testament and 50 New Testament, plus five others that are of special interest with Muslims. Great for teaching the BIG Story of the Bible, that begins in Genesis and culminates in Revelation, with people who do not speak English or do not speak English well.

Chronological Bible Cards: Genesis — Revelation

ChronoBible Cards: Genesis-Revelation

A complete set of 135 pocket-size cards (4.5" x 3.375") for learning and reviewing the content and chronology of the Bible's Big Story.


Look Inside +

Pocket-size cards for learning and reviewing 100 key Bible events as they appear chronologically from Genesis through Revelation. Each Bible event card contains an image from the Good Soil Redemptive Story art collection on the front and key content information on the back. 25 major Bible era cards and 10 Chronological Bridge to Life cards included.

The Bible's BIG Story PowerPoint CD

The Bible's BIG Story PowerPoint CD contains three PowerPoint presentations of the Bible's story of redemption, from Genesis through Revelation:

20 Events - to use with short presentations and The Story of Hope Condensed.
40 Events - to use with medium-length presentations and The Story of Hope.
100 Events - to use with more extended presentations of the Bible's BIG Story.

Each Bible event is beautifully illustrated with an image from the Good Soil Redemptive Art Series. Also, included in each presentation are slides of Bible maps and the Chronological Bridge to Life. Great way to present the Bible’s story of creation, fall, salvation, and total restoration to ESL students. Highly recommended for ESL ministries.

Sample Old Testament Images

Eve and serpent in Eden

Abraham & Isaac

Sacrifice of lamb at altar in front of tabernacle

Sample New Testament Images

John the Baptist

Resurrection of Jesus

Believers in heaven - around Jesus - the rapture scene

For Bible Study Ministry with Muslims

Although not specifically for ESL ministry, The Message of Hope is a workbook specifically developed to introduce Muslims to the Bible’s redemptive story, culminating with Jesus Christ, God’s Son and our Savior. Begins in Genesis 1:1 and moves chronologically through the Bible.

The Leader’s Guide for The Message of Hope includes nearly 200 pages and was written by people who have lived for many years in Islamic cultures.

Evangelism and Discipleship Training for ESL Ministries

Learn to share the gospel, God’s story of hope, in a way that people will clearly understand it, sincerely embrace it, and hold fast to it.

The top ten takeaways from Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship training:

  • Learn how to initiate conversations that open up to unobtrusive opportunities to share the gospel.
  • Learn how to determine where a person is on his/her level of understanding of the gospel and receptivity to knowing more about salvation through Jesus Christ.
  • Learn how to present the truth of the gospel in a way that it isn't misunderstood by the person with whom you are sharing, regardless of his/her religious worldview.
  • Learn how to share God's story of redemption, from Genesis through Revelation, so that the recipient will understand the Biblical context for the good news of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.
  • Learn how to present the gospel, using the Chronological Bridge to Life.
  • Learn how to share the gospel, using your own faith story.
  • Learn a variety of ways to use The Story of Hope, in evangelism, with confidence.
  • Learn how to use The Way to Joy, in discipling believers who are still weak in their faith.
  • Learn about a wide variety of evangelism and discipleship resources that you may find to be helpful in your ministry.
  • Learn to teach others what you have learned about evangelism and discipleship, and train them to do what you have learned to do through the training you have received.

Good Soil Basic Seminar

Two Days in May or October

More Information

Good Soil Trainer Certification

A Third Day in May or October

More Information

Always, engaging, interactive, and FUN learning.

FREE Book for ESL Ministry Leaders

Gaining Ground with Good Soil is an evangelism and discipleship training narrative—a scaled-down version of the Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship seminar in a narrative format. The principles gained from this book are applicable for anyone wishing to serve God through Biblical evangelism and discipleship, but is especially instructive and helpful for ministry leaders, such as leaders of ESL ministries.

The realistic, but fictional narrative, around which the book is developed, tells the story of a couple of missionaries who were frustrated and discouraged—to the point of almost giving up—because of their lack of success in evangelism and discipleship on their field. But, the “Good Soil” principles they learned from Bible study revolutionized their ministries. It will help you think through a theology of evangelism and discipleship and help you to present the gospel so that men and women will clearly understand it, sincerely embrace it, and firmly hold on to it.

Free instructional resources for individual and group study are also available for download.

If you are a leader of an ESL ministry, with a USA shipping address, and will commit to reading this book, we will send you a FREE (and postage-free) copy of Gaining Ground with Good Soil.

More Good Soil Resources for Evangelism and Discipleship

Good Soil provides an entire toolbox of resources for ESL and other ministries.

For a complete overview of our Good Soil resources:

Set your country and language

We will add support for new countries and languages in the future.