Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Gospel - A Resource for Teaching the Gospel to Others

Hopefully this embedded link works.

About 4 years ago, while I was in Russia, I began studying the Bible with people who had little to no knowledge of God or the Bible. This was very difficult for me, because (usually) in America I could teach people about Christ with some sort of reference point. Most non-Christians have at least been to Church once or have heard something about Christianity. But, as I said, in Russia this is usually not the case.

I grew a lot in my teaching when I was forced to teach people who knew nothing about what I was talking about. I had to change my language, approach, and really focus on boiling things down to simple points that could later be expanded upon.

I made this 6 part study to be used with many kinds of people, though it's far from answering every question that people can ask, nor will it work for every type of culture or background. I put it on here hoping it may be useful for someone, hopefully in sharing the Gospel with someone else.

At the end of this I also added a summary of a class I did on evangelism for the purpose of encouragement and inspiration in sharing your faith with others.

I'll explain how this was intended to be used. In my teaching style (especially one-on-one) I like to use three main methods: Scripture, principles, and discussion questions.

Scripture - In this study you can see that I have many Scriptures in parentheses, which I would read along with the person I'm studying with (taking turns or whatever they're most comfortable with). This is obviously the foundation of any Bible study, and the rest of it just serves as a help to bring those Scriptures over to our daily reality.

Principles - You'll notice many of the paragraphs start off with a bold, italic sentence. This is a principle that summarizes the point I am trying to make (similar to how I often write in blog posts). The principles are important, because I try to make things easy to understand, simple, meaningful, and memorable. Often when I'm studying with someone I'll use these principles as my launching point and just use the paragraph to make sure I discussed the main idea of that principle.

Discussion Questions - The last part is discussion questions, which are also vitally important. For one, they are important because it is completely necessary to know where someone is when you're studying with them. You may not want to move on at times if it seems like they're getting a totally different idea than you are trying to communicate (one of the reasons I prefer one-on-one over preaching). This also puts you on a more level playing field with the other person, because you answer the questions as well. This is a good time to be personal, and maybe a little transparent. It also gives the other person time to process out loud whatever you've been reading/discussing.

At the beginning of each lesson I have the main points for the teacher to get across, as well as an outline of the lesson. I also have assignments at the end of some of the lessons, in the hope that the other person will start off practicing some simple parts of Christianity from the very get-go.

This is definitely a work in progress. It's not a perfect study, and there's lots of other concepts I struggled with not adding in here. But, I tried to go for simplicity as much as I could (some of it still needs to be simplified more, for sure).

If it's helpful for anyone at all, I'd love to hear about it. And if you have any questions about it whatsoever I'd be glad to answer those.

Link (in case the embedded part doesn't work):

The Gospel COMPLETE in PDF