Home » missional

Christianity Explored

22 January 2013 2 Comments

Last week we started ‘Christianity Explored’ at church. I admit it: I am not a fan of ‘out of the box’ courses and prefer something a little more contextual. Maybe it is not fully where I am theologically (and who knows where that is?) but it was really exciting.

Exciting? Well, we are rarely intentional about anything evangelistic these days. Even the word ‘evangelistic’ sounds bad: for me it has connotations of people with no social skills, sensitivity or hinterland. Perhaps ‘evangelistic’ is a poor term and the Roman Catholic idea of ‘evangelisation’ is better as it carries connotations of learning and growth. Being kind of ‘post’ I tend to shy away from invitational stuff like this- to my cost.

But a group of people gathering to ‘field test’ over 6 weeks something new is exciting. Everyone knows why they have come: to learn, to remind ourselves, to grow and to evaluate. Please note: I did not put the number of people down- I loathe churches doing┬áthat: it often comes across as boastful and ‘look at us/me’.

What was most lovely is that a disparate group put in a warm room with a clear purpose began to talk about things they had never really talked about openly for ages. At points I thought ‘Take off your shoes, for you are on holy ground’- so open were people and so heart rending were many of the questions. It really helped as someone else (a 10 min DVD) did the talking & the framework was ‘you can say anything and no one will be shocked and butt in’.

I don’t know where this one will go or what will be the ‘result’ but I enjoyed it so much…. maybe there is scope for more of this. If so, other things will have to go. But I am excited….


2 Comments »

  • Janette Middleton said:

    I noticed your mention about this previously on twitter and asked the question, “Is it better than Alpha?” Thanks for more detail, and I ask the question again. Having used Alpha for a number of years with varying degrees of success, ( this year’s group was outstanding!) I do have some reservations about the format and materials. It is rather too ‘middle class’ for our area for one thing; our bears no relation to HTB.
    Interested in your thoughts, and anybody else’s with experience of both courses.

  • graham (author) said:

    Thanks for commenting- it is rather lonely out here in blog land!

    It is middle class- but I live in a middle class area. I found it less middle class than Alpha (Rico Tice’s voice is more ‘neutral’). With anything off the shelf I think it has to be contextualised and cannot be seen as the panacea for all ills.

    When I first encountered Alpha, it was in a Northern town and a church that was lower middle class/upper working class. The minister spoke – I had no idea that there were videos & was shocked when I found out.

    I think it only ‘works’ when people are committed to it and as part of a praying community. And I am writing that as someone who is ‘post’.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.