(Part 1 of 3)
The Christianity Explored course is flexible. People and churches have run it in all kinds of locations, from living rooms, to church buildings, to community locations. One of the more unique locations for running a course is in a feed and western wear store. First Presbyterian Church, Lake Placid, FL, has been running the course in a feed and western wear store for several years as a way to get the course out of the church building and into the community.
Over several years of running the course, here are some things that the church’s pastor, Ray Cameron, has identified that they have learned:
- Trust the gospel. Faith comes by hearing. We just need to get people there and work through the Gospel of Mark, and then watch the gospel do its job.
- Even in small town America, there are people who are clueless about the gospel.
- People come because someone was interested enough in them to invite them. The ones who come are the ones who are interested in learning.
- Since people are coming by personal invitation, there is very little attrition.
- The fellowship meal is an essential part of the course.
- The goal isn’t to answer every question in the handbook, but to work with the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit applies the gospel to people’s hearts.
- Running Christianity Explored edifies the host group. As the hymn says: “I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.”
- This is an excellent gospel and community approach to evangelism. It mobilizes a variety of people with a variety of spiritual gifts. You don’t have to do it by yourself.
- Get to know people. Take an interest in their lives. As you show interest in them, they are more interested in the gospel you are presenting.
Since they run the course in a community location, Pastor Cameron says that they have become known in the community. Even other churches are pointing people to the Christianity Explored course at the feed and western wear store.