Both pastors and church members often ask me, “What is the best way to introduce Christianity Explored (C.E.) to my congregation?”
Here is what Dr. Sinclair Ferguson learned from introducing C.E. to First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC:
If I were going to introduce C.E. again at First Presbyterian, I would not promote it as an evangelistic Bible Study. I would probably introduce it as a way to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Mark. There would be more openness to it this way as opposed to seeing it as an evangelistic Bible Study.
Dr. Ferguson explained, “People don’t see the need to be evangelized. “
Besides being a tool to share the gospel with those who don’t yet believe in Jesus, C.E. is also an excellent tool to help people in the congregation understand the gospel better. Yet people in the congregation will resist attending if they think it is just an evangelistic Bible study.
Shortly after I became executive director of Christianity Explored in North America, one church leader in Northern Virginia told me that C.E. helped him put the pieces of the gospel together. While before, he had understood the various parts of the gospel, it wasn’t until taking the C.E. course that he saw how it all fit together.
So as you prepare to introduce C.E. to your congregation, have confidence that it will help people in the church as well as those outside the church.