What keeps us from doing evangelism? The most common answer is fear. Fear of not knowing what to say, fear of not being able to answer people’s questions and objections, fear of rejection, fear of personal inadequacy, and the list goes on.
This is where training comes in. If training can increase confidence in God and his word, as well as in the Christianity Explored/Life Explored tools, then fear will be mitigated. We can’t totally erase the pain line we have to cross when it comes to evangelism, but training can give us a running start as we approach the line.
We have objective measures of the impact of training. Over the past year, we have asked training participants at the beginning of a training event: “How confident (on a scale of 1-10) are you that “I can do this!”?” We have then asked the same question at the end of training. We find that the average person improves from a little over 4 on the scale at the beginning, to around 7 by the end of just a half day of training.
Christianity Explored offers training in various formats that go to differing depths:
- Our Leaders’ Handbooks – each comes with a beginning section on How to Run the Course that provides solid introductory training to begin laying a foundation. The Leader’s Handbooks also provide suggestions for each session, as well as appendices with video scripts and answers to common questions.
- The Leaders’ Area on our website – comes with video training and commentaries, extra materials such as our “cheat sheet” for Life Explored, and downloadable training modules (located in the Christianity Explored side of the site but applicable to all our series). You will have to register to get access to the leader’s area.
- Regional Hubs – already up and going along the Front Range of Colorado and in the Pacific Northwest, hubs develop teams of gifted trainers ready to help you. Let us know if you are willing to help launch a hub in your area.
- Training Events Led by CE Directors – If you are willing to host a half-day or longertraining event and commit to inviting 4 or more other churches to join you, we’d love to find a time to come to you and provide a local training event. There is no charge for our time, but we ask you to provide for our travel and lodging. Training includes:
- An Overview of the Christianity Explored Methodology
- God’s Role and Our Role in Evangelism – God’s Sovereignty, Gospel Clarity, and Our Creativity.
- Experiencing the Evening – we’ll put you in the “Christianity Explored Simulator” so those in your church can experience a small taste of what it’s like to be a part of Christianity Explored from a guest’s perspective.
- Our Message – Identity, Mission and Call in the Gospel of Mark.
- Getting our Expectations Right… and more!
- Annual North American Conference – training by international speakers like Rico Tice and author Randy Newman, encouragement from being with others concerned with getting the gospel out, and help with specific topics through a variety of practical breakout sessions with something for everyone from the seasoned CE leader to rookies running the course for the first time. The conference rotates to different geographic regions each year. Our next North American conference is May 3-4, 2019 in Nashville.
Ben Cuthbert, Pastor of College Baptist in Hillsdale, Michigan, explains how the training event he hosted last month gave people in the church confidence to proclaim the gospel:
“As a pastor, it has been my privilege to lead Christianity Explored courses for a number of years, but (much to my shame) I had never invited the congregation into the leadership of this great evangelistic endeavor. Hosting Kevin for a CE training session was just what I needed to include the people of the church into the great work of Gospel partnership. We were reminded of the fact that evangelistic ministry is one of the many mercies of God (2 Cor 4:1). And we walked away with a greater sense of confidence to proclaim the Good News of Jesus in reliance on God’s sovereignty with a commitment to Gospel integrity coupled with creative humility.
One final thought: as you run the Christianity Explored courses, these courses themselves can provide training in evangelism for people in your church. Consider inviting folks from your church to get initial training through observing what is going on around them as you run the course. We love putting them at a table by themselves where they – without prior training – will not have a negative impact on other participants and where they can interact with the series themselves. The Christianity Explored course can help longtime Christians develop a renewed love for the gospel. It’s amazing how the gospel can impact and motivate us towards doing evangelism!
Contact us if you desire to talk further about training or hosting a training event.