The other side of the coin to the last article is that a course can be a very helpful thing. As I said in that article, we have used courses like Christianity Explored at Bearwood Chapel as well as our own in house courses Rooted and First Look.
Here are some reasons why
- We find props helpful in conversation – I’ve read various observations to the affect that English people particularly need this (e.g. talking about the weather) but I’m not sure it is an exclusively English thing. Having an invitation card for a course can be a helpful conversation starter, whether it’s with a friend, door to door or talking to people at the bus stop.
- Working through some of the big Gospel questions over a few weeks can give someone a chance to think through each question in turn and digest them.
- In effect you are providing an introductory series that also encourages someone to try out regular attendance over a few weeks whilst also having a get out clause at the end. There is a reason to come back next week.
- A course can provide a good context for Christians to see evangelism and apologetics modelled. This can encourage them to share their faith with others.
- A course does not have to be the big occasional event that you have to wait from before attending or inviting someone to. We have designed First Look and Rooted so that anyone can pick up the online versions and use them in their own personal evangelism. Instead of having to wait for the next course at the Chapel, we encourage people to start using the material. That might mean that we sit down and look at the material with a friend or group of friends. Sometimes it might mean that they simply refer to aspects of the course in their own words during natural conversation.