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How to Run The Reason for God DVD Study with Non-Christians

How to Run The Reason for God DVD Study with Non-Christians

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Published by Zondervan
How to Use The Reason for God DVD study with non-Christians

Many churches have small groups for their members to gather together for Bible study, discipleship, and building community. In The Reason for God DVD, Timothy Keller leads a different kind of small group – a group for non-Christians.

Christians have gained a reputation in the secular world (sometimes deserved) for being dogmatic and judgmental toward non-Christians, or for speaking in jargon and assuming knowledge of the Bible that excludes those outside the faith.

A group for non-Christians creates a safe space where those who are exploring the Christian faith can have their questions invited, their doubts and difficulties respected, and their struggles recognized.

When non-Christians encounter Christians who understand and sympathize with their doubts and critiques of the church—even though they disagree—it provides an opportunity for openness, authenticity, and friendship. It also demonstrates the humility and regard for others that Christ himself taught.

This kind of group can serve someone who grew up in the church but left because of negative experiences there, or someone who has no familiarity with the church and finds its culture completely alien.

Lastly, a group for non-Christians can have a life that continues well after the group. In some cases a group may continue to meet formally, studying other introductory materials to Christianity. In others, friendships or informal connections may form, or group members may be invited to attend a church or join a regular Bible study. If someone in the group comes to believe in the God of the Bible for the first time, the relationships formed in the group can provide a natural source of support, discipleship and accountability.

A group for non-Christians could meet for a set number of weeks—perhaps 6 to 8—to go through a book, curriculum, or set of topics together. The group leader should be familiar with the questions and objections of non-Christians and be able to deal with them sensitively. New groups could be created as needed depending on interest, or could be offered on a regular basis. They could be promoted through word of mouth, public advertisement, through a website or mailing list, etc.
If you’ve completed The Reason for God group study and now want to apply what you’ve learned by starting a group for non-Christians, here are several ways you can get started:
■ Use the knowledge you’ve gained in the study to pose the same questions that form the titles of each “discussion” to your friends and see where the conversation leads.
■ Start a book club or discussion group based on books like The Reason for God or King’s Cross, and meet to discuss the chapters.
■ Watch the DVD, or selected portions of it, and use these as a discussion starter. See the PDF titled “Questions to Use in Running Your Own Discussion Group” at www.timothykeller.com
■ Use other courses for those exploring the faith such as Alpha or Christianity Explored. These courses have their own websites with a wealth of resources for leaders.
How to Use The Reason for God DVD study with non-Christians

Many churches have small groups for their members to gather together for Bible study, discipleship, and building community. In The Reason for God DVD, Timothy Keller leads a different kind of small group – a group for non-Christians.

Christians have gained a reputation in the secular world (sometimes deserved) for being dogmatic and judgmental toward non-Christians, or for speaking in jargon and assuming knowledge of the Bible that excludes those outside the faith.

A group for non-Christians creates a safe space where those who are exploring the Christian faith can have their questions invited, their doubts and difficulties respected, and their struggles recognized.

When non-Christians encounter Christians who understand and sympathize with their doubts and critiques of the church—even though they disagree—it provides an opportunity for openness, authenticity, and friendship. It also demonstrates the humility and regard for others that Christ himself taught.

This kind of group can serve someone who grew up in the church but left because of negative experiences there, or someone who has no familiarity with the church and finds its culture completely alien.

Lastly, a group for non-Christians can have a life that continues well after the group. In some cases a group may continue to meet formally, studying other introductory materials to Christianity. In others, friendships or informal connections may form, or group members may be invited to attend a church or join a regular Bible study. If someone in the group comes to believe in the God of the Bible for the first time, the relationships formed in the group can provide a natural source of support, discipleship and accountability.

A group for non-Christians could meet for a set number of weeks—perhaps 6 to 8—to go through a book, curriculum, or set of topics together. The group leader should be familiar with the questions and objections of non-Christians and be able to deal with them sensitively. New groups could be created as needed depending on interest, or could be offered on a regular basis. They could be promoted through word of mouth, public advertisement, through a website or mailing list, etc.
If you’ve completed The Reason for God group study and now want to apply what you’ve learned by starting a group for non-Christians, here are several ways you can get started:
■ Use the knowledge you’ve gained in the study to pose the same questions that form the titles of each “discussion” to your friends and see where the conversation leads.
■ Start a book club or discussion group based on books like The Reason for God or King’s Cross, and meet to discuss the chapters.
■ Watch the DVD, or selected portions of it, and use these as a discussion starter. See the PDF titled “Questions to Use in Running Your Own Discussion Group” at www.timothykeller.com
■ Use other courses for those exploring the faith such as Alpha or Christianity Explored. These courses have their own websites with a wealth of resources for leaders.

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Published by: Zondervan on Oct 29, 2012
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