Sometimes it’s in the midst of the mundane that the Lord brings about opportunities and encouragement. Here’s one such story that we recently received.
James* is a missionary in West Africa. He has been using L’Homme sur le chemin d’Emmaüs, the French edition of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, in his ministry with those he disciples.
When the date arrived for his annual vehicle inspection, James did what every other vehicle owner in the African nation does: prepare for a long, hot wait in line for bureaucracy to do its thing. Knowing he’d likely be waiting for more than a few hours, James brought along his copy of L’Homme sur le chemin d’Emmaüs to study and prepare for a coming lesson.
He got his vehicle into the queue and went to the waiting area. James pulled out his book and began to review it, but before long, a stranger walked up to him. “That’s my favourite book!” he exclaimed. James was startled. He wasn’t aware that the book was available in West Africa. The man hurriedly explained, “My colleague and I are going through that book together at work. He told me a young American gave him the book and has been going through it with him.”
Continue reading “That’s my favourite book!”
GoodSeed resources tie together familiar accounts from the Old and New Testament in way that makes profound sense and causes the Bible’s message to pop into sharp focus. We have heard from believers about how their faith has grown through a Bible study using our curriculum. At our TERM Seminars, participants are shown how using the historical narrative of the Bible helps provide clarity and understanding. Participants are glad to learn that our tools are not only good for evangelism but beneficial in helping believers grow in their spiritual lives. Here is a recent testimony from a TERM alumnus about this aspect:
By This Name is truly awesome! I have begun a study using your book with my son-in-law and my daughter, neither of whom have a clear understanding of what’s in the Bible. Both are relatively new believers and their six-year-old daughter recently made a decision for Christ! By This Name is so rich in the structure of biblical principles and truths, that it is the perfect beginner’s guide to Christian faith. My adult “kids” are enthusiastic and I am grateful for a study about the Bible [that will] precede studies of specific books of the Bible. I know of no other study of this type in existence and I am grateful to have found it. Thank you.
Learn more about TERM and check out the fall schedule.
Time for a pop quiz. Look at the following statement and ask yourself if it is biblical:
Love means being tolerant, accepting and non-judgmental.
Would it surprise you to learn that… it’s not!
You may be inclined to think there is an element of biblical truth in that statement and therefore the whole statement is valid. But that’s not the case. It’s actually a mixing of non-biblical ideas with biblical truth. This is called syncretism.
Syncretism happens when someone mixes what they think the Bible says with their inherent culture-influenced worldview. Combining these two very different views leads to them adopting a third, mixed belief system that is unlike the first two. As believers, we need to recognize that syncretism is a very real problem. Not only does it trip up our spiritual lives, but when we try to share the gospel with others, we can also unwittingly contribute to syncretism in our listeners by how we explain the good news.
Because it is so pervasive, it’s important to examine syncretism’s causes and how we can battle it in our own lives and when we share the gospel. To help you do this, we have produced a 32-page ebook entitled, “The Hidden Danger of Syncretism.” We trust you will benefit from reading it.
Download The Hidden Danger of Syncretism
GoodSeed staff Jeremy* hung up the phone and stared at the hastily scribbled notes in his small notebook. Joy gripped his heart as he considered all that the Lord had been doing through the faithful witness of one couple, Ron and Laura. Jeremy had conducted a training session some years ago that the two of them had attended. It had made such an impact that they went home and began rearranging their lives so they could be more active in sharing the gospel.
Laura had told Jeremy over the phone, “Ron used to work construction on job sites long distances from home, which made it difficult for him to be involved in these studies. But God has helped us rearrange our lives so that he now has a job only two minutes away.”
Was this drastic change worth it? Laura said, “This is the easiest thing we have done with our lives… but not the quickest.” Sharing a clear gospel with others takes time, but the results are worth it. Both Ron and Laura felt that the tools provided by GoodSeed gave their outreach a greater impact.
Laura said, “When you learn to share the gospel this way [with these tools] it simplifies your life… you know what to do!”
Jeremy marvelled at what the couple had done. He smiled as he reviewed the stories they had shared with him.
Continue reading “We rearranged our lives to make sharing the gospel possible”
(Download this article in a handy PDF format for printout and sharing.)
When Cheryl began a study with three women, she dismissed the notion of just sitting down and reading By This Name together. To her it seemed so basic and uninteresting. Surely a lecture format with some good discussion thrown in would be a more compelling method for teaching the same material.
Cheryl was not alone in her thinking. GoodSeed staff are often asked:
“Why do you just read the book together? Isn’t that boring? A turn-off to well-educated students? What about breaking things up with times of discussion? Why not just give it to them to read on their own?”
Continue reading “Dynamic Reading-Leading-Modelling… What is it? How does it help me?”
A person’s journey to the Saviour can sometimes seem a long road, especially when we’re so desirous of a quick decision and so aware of the urgency attached to the gospel.
Rose* watched Gracia travel one such journey, spread over the course of many years. Gracia is an immigrant, born in a country dominated by a religion whose main emphasis is salvation through works. Rose and Gracia met at work and over time, formed a friendship.
Rose has used GoodSeed materials for many years, so whenever GoodSeed published a new book, she made it a habit to offer it to her co-workers. Thus Rose gave Gracia both The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, as well as a copy of The Lamb. When Gracia’s daughter took a great liking to The Lamb, Gracia raved about the book and bought additional copies for other family members. But even with all this exposure to the gospel, she held firmly to her own belief system and would not seriously consider another way of thinking.
Continue reading “A long journey of the soul”
Rick’s* drinking and drug use had taken everything from him. It had taken his wife. It had taken his home. It had taken his job. But there was one thing it had never succeeded in robbing from him—Alyssa, his daughter. Somehow that girl never gave up on him. Rick can only shake his head in both thankfulness and bewilderment at her persistent love over the decades.
Rick doesn’t remember much from his childhood and the memories he does have aren’t happy ones. He struggled through school. He failed at sports. As one of the smallest kids, he was bullied and picked on. At home, his older sister got whatever she wanted, while Rick was the one never quite good enough. He felt inadequate and rejected. In an attempt to boost his self-esteem, he started drinking and smoking marijuana in his early teens. By the time he was 15, he had quit school and moved out of home.
Continue reading “She never gave up on me”
Keith and Elaine* had enjoyed the past two years. Living in Thailand had its challenges and the language was not simple to learn, but they had grown to love the country and its people. They also appreciated the pastoral leadership Chaow gave to the Thai church and enjoyed building relationships with the Thai believers. As their understanding of the language progressed, they were able to participate more in the work Chaow and his wife, Lawan, were doing.
But Keith wasn’t sure how to respond when Chaow approached him about leading a Bible study. It was an intimidating thought. Yes, he had put extensive hours into language study and yes, he would love to come alongside the church’s discipleship program, but he did not feel ready for the responsibility. Where would he start?
Continue reading “By This Name studies take off in Thailand”
Marion* had read little of the Bible during the 20 years she had been away from church. She felt it was too daunting. Recently, however, she started going to church again and even offered to help prepare the meal for a session of a marriage course. To thank her for her effort, one of the leaders, Kat, gave Marion a copy of Fieldnotes, GoodSeed’s annual compilation of testimonies.
Reading through the book, Marion was struck by the stories of those who began with no knowledge of the Bible but, by the end of each account, had come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Continue reading “I never had the courage to read the Bible”
Recently we received two testimonies. One was from a ladies’ small group from a church in Alberta, Canada and the other was from a church in Singapore. These two churches were an ocean apart but they had the same vision: to ensure every member understood a clear gospel.
These two churches found it useful to use By This Name as the book for small group study. Longtime churchgoers as well as and people still seeking to understand what the Bible is all about benefited from going through the creation-to-the-cross approach used in the book. They saw how the Old and New Testament tied together as one story, and for many, it made them want to read the Bible more! Here are their stories.
Continue reading “How churches are grounding their congregations”