Reaching out to an unbelieving housemate

Kaoru* learned about the upcoming Bible study at a local church. The elder explained that the course would be good for everyone: experienced Christians, new Christians, non-Christians and Christians who wanted to share the good news with their friends.

Her thoughts turned immediately to Bronwyn, her housemate. Yes, I want to learn how to share the gospel with her, her heart sang. So, Kaoru signed up for the course and dutifully attended it. The course used the book The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. During the course, one leader read the commentary, while the second leader read the Scripture verses. They also showed video clips that helped explain the Bible’s story. This way, the leaders explained, those attending the course were already practicing the teaching style so the participants could also lead a study on their own.

Kaoru had been in Australia only a short time on a working holiday visa. Searching for a place to rent, she ended up as housemates with Bronwyn, a local. As a believer, Kaoru also sought a local church where she could worship God with other believers. “It’s pretty rare in Japan to be brought up in a Christian home,” she explains, “but I am from a Christian family and I myself have been a Christian for 15 years.”

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I don’t want to be a Christian

group-gardeningThe voice on the phone had a note of concern. “Mom, before you come, I want to let you know that Mei Ling* is coming over shortly. She’s really hurting and she wants to talk.”

After her daughter hung up, Haley paused for a moment. She had been about to leave for Stephanie’s home to see her new grandson for the first time when the call had come. Mei Ling was Stephanie’s neighbour and Haley had met her almost three years earlier. They had become well acquainted with each other as they both shared a passion for gardening. Mei Ling had shared a little about herself over the course of their friendship. Her parents were believers but Mei Ling had never shown any interest in her parents’ faith. Though her parents had tried to take her and her siblings to church, Mei Ling had turned down their offers. Since she had been a child, she was more interested in herself. Now Haley wondered what was causing Mei Ling so much grief. All of a sudden, she felt the very strong urge to take along a copy of By This Name.

Haley arrived at Stephanie’s home which was some distance away. It wasn’t long before Mei Ling knocked on the door. Over coffee, Mei Ling poured her heart out to Haley and Stephanie. Her life was full of trouble.

As Haley listened, she knew she didn’t want to give her friend words of empty comfort. She knew that trite cliches had no value. “I wanted to offer her real hope.” Haley wanted to share with Mei Ling the true hope found in the God of the Bible.

She decided to lay it on the line. She said to Mei Ling, “This world is full of trouble and we don’t have a lot of hope in this world.”

Mei Ling’s eyes flickered. She piped up, “That’s me. I have no hope! You are so lucky, you have hope. You have your God, you got your religion.”

Haley gave a measured response. “We’re not lucky… It’s just that we’ve chosen to put our hope in the living God.”

Mei Ling shook her head as if to preempt Haley’s invitation. “I don’t want to be a Christian. But,” she added with an edge to her voice, “I’ve got some big questions for your God.”

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You don’t need to be a rocket scientist in evangelism to do this!

space-shuttle-launchWhen Barry* called the GoodSeed office to order resources, he asked if he could pop in for a visit. “I want to share with you what I’ve been doing since the TERM Seminar,” he said.

A short time later, he dropped by at lunch time. He had driven for over two hours but was eager to tell his story. Barry was a busy businessman but with a big heart for evangelism. He had been looking for a simple way to share the gospel but struggled to find the time to train himself to be an effective teacher. But after attending TERM, he realized that the Dynamic Leading-Reading-Modelling method that had been taught was something he could do.

“The first impact [of the seminar] was how it helped me. I’ve been a Christian for many years but never seen it put together like this. The whole concept of atonement, the tabernacle, Adam and Eve, the covering, all coming together is remarkable,” Barry shared with the GoodSeed staff around the lunch table.

He went on to say that, as he sat through the three days of TERM, his level of enthusiasm grew. He saw how easy it was to lead a group with the leader’s guide and after the seminar wrapped up, he asked to buy the curriculum.

Unfortunately at that time, the By This Name leader’s guide had not yet gone to press. So he waited. And waited. In the meantime, he bought copies of By This Name to give to others. When his first case of books arrived at his doorstep, he pulled them out of the box and started handing them out. He ran out before long. When he called to order more books, it happened that our proof copy of the By This Name leader’s guide had just arrived that day. When he learned that there was a physical copy in the office he asked, “Can I buy that one?”

Our office staff sold him the one copy we had. When he received it, Barry wasted no time in organizing groups to teach.

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New translations: “By This Name” in German, “All that the Prophets Have Spoken” in Farsi

By This Name German; All The Prophets Farsi

With thanksgiving to the Lord, we’re excited to announce that two major translations are now available:

Our translation teams have worked on these two books for a number of years. Though there were challenges and occasions when the work had to halt, we’re thankful they are now ready to be used in discipleship and evangelism.

New Translations

Additionally, these other translations are now completed:

If you have friends or family who would appreciate learning the message of the gospel in these languages, please do tell them about it or better yet, share it with them.

Do note that not all our offices have copies of all these new translations. We are working hard to make them available on all our stores.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices.

Looking for curriculum for small groups? Here are three suggestions

If you are starting a new season of small group meetings and are looking for a possible curriculum to use, here are three that you can consider.

1. Worldview Rethink with By This Name

DESCRIPTION: What is the main message of the Bible? Who is Jesus? What are the cross and the tomb all about? How is the Old Testament relevant to our understanding of the New Testament? This study takes you on a journey from creation to the cross to explain the core message of the Bible.

AUDIENCE: For people who want a solid biblical foundation, including those who want to learn or be refreshed in the message of the gospel.

TIME NEEDED: 16 hours (e.g., 8 sessions of 2 hours each)

RESOURCES: Leader’s guide, coursebook, workbook, DVD or online videos, visual aids

FORMAT OF STUDY: Dynamic reading. Leaders read the course book narrative. Group reads the Scripture verses. Reading is interspersed with video clips and visual aids. The group also uses the workbook together. Learn more about Dynamic Reading-Leading-Modelling.

REVIEW: “This book and the DVD series and workbook that accompany it are by far the best, most clearly stated overview of the Bible I’ve seen. It is an excellent foundational base that can be used with new Christians, mature Christians, and non-Christians. I used it to start a neighbourhood ladies’ Bible study with ladies from several different faiths. It was so well-received that once we finished it, we were then able to start studying one of the books of the Bible (Mark). I highly recommend this for use by an individual, small group, or large group, or anyone seeking to understand the Bible as a whole.” – Melissa

Continue reading “Looking for curriculum for small groups? Here are three suggestions”

Top five “how-to” articles

how-to articlesGoodSeed resources are created with two key purposes in mind: to build strong faith foundations for believers and to explain the gospel in a clear and objective way for unbelievers. Over the years, as our books, DVDs and audiobooks have gone around the world, we have had the privilege of hearing people come to faith or having their faith grow as a result of studying one of our resources.

Moreover, people in churches, mission organizations and other ministries have taken the time to share their insights, advice and feedback on how they’ve used our tools in their areas of ministry. We pooled their best advice into a series of how-to articles to help other believers. The variety of ways people have used our tools astonishes us. GoodSeed resources have been used in counselling, in prison ministries, in reaching international students, in discipling people in the church, to training youths for mission trips and more.

We want to highlight the five most-read how-to articles.

  1. How to train your church (Strategies on how to disciple the people in church and give each one a strong foundation in the Bible.)
  2. How to reach seniors (How to share the gospel with seniors, including the challenges inherent in reaching that age group.)
  3. How to train your short-term missions team (Advice on how to get your diverse team on the same page in terms of the gospel and how to get them ready to share the good news.)
  4. How to train your family (How to ensure your children can understand the gospel and be firmly grounded in God’s Word.)
  5. How to use GoodSeed tools with ESL students (How to share the gospel with students who speak English as a second or additional language.)

We also have the following how-to articles:

In the coming months, we’ll also be releasing a how-to for rehabilitation programs and another how-to for training youth. Look out for them. If there are other areas of outreach you would like us to cover, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

By This Name: A perfect beginner’s guide to Christian faith

BTN 3GoodSeed 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.

The hidden danger of syncretism

Colour mixing

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

Do you have a story for Fieldnotes?

Story to share for Fieldnotes

It’s May already. And that means the editorial team at GoodSeed is beginning to put together a long list of amazing testimonies that believers from around the world have shared with us. Every week, someone gets in touch with one of our offices to share a story: either someone has led a friend to the Lord with one of our books or someone has come to faith as a result of reading a book or going through a Worldview Rethink study.

We’ve found that testimonies, like the ones in Fieldnotes, encourage believers to make the effort to spread the good news. And it gives us more reason to praise God for the wonderful work he is doing through faithful ambassadors of his message.

Do you have such a story? Has the Lord used you to lead a neighbour, parent, co-worker or stranger to faith in Christ? Or has someone who cared taken the time to explain the good news to you in way that made good sense to you? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Write to us at yourstories[at]goodseed.com. The Lord willing, your testimony may make it to volume 3 of Fieldnotes and be an encouragement to others!

We look forward to hearing from you!

TERM USA 2016: More dates on the schedule

TERM USA 2016Our USA TERM Seminar schedule is starting to fill up. We’ve added two more seminars in the mid-West/Great Lakes region.

There are currently four confirmed seminars you can register for:

Organize a team from church and get a group discount.

If your church is interested in hosting a seminar or having one of our TERM lecturers speak at your church, please contact our US office at (208)-665-2333 or email us at [email protected].

Also, don’t forget we have one more upcoming TERM Seminars in Australia: