“Is there life on other planets? Are there other universes?”
“How do you hear from God? Does he have a voice I can hear?”
“What can I do to be safe from the devil?”
The questions came thick and fast. The Chinese man sitting on the couch across from Jon* and his wife Denise was sincere—and confused. He so wanted to know everything there was to know about God. But Jon and Denise knew that before they could delve into the answers to his questions, they would need to bring him back to the basics. He needed a foundation in who God was and what Jesus had accomplished on the cross.
They had first met Mingfang at a Bible study and were struck not only with his earnest desire to know God but also with his complete biblical illiteracy. The group was just wrapping up a study on the book of Job. Within minutes, it became obvious that the young Chinese man was floundering in his attempt to follow the discussion.
Jon and Denise approached Mingfang and asked if he would be interested in going through a study that would give him the whole story of the Bible and increase his understanding of God. Mingfang was beyond excited at the idea. So Jon and Denise began going to his apartment on a weekly basis to go through the Worldview Rethink curriculum with him and his wife.
Mingfang considered himself a Christian. That’s why he had come to church and then to the small group Bible study in the first place. But his “Christianity” was a blend of Eastern thought and his own efforts to be good enough for God. He was constantly asking what he had to do. His desire in life was to be a good person.
Continue reading “Skyping the gospel”
Ever wondered how other churches bring in non-believers to study the Bible? Here’s what a church in Derby, England has done for many years. The church hosts “Just Looking” groups for those who are open to learning more about the Bible. In 2012, our first blog post was a story about these groups. The church had been running them for a number of years and it continues to do so.
The participants of the “Just Looking” groups gather in a non-threatening location (i.e., not a church), for a relaxing and informal time of learning. The leaders have been using The Stranger for several years to guide the course. Those who attend come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but all have one thing in common: they do not possess a clear understanding of the Bible’s message.
Laura* shared that, before she had been invited to the group, “I hadn’t had any thoughts about the Bible. I’d heard of the Bible. I’d probably held one in my hands, but never read it. I didn’t know what it was. Didn’t really have any thoughts at all about the Bible.“
Amir was a young Muslim who attended the group: “I thought [Christianity] was a religion similar to Islam. I thought they all led to God.”
William wasn’t even interested in attending. Now an elderly man, he’d lived his whole life apart from God’s Word. It was his wife who nagged him to come till he finally conceded. “I told her, ‘I’ll go along, see what it’s like. If I don’t like it, I’ll leave.’”
Continue reading “I’d probably held a Bible in my hands, but never read it”
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GoodSeed 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.
How to train your church
(Strategies on how to disciple the people in church and give each one a strong foundation in the Bible.)
How to reach seniors
(How to share the gospel with seniors, including the challenges inherent in reaching that age group.)
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.
As Roger* and Lorraine testify of God’s ongoing work in the lives of people in their church and community, they can only say, “We give the Lord all the glory and praise for what he’s doing in our incredible weakness.”
Jed is one example of what God is doing through their ministry. He is an Australian aboriginal, active in his community despite extremely poor health. About five years ago, he started attending evangelistic meetings. Each month he would show up and sit through the gospel messages. He liked what he heard about Jesus and finally, after four years, was ready for some more in-depth study of the Bible.
For Roger, this was an exciting opportunity. Ever since he and Lorraine had attended a TERM Seminar presented by Paul Humphreys in Australia, they had both used GoodSeed’s materials extensively to teach others the message of the Bible.
When Roger started going through The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus with Jed, he discovered that Jed’s knowledge of the Bible was basically at zero. For starters, he didn’t know who Cain and Abel were and, as time went on, it became apparent that the Bible’s story was completely new to Jed. Despite the fact that Jed had heard many fantastic gospel messages over the last few years, in reality they had meant nothing to him. He had no understanding of who God was. Neither did he understand what sin is and how it impacts our relationship with God.
Continue reading “I’m going to have to buy a flock of sheep so I can get right with God!”
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?”
Rachelle* seems to always be guiding someone through the gospel message using Par ce nom, the French edition of By This Name. Though she never sets out searching for an individual to teach, the Lord regularly brings people into her life who desire to understand the Bible’s message. Amièle, a young teenager, was one such seeker.
Amièle had a rough start in life. Her home life was defined by upheaval and uncertainty, finally culminating with a move to live with her grandparents. When a friend invited her to attend church, she agreed and began joining the teen class each week. Though she attended for a year and a half, she still understood very little about the Bible. As this became more apparent, her Sunday school teacher asked Amièle if she would like to study a book called Par ce nom. The teachers would be Rachelle and the Sunday school teacher and the participants would be Amièle, the teacher’s daughter and a young man who was not a believer.
Continue reading “What were her true intentions?”
A Jewish parent shared this question of identity with a GoodSeed staff worker one afternoon during a meeting in the ancient city of Jerusalem. His teenage children had posed the question to him after being repeatedly harassed at their local school for their beliefs. Finally they confronted their father, frustrated with these attacks on their identity. “Dad, are we Jews or are we Christians? What are we and what’s the difference between the two?” they asked.
He reassured them, “You’re both. You’re Jews who believe that the Messiah has come, just as He promised.”
As a ministry looking to support the Christian faith in Israel, the Bible Society in Israel (BSI) began looking for a resource that would explain the harmony between the Old Testament and the New.
Continue reading “Dad, are we Jews or are we Christians?”
Luc and Rachelle* had made the big decision. It was time to sell their house and downsize in order to lower their expenses. The couple began the process of reducing their belongings and they went online to post household items for sale.
One night, a couple responded to one of the furniture listings. Bruno and Therese, a recently-immigrated couple from Africa, were interested in a number of pieces. Arrangements were made but when they arrived to pick up the items, Bruno realized their vehicle wasn’t big enough to hold it all. Luc offered to load some of the pieces onto his vehicle and drive it over to Bruno’s place. Bruno and Therese were very appreciative as Luc arrived at their place with the items. He even helped them carry the furniture into the house and set everything up.
Continue reading “She had very little to say”
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Last year, Willow Creek Baptist Church (fondly known as “The Creek”) was a host church for one of our TERM Seminars. It was exciting for our staff to interact with the pastor and the congregation because many in the church had come to faith with the help of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus. A number of their members have shared their testimonies on video.
Here is one from Ashley Murphy. This is a quote from her story:
It didn’t make sense before that. Reading through The Stranger, everything clicked, everything finally made sense. It was the first time that I ever felt that… Jesus did that for us, that I could have my sins forgiven. The darkness that I carried around… it was lifted…. That was huge because I’ve lived with it my whole life…. This has made such a difference in my home and my marriage…”
Continue reading “The darkness that I carried around was lifted”