Introducing the new “By This Name” Interactive Edition and Leader’s Guide

By This Name leader's guide and interactive edition

By This Name is our premier evangelism and discipleship resource. We are pleased to announce the launch of two new books in this family: By This Name Interactive Edition and By This Name Leader’s Guide.

In today’s world, many adopt their own brand of spirituality to make God out to be anything they want. A growing majority consider God to be an impersonal force. As believers, we often wonder how to respond to these worldviews.

By This Name utilizes a seldom-used but solidly biblical method to set apart the God of the Bible from other forms of spirituality, all the while answering two questions: “Who is Jesus?” and “What are the cross and tomb all about?” It establishes the authority of Scripture and gently compares the biblical worldview with other worldviews in an objective, non-arm-twisting way.

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A scene straight out of the book of Acts

A scene straight out of the Book of ActsIn a quiet German city, the Monday night study had come to an end. Fourteen participants had been coming together once a week for fifteen weeks. Several were believers who had wanted to learn more about the Bible. Others were accompanying friends who had never read the Bible before. In this gathering were Germans, Russian-Germans and Italians. And in all the weeks that the group met, no one dropped out.

There was nothing new or radical in what was taught. The study leader simply used the German edition of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus to take the participants though a simple and coherent explanation of the gospel message. For many in the study, they heard the gospel clearly for the first time.

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Counselling with “By This Name”

Worldview Rethink Visual Aids organizedAs a church counsellor, Stephen* encounters Christians in all manner of difficulties—couples facing marital problems, people who are suffering depression, others with addictions of all kinds, even a few who are suicidal. While the challenges that his clients face come from many diverse sources, one common theme he’s discovered is a lack of understanding of who God is. Stephen is discovering that more and more, people today—even Christians—do not know much about God. Their knowledge of God’s character—his sovereignty, holiness, power, love—is very limited, or worse, incorrect. As a consequence, their lives are filled with little hope. They have a low view of God.

Additionally, many clients believe that they can make themselves right before God. They strive to act right, speak right and live right. They fail to understand the power of sin in their lives and how, on their own, they cannot lead lives acceptable to God. They have an unbiblical view of their human nature.

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Sharing the gospel with the seeker, the confused and the hardened

TERM SeminarIn today’s world, many of our friends, neighbours and family are not familiar with the Bible. How do we share the message of the gospel with clarity if they don’t have foundational information like who is the God of the Bible and what is he like?

And in churches, how do pastors and leaders help their congregations be equipped to share the good news to a community that may be indifferent or hardened to yet another gospel presentation?

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You gotta do it again. You’re not saved

Brad Powell struggled for many years to understand what salvation meant. Brad grew up in a religious family whose faith was based on fear. They were focused on doing the ‘right’ things and doing their best to avoid the ‘wrong’ things. Every day, he feared he wasn’t good enough to be accepted by God.

Brad’s family firmly believed that baptism was the necessary means for salvation. During Brad’s baptism, his father was leading the ritual when the pastor stopped them and said, “You gotta do it again. You didn’t go all the way under the water.” Hearing this just crushed Brad’s heart. He was never certain of his salvation.

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Five ways to engage teenagers with Worldview Rethink

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Reading notesWe joined our church this past summer and, after a few months, were asked to teach the youth Sunday school class. We were excited to get involved but a little nervous, since we didn’t know the students very well. Because we were already familiar with the Worldview Rethink curriculum, we decided it would be a good starting point. Now, we are about halfway through. Over the weeks, we’ve learned a few things that have helped us engage our youth with the Bible.

1. Include them in the process (visual aids)

We hosted a “Tabernacle Party” at our house one Sunday evening. The youth that came helped us assemble the tabernacle model. Besides this, we’ve also had the youth help locate materials and be responsible for our “How do I teach death using a branch” that illustrates our life apart from the source of life.

2. Help every participant be comfortable

Because the curriculum is set up to include everyone, the expectations are easy and clear. Any time there is a scripture reference that is italicized, the students read aloud. We have the youth decide who goes first and in which order they’ll take turns. Sometimes it’s clockwise and, at other times, it’s counterclockwise. Sometimes it’s random. It didn’t take long for them to be comfortable with participating. It may not seem like much, but we want to include them in every way possible!

3. Make sure no one gets left behind by doing a review each week

One of the challenges we’ve faced is not having the same group each week. We don’t want anyone to be confused if we make reference to a previous lesson. So each week, we take the first ten to fifteen minutes to carefully review what we’ve covered so far. In particular, we look at how each person or generation has attempted to bridge the chasm, caused by sin, to reach God. We’ve been impressed with the comprehension of the students, even those who have missed a session. (For those who want to catch up at home, they can watch the Learn about the Bible online course.)

4. Allowing plenty of time for questions

We’ve been intrigued by the questions that have come up as we’ve gone through this course. You can gauge what is being understood, and what previous biblical knowledge they may have (or may not have!), by the kinds of questions that are being asked. For example, we hear questions such as, “So the Israelites actually packed up everything in the Tabernacle and carried it around in the wilderness? How heavy was it? How far did they have to go? How many people did it take to carry everything?” When questions come up that will be covered later, the curriculum has a built-in way of not getting too sidetracked—the clothes basket visual aid has been invaluable, really!

5. Be available outside of class to build trust and answer questions

Sometimes we just can’t cover everything or answer questions as in depth as we might like. We made sure all the kids knew how to contact us if they thought of other questions or wanted more information. Being available to them has built trust and opened the door for all kinds of conversations that we may not have had without the Worldview Rethink class as a starting point.

Working with youth has unique challenges. But, each week we are impressed with the fact that each student, whether a new believer, a student seeking answers about the Bible, or one who has been raised in church, are all learning. These materials have been the perfect beginning point for us, as we navigate our new role as leaders and get to know the youth. Since the teaching is foundational and structured, it makes the time run smoothly.

As we continue through the course, we continue to pray for each one. It’s our prayer that each one might come to have the kind of clear and powerful understanding that will enable God to use them to share his message with others.

Additional thoughts

When you are going through a Worldview Rethink study in a Sunday school setting, there are three key factors to bear in mind. First is regular attendance. For Sunday school, the students tend to drop in and out of class. Each week, you might be faced with a slightly different group and so reviewing the gospel story covered so far is very important. As a teacher, you need to encourage regular attendance and devise a plan to allow students who have missed sessions to catch up. To help students who miss certain sessions stay on track, you can inform them of the pages that was covered. This way, students can read up on what they had missed and when they join the next class, they will not be behind the other students.

Second is the amount of teaching time you have for each lesson. Sunday school sessions are often short. Before a teacher can really get going, time runs out! If you can create a solid block of teaching time each week (an hour or more), it will help the story progress faster and in a more coherent manner.

The third factor is grasping the overall picture. Often in a Sunday school setting, the teaching becomes disjointed or fractured because of sporadic attention spans and short sessions. Because Worldview Rethink explains the gospel message as a chronological historical narrative, stretching the story over too many weeks may mean that the students do not get the full picture. It’s like watching ten minutes of a movie each week for ten weeks (and missing some segments). The story gets muddled because students are missing pieces of it.

So while the opportunity to teach Worldview Rethink in Sunday school is an exciting prospect, please bear these challenges in mind. If you have questions, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or write to us at hello[at]goodseed.com.

 

Prison ministry: I know I’ve broken all ten commandments

Chainlink Fence

As Philip* walks down the corridor lit by harsh fluorescent lights, he quickly prays to prepare himself for what lies ahead. The prison guards are expressionless as they check him and his belongings. Satisfied that he is clean, they open the heavy gate and let him through.

Another guard leads the way. Philip knows his way around the prison but understands this is protocol. In this higher security facility, Philip is not allowed to bring in any books, papers or visual aids. All he has is what’s in his head and the set of DVDs he is carrying with him.

He is ushered into a spartan room with tables and chairs. At the front is a TV set and DVD player which he quickly sets up. Before too long, a door on the far end of the room opens, and inmates shuffle into the room. Philip looks up and smiles broadly at them. They smile back.

“Hello again,” he greets them. “Shall we continue with our study?”

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Worldview Rethink: Tools to help you share the biblical worldview

Worldview Rethink curriculum

In the past, whenever we’ve conducted TERM Seminars, we use various teaching aids to help participants engage with God’s Word so that they understand clearly the message of the gospel.

We employ tools like visual aids and workbooks. We also get participants to read the Scripture portions, underline key points and watch the interactive video clips that provide supplementary information.

After each seminar, the top questions invariably are: “Can I get those notes you have so I can teach the way you do?” and “Where can I get those visual aids to help me teach?”

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New: All that the Prophets have Spoken Interactive Edition and Leader’s Guide

All that the Prophets have Spoken Leader's Guide and Interactive EditionToday, we’re excited to announce the launch of two new resources: All that the Prophets have Spoken Interactive Edition and All that the Prophets have Spoken Leader’s Guide.

All that the Prophets have Spoken Interactive Edition

As the influence of Islam becomes more widespread, we meet more Muslims. But how do we communicate with them the central message of the Scriptures? While it is true that many Old Testament stories are mentioned in the Quran and that it refers to some of the same prophets, there are significant differences in interpretation and understanding.

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Ambassadors, ready to share

The Alberta TERM Seminar concluded on Saturday with many of the participants ready and eager to seek opportunities to share the gospel with the people in their lives. After seeing how easy it is to give away a book or video that explains the gospel, and after experiencing how to lead a course with the Worldview Rethink curriculum, the seminar participants left equipped with tools and training. Most of all, they were filled with new excitement about the power of the gospel to change lives. We pray the Lord will let them cross paths with others who want to learn about the core message of the Bible.

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