Finished A New Evangelistic Bible Study – Jesus 101

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Update – I just posted the pdf in this post – Download Jesus 101

I just wrapped up writing an evangelistic Bible study that works through the Gospel of Mark called Jesus 101. The reason I wrote this was to promote more Bible study with non-Christians at Northwest. We realize on the front end that one major hang up people have in studying with others is figuring out where to start. This book is simple and non-confrontational. Instead of blasting people with facts this study has them read Mark chapter by chapter and just asks questions that helps them open up their eyes to who Jesus is. Also, this study follows the pace of Mark. They aren’t asked who they think Jesus is until Jesus asks that same questions to his disciples in Mark 8. They are asked again at the end of the study where the study turns to a discussion of what God wants from us/what is our response to the Gospel. A few other nice features of this study include a Glossary of more difficult terms and further evidence in the back of the study.

We gave out 250 copies on Sunday and hope to give out hundreds more. I am curious to find out what studies you guys use when studying with non-Christians? What have you seen work and what doesn’t work so well?

0 Responses

  1. I like your approach.
    *Let people discover; don’t try to cram it down their throats before they’re ready.
    *Start with Jesus; He is the central part of Scripture anyway.
    *Let the offence be in the message, not in how the messenger presents it.
    *Let people fall in love with Jesus. That is the beginning of discipleship.

  2. Great idea, Matt! The early Church viewed the Gospels as the actual Gospel, as opposed to a genre of literature as we seem to view them today. The “Gospel” presentations I hear people making today are a so-called “plan of salvation.” They are a formula on “how to get saved.” They consist of a line of questioning designed to manipulate people into a corner and into a position of fear. There is a heavy emphasis on baptism as a “requirement for going to heaven.” There is heavy emphasis on the correct technique of baptism, as though correct technique is THE point of baptism. If a person is easily “convinced” by a slick, manipulative sales-pitch, how easily will they be convinced by the next, slick presentation that comes along?
    None of the actual Gospel presentations in the NT use this kind of language or this approach. No one in the NT presents baptism as a “requirement for going to Heaven.” (Of course, no one speaks of our “going to Heaven” at all.) The Gospel presentations that we find in Acts and in 1 Corinthians 15 are a declaration and proclamation of Jesus as King and Messiah. They present Jesus as the one who completes Israel’s Story. They are the kind of thing we read in the narratives of the Gospels.
    If a person is easily “convinced” by a slick, manipulative sales-pitch, how easily will they be convinced by the next, slick presentation that comes along? How many are turned away by a “formula” Gospel, thinking that that IS the Gospel?
    I like your idea, Matt. It’s not a formula. It sounds like it takes a commitment of time. It sounds like it allows the person to respond to the actual Gospel presentation.
    Now that I think about it, I vaguely recall hearing Monte Cox teach one year at the Tulsa Workshop on The Gospel in the Gospel of Mark (2004?).

  3. I will make this available in the near future. I am just working on the best way to do it. Thanks for your interest. I hope this work will get people sitting down with non-Christians studying the Bible together and for Christians to have a fresh look at the Gospels and why the believe what they believe. I believe the beauty of this book is that whether you know nothing or have been around a while it will teach you something. It seems to find the balance of communicating simple truths in a helpful way no matter how mature you are in your faith.

  4. This sounds like a really good resource. In the past I’ve use the Alpha Course material, for many of the same reasons you cited. It’s non-confrontational, easy for a Christian to use when studying with a non-Christian and it pacing things slowly to allow time to assimilate the information.

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