Gospel Study Guide: Questions about Following Jesus (FAQs)admin
Why are we changing the study series? What’s wrong with the old one?
There is nothing “wrong” with the old study series. There are many ways we could study the Bible with people we are reaching out to. The elders and staff of the church felt now was an appropriate time to ask whether the study series we have been using for many years was the best possible way to help people come to Christ. The committee that was given the responsibility to consider the issue felt that the most ideal approach would be to have an emphasis on Jesus and the gospel as the core and starting point of what we emphasize when we study with people. This starting point led to the proposal we now offer to the church.
Why are we messing with success?
Clearly the study series we had been using has been “successful” in that many people are now saved who were not before. However, that in and of itself does not prove it is the best possible study series. The committee felt that a study outline which emphasized Jesus and the gospel first, and then subsequently our response to that gospel in repenting, making Jesus Lord and so forth many help to produce a balanced focus on the basis of salvation which is a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Can I still use the old one?
Yes. Definitely. There are several good studies in our current study series. Our idea is to introduce more flexibility, not less, into what we do. We foresee those who are studying the Bible with people using any of a number of supplemental studies and materials. Whatever works is what we want to do. Once a new study guide is produced, after input from the church, we would like to ask people to familiarize themselves with this material, but we foresee a lot of flexibility in how it is used.
What if the person I am studying with doesn’t believe in the Bible?
The intention is not to push people through these studies, but to provide them with whatever they need to come to faith in Jesus Christ. There will be supplemental material made available on topics such as The Word of God, Messianic Prophecies and so forth which can be used with those who have major faith issues. Not everyone needs these materials, so they are not part of the core studies.
I don’t know this new series, I am afraid I will stumble all over myself trying to teach it.
There will be some work to become familiarized with this material and how to use it. It is hoped this will motivate all of us to look one more time at the basics of what we believe. However, it is intended that the core outlines will be in a format we can hand to those we study with, so that memorizing the scriptures and points will not be necessary.