Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Reason For God Study

I've been working so hard on getting this study together after work that I'm a little bit delirious. As such, I'm just going to post the study guide that I finished typing up as an example of what I've been doing. Exhausted, but excited. Here's a taste of some of what I've been up to:

The Reason For God - Group Leader Guide 

Your Role: 
Not a teacher. These are tough issues, some of which have been debated within Christianity for over a 
millennia. Even Keller during the DVDʼs has to say ʼI donʼt knowʼ a couple of times. Thatʼs OK. You are a facilitator of discussion, as someone who has read the material and have access to the questions. 
You are a loving servant. Make people feel welcome, and safe to voice their opinions. Everyone will be at a different point in their spiritual journey. Trust in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit to guide the way. The issues are deep, and conversation will flow if people feel relaxed and safe. 

First Meeting: 
Have everyone go around and introduce themselves, and why they chose to do the study. Play the name 
game if necessary. Get email addresses, share your contact info and establish the rules of the group. (1. 
confidential, 2. no question is too stupid 3. Weʼre set to end every night no later than 8:45, although 
lingerers are welcome.) 

1) Always be prepared. Read, answer the questions, and pray. 
2) If unsure, tell them that youʼll research a topic over the week. (Be sure to follow up). Always feel free to take it to Willa or another group leader that week. 
3) Donʼt preach or be dogmatic. Encourage discussion in a way that allows for a variety of perspectives. 
Build the trust. 
4) Donʼt fear the silence after you pose a question. 
5) Use open ended questions like ʻWhat do you think?ʼ or ʻHow do you feel...ʼ 
6) Avoid questions that encourage yes or no answers. Watch Keller do this during the vids. 
7) Use ʻThe Ger Methodʼ. If an answer is confusing or just flat out wrong...nod thoughtfully and 
say...ʼThatʼs great mate...anyone else?ʼ 
8) Model servanthood, love and care. Create friendships. 

Final Thoughts 
This book is sort of like the graduate level course of Strobelʼs ʻCase for Christʼ. It can be a challenging 
venture for people. It will be helpful to the group if you have been diligent in reading the chapters. Because the answers donʼt come from the DVD...they are laid out in those chapters. The DVD 
discussions however, will provide a great example of leading a small group in discussion. 

Lastly...our main objective isnʼt to prove that Kellerʼs right or that any objection to Christianity is baseless. Our objective is to build relationships and model the grace of Christ. In Yates' sermon last week he talked about doing more than just giving. Itʼs all about sharing life with people. Get to know your group. Make them feel welcome, and welcome their thoughts and ideas. Follow up with them. Email them. Care about them. 

First Cor 2:1-5 
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spiritʼs power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on Godʼs power.