Christianity Explored expands to the US

It is already up and running in 50 countries worldwide. Now Christianity Explored is being rolled out in the United States this week where it is hoped the course will bless the church there as much as its fellow English export, the Alpha course, has.

Christianity Explored, published by the Good Book Company, is used in many UK churches as a tool to help believers and non-believers explore the big questions of life and learn about Jesus Christ in an informal setting.

Participants have the chance to discover the identity, mission and call of Jesus on a seven-week journey that takes them through the Gospel of Mark.

The end goal is to give them an understanding of what the Christian faith is about and what it means to be a follower of Jesus in the world today.

The course was developed by Rico Tice, a minister at All Souls Langham Place, where John Stott is rector emeritus.

"Christianity Explored is now seven weeks long, and the new format can be used in a wider range of settings,” Tice explained.

“We have trialled the course in big groups with hundreds sitting down to dinner before they hear a talk and discuss around their tables. But it also works really well in small groups, or even one-to-one."

The course has already won the praises of Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Parkside Church in Solon, Ohio.

He said: “Christianity Explored offers a highly effective way to help people consider the claims of Christ for themselves, and to voice their comments and questions in a context of learning and discovery.

“It has energised and equipped many Christians to share their faith more effectively, and comes with study materials that are attractive, succinct and to the point.”

The onus of Christianity Explored is on giving people the time to discover the good news of the Gospel in an environment where they will not feel judged, belittled or pressured, and that is a big selling point for Begg.

“It is sensitive to the objections and fears of unbelievers, showing respect and consideration for honest doubts and questions,” he added.

An accompanying website gives people the opportunity to delve further into some of the tough questions about faith and life and includes contributions from prominent US figures like Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.

Popular evangelical preacher John Piper said: “I love the Christianity Explored site. [It’s] absolutely amazing.”