Philip is church planter. His goal was to form house churches, and toward that end he was engaging people in an 8-week narrative study of the Bible: How does your story fit into God’s story? The style of the study was directive teaching with some interaction. When Philip got to the point of building the house churches, he found he was having trouble getting people to be more interactive.
If you’ve reaching people with a directive style of teaching, it’s hard for them to unlearn that. So if you want to end up with an interactive, mutual discovery kind of learning, you need to start out that way even in your evangelism efforts. Otherwise it’s too abrupt of a change.
So I asked Philip what he could do to make the 8-week narrative Bible study more interactive and adult-learning-style. He’s thinking about inviting those who showed interest to go further, engaging in an 8-week study of Jesus in the Gospel of John. For this study he would use basic, open-ended questions such as, “What do you see Jesus doing?” “What is your response?” and “What is God saying to you?” This step toward mutual interactive discovery then would flow nicely into a house church.
If you reach people with a mass mailing and a big service, the people you reach like that kind of thing. That’s what they will believe church to be. Whatever people have experienced, that’s what they asume church is. So live out your faith in the way you want people to actually live in the kind of church you’re planting. What you win people with, you win people to.