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New resource helps you share your faith creatively 

How our new course encourages you to talk about slavery in a deeply Christian way - and seeks to communicate the reality of Christ with those of differing worldviews. By Mark Roques

Slave chronicles800

In my work with RealityBites I go into schools to engage students with the good news of Jesus. I serve hot drinks on the streets of Leeds and chat to non-Christian students about the faith. I have witnessed to unbelievers in prisons. I have found that conversations about human trafficking and a well-informed Christian response go down incredibly well.

Instead of sneering I get a great conversation about God. To be honest I used to find evangelism almost impossible but the pulsating issue of slavery challenges everyone. It helps the believer to talk confidently about faith in Jesus Christ.
Now we (Mark Roques and Patricia Gray) have designed a course to help you share your faith intelligently and creatively.
Slave Chronicles and Dangerous Beliefs is a short course aimed to help Christians to disciple others. It uses a creative, storytelling approach. Suitable for all, the course comprises 21 short stories in PDF format, plus audio and web-based resources for further learning on the theme of historic and modern slavery.
The material can be mined for everyday conversations, for talks or as a resource for group discussion and learning. It addresses the deep concerns of many for justice, equality and inclusion and demonstrates how to talk about slavery in a deeply Christian way. This course takes a practical approach where you are encouraged to use the materials in various spheres of Christian witness and to pray, get informed and take further action on the issue of modern slavery.
Each Chronicle contrasts the Christian faith with the pervasive materialist mindset. The course will show you how to have respectful, engaging conversations while telling a story. This approach opens up the idea that while most of us wouldn’t admit to supporting slavery, some of us acquiesce to its ongoing evils through complacency or lack of knowledge. Alongside each narrative the evils of slavery are shown to have their roots in wrong thinking about the value and dignity of all human beings.
Slave Chronicles and Dangerous Beliefs enables believers to challenge often deeply-held, unquestioned assumptions, beliefs and taken-for-granted ways of believing and behaving. We unmask the dangerous, deadly materialist faith that nurtures slavery in its many forms.
We have successfully tested our storytelling approach for both personal evangelism and discipleship. Stories are so disarming and spark great conversations. While Materialism is almost never scrutinised as a dangerous belief system, many ignore the Christian faith because they have never thought about the unnoticed materialist mindset that has captivated their lives and imaginations. We point out that trafficked people are not just ‘pieces of meat’ or items for sexual consumption or slave labour but precious creatures made in God’s image and likeness.
Pilot group reviewer Barbara Lord said,  'I don’t know of a more motivational resource for preparing believers to be confidently direct and yet culturally sensitive as they seek ways to communicate the reality of Christ with those of differing worldviews.

'The use of true and relatable stories, laced with humour reflects some of the ways Christ Himself arrested people’s attention. The intriguing scenarios and, sometimes, accounts of outrageous behaviours, easily captivate the imagination and excite curiosity. Bemused questions such as, “Why would people do this?” open up lively exchanges, prompting serious thought about the hidden assumptions about life that we all hold, often in subtle forms, that cause us to make faith- based choices.

'This interactive course models how it is possible to get beneath surface barriers in people and enjoy relaxed, spiritual conversations that are relevant and effective.'
Talking about the course, the Right Reverend Dr John B Thomson, Bishop of Selby, said, 'This is a very impressive approach to evangelism. I like the way you deconstruct the assumed beliefs people rarely examine. I keep saying wherever I go that I have yet to meet a non-religious person in my life.

'Everyone has beliefs. The question I’m interested in is which religion or beliefs really hold water when faced with the big meaning questions of life? Your resources address this head on.'

Commissioned by educational charity Thinking Faith Network, this flexible resource can be studied by individuals, small groups, student groups working at their own pace over six-eight weeks and is supported by an online peer-learning community and discussion forum with the authors. It is equally suited for online or face-to-face learning. No advanced level of the Bible or Theology is assumed.

To find out more about the course and buy it, visit – thinkfaith.net/slavechronicles

Mark Roques is the Director of RealityBites. He preaches at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Leeds


Baptist Times, 28/06/2021
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