Becoming a contagious Christian

Becoming a Contagious Christian
Bill Hybels, Mark Mittelberg, Willow Creek, Zondervan, 2009

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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Over one million people have experienced the groundbreaking evangelism training course Becoming A Contagious Christian – a proven resource designed to equip believers for relational evangelism. Now revised and updated, it avoids stereotyped approaches that feel intimidating to many Christians – and to their friends! Instead, it shows ordinary believers how to share the gospel in natural and effective ways while being the person God made them to be.

Picture all of your church members:

  • Demonstrating a contagious Christian character.
  • Building relationships.
  • Communicating their faith in a style that’s personal and natural.
  • Explaining biblical truths in a style that’s personal and natural.
  • Explaining biblical truths in everyday language.
  • Responding to the most common objections to Christianity.

What do you get?

The Revised Edition includes the following updates:

  • Six, 50-minute training sessions on DVD (instead of eight).
  • All-new DVD vignettes, including dramas, testimonies, person-on-the-street segments, and a vision-casting segment for leaders.
  • Two teaching options: teach the course yourself, or use the DVDs and let Mark Mittelberg and Lee Strobel teach for you (a great option for small groups).
  • New CD-ROM with reproducible promotional materials, including posters and bulletin inserts for use in an all-church campaign.

Becoming a Contagious Christian works with any size group, from small groups of 4-9 to Sunday school classes and other large groups of 10 to 150 or more. It can be presented successfully in any of the following formats:

  • Three sessions of two hours each.
  • Six sessions of 50 minutes each.
  • One, two, or three-day retreats.

Becoming a Contagious Christian – Curriculum Kit:

  • Two 180-minute DVDs featuring dramas, interview segments and complete course teaching
  • Leader’s Guide x 1.
  • Participant’s Guide x 1.
  • PowerPoint CD-ROM x 1.
  • Becoming a Contagious Christian book x 1.

6 sessions (flexible format):

  1. The Benefits of Becoming a Contagious Christian.
  2. Being Yourself – and Impacting Others.
  3. Deepening Your Relationships and Conversations.
  4. Telling Your Story.
  5. Communicating God’s Message.
  6. Helping Your Friends cross the Line of Faith.

DVD set includes:

  • Forty-page DVD Leader’s Guide.
  • Two 180-minute DVDs.
  • Complete course teaching by Mark Mittelberg and Lee Strobel.
  • All-new vignettes, including dramas, interviews, and person-on-the-street segments.

Who is it for?

Small groups, Whole church, Beginners, Growing Christians

Cost?

£5.99 – £23.99

Review

  • What is the overall quality of the material?

    Good production of DVD, contemporary feel. Participant's book is particularly clear and accessible. Typical Zondervan groupware clarity.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Practical DVD guide in box gives good, clear direction for each session.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Flexible delivery options – small group via DVD or seminar format with script and PowerPoint slides. Material to enlarge the course into a ‘churchwide campaign'. Sessions are really easy to follow; timings are given. Helpful considerations are supplied for each stage of the course. Clear and thorough.

    Who could lead it?

    Someone with enthusiasm for telling others about Jesus – whether they consider themselves ‘good' at it or not.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Beautifully clear and well laid-out book, with spaces for notes and answers to exercises which are all part of the session.

    How good is any digital material?

    Teaching seminar videos of the course teaching are interspersed with interview clips of previous participants' stories. Presenters Mark Mittelberg and Lee Strobel are clear and encouraging communicators.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Straight-forward preparation notes in DVD Leader's Guide, including specific preparation and prayer for each session. Preview the DVD sessions. Reading the relevant chapter in the book Becoming a Contagious Christian is recommended.

    Is there website support? Links?

    USA based website of same name, so limited access to e.g. publicity material for non-USA based users. Some ideas, however, and plenty of encouragement.

    Is it dated?

    No. Strongly contemporary (eg street interviews).

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Many opportunities for discussion, prayer and sharing together, no matter which format is chosen.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Activities are seen as integral to course teaching. DVD teaching regularly broken up with these exercises. Direct and clear teaching. Seems a well-judged amount of material to cover in the six sessions.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Open and accepting atmosphere. A million people have used this course to date. Despite the seminar-style DVD, the pace is kept up with frequent breaks to respond with exercises. Should suit a wide range of people. No hands-on.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    An essentially encouraging resource. Mix of personal and group application in the exercises, prayer and discussion. Further reading resources recommended. Great closing chapter on how to encourage people who do respond and become Christians.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Biblically based teaching throughout, shared with practical application of learning how to talk to people about Jesus.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Examples for how to tell others about Jesus, in your own individual style, are drawn from biblical material.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Focus on building natural and good relationships with others in everyday life.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Evangelical.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    Starts where most people are at, in assuming that ‘evangelism' is a problem for many. Works from there to encourage participants to be themselves in communicating their faith.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Head-on engagement with the issues that get in the way of talking to others about Jesus. Only major motivation for evangelism is love. Key concepts for evangelism are authenticity, relationships, actions, words, process and partnership. Further reading resources recommended. The course is bound to highlight and resource areas of personal faith which may need attention.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    Engaging with this material cannot fail to stretch faith and vision as participants learn both about evangelism and themselves. Essentially practical, accepting and enabling resource. Liberating.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Participants encouraged to be real with others about their own lives, and their own faith.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Drills down to helping people work out how exactly to tell their own story, and in what ways. Seven different models suggested for talking about God's story to others – at the right time. Lots of exercises to work out one's own style for these.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Focus is on personal evangelism and how to love people.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Implicit.

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