Christianity Explored Ministries
By Josh Pruden
According to their website, www.ceministries.org, “Christianity Explored Ministries (CE) helps people meet Jesus in the pages of Scripture so that they will love the good news, live the good news, and tell the good news.” By “love the good news,” their goal is to see people captivated by the person and work of Christ. CE believes that the best place to meet Jesus is in the Bible, which is why their materials are all based on specific passages of Scripture. “Living the good news” is the outcome of falling in love with Jesus – when this happens, we will respond with a desire to live lives that glorify God. Their final goal is to equip believers to communicate with others in an engaging and accurate way or “tell the good news.”
In 1994, Rico Tice joined the ministry staff at All Souls Anglican Church in Langham Place, central London, UK, where he is the senior minister of evangelism. In the late 90s, as part of his ministry at All Souls, Rico developed the Christianity Explored materials under the guidance of their rector, John Stott. Since then, CE has become a separate entity from All Souls and is a member of the UK Evangelical Alliance. Although based out of the UK, CE has partners all over the world, with 90% of their branches located outside of the UK. Individual churches across Canada have been using the materials for several years. It was just in the summer of 2018 that CE Ministries Canada Society was officially launched as the ‘boots on the ground’ of Christianity Explored in Canada.
In Matthew, Jesus commands us to “make disciples of all nations” and that includes the boys and young men in your community. His calling however doesn’t include “when we have COVID figured out.” So how do we as Christians follow Christ in building future generations when we have rules and protocols to be heeded? First, we obey the guidelines provided by our government authorities, church leadership, insurers, and parents.
Second, we work together to figure out what can be done in person and what must be done virtually at a distance. Building Christ-centred boys and young men isn’t all that complicated even under COVID. CSB is partnering with our churches and groups to develop a comprehensive list of options through which you can build the next generations for Christ. Under COVID, we will find better ways to bring others to our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Check out: www.csbbc.org/brigade-under-covid for the details.
There are several ways that CE is accomplishing this goal. First, through their programs, of which there are three core series: Christianity Explored, Life Explored, and Discipleship Explored. CE develops each series in such a way that either churches or individuals can run a course in their given context. Users can lead Bible studies, one-on-one discipleship, youth and children’s ministries, and prison ministries.
The Christianity Explored course takes a seven-week tour through the gospel of Mark. It answers the questions, “Who is Jesus, why did he come, and what does it mean to follow him?”
Life Explored is designed to reach the relatively unchurched Millennial generation. It takes a look at sin through the lens of misplaced worship. According to D.A. Carson in the introduction to the series,
Here is an introduction to the good news found in Jesus Christ, sweeping through some of the ‘big pictures’ in the Bible. As far as a short series can, Life Explored outlines what the Bible is about, exposes our idolatry, and makes clear where forgiveness and hope lie. This is one of the best of the rising number of evangelistic tools addressing men and women in the twenty-first century.
Satisfying the Need
Despite virus-related shore leave restrictions for sailors, Lighthouse ship visitors are still able to visit ships in Vancouver and reach out to sailors. While Gospel work remains the priority for Lighthouse visitors, currently they are also active with other virus-inspired tasks. An example of this is seen in the increased number of shopping trips being made on behalf of the mariners who cannot go ashore themselves. Purchases range from lap tops to potato chips! Many crew show deep gratitude for the assistance and often communicate heartfelt thanks for Gospel material received. The spiritual is being fed, not just the physical. A third officer from Croatia recently expressed his gratitude for the service he received from Lighthouse and was touched by words of Scripture spoken to him by ship visitors.
“I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry.” (John 6:35)
Please visit www.sealight.org
Finally, the Discipleship Explored series traces the theme of discipleship through the book of Philippians. This survey shows what it means to be a follower of Jesus and will help new, or even more mature, believers discover who we are in Christ.
Other programs include a children’s program, Epic Explorers, a Youth series, SOUL, and a program developed in partnership with Prison Fellowship International that is specifically for use in prisons, The Prisoner’s Journey.
CE provides training for churches/ministries to help them implement these programs in their evangelism. Training is available online for anyone anywhere, and on the ground here in Canada, with the first-ever Canadian director, John Kivell.
CE is Kivell’s ‘retirement career’ after a long career in the business world, but he is far from retired in the traditional sense. He came to faith later in life, and since his conversion, his passion has been that others hear the same good news that changed his own life. His life verse has become Acts 20:24, which says, “…I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (NIV).
When he first retired from his secular job, John took a position with Alpha Canada as the Alberta Regional Director, where he served for seven years. During that time, Alpha grew from 89 courses in the province to around 700. Alpha then reorganized to include Alberta with BC under a single Western Canada Director. This reorganization in the spring of 2018 enabled Kivell to contact CE about being a representative for CE in Canada, and the reply was a resounding “YES!”
According to CE, three things happen when a CE course is presented:
- Non-believers hear the Gospel.
- Believers fall in love again with the Gospel.
- Believers learn how to share the Gospel.
If you’re looking for a means to grow in your faith, share the Good News with others, or facilitate a small-group Bible study, then you might want to consider any one of the Christianity Explored programs. It is another of the many excellent resources available to the Church in accomplishing her mission and is now even more readily available to Canadians.