How can we have fruitful and significant conversations about Jesus and the kingdom of God? How can we help friends and neighbours think through what they believe? How can we provoke them to ask really important questions and journey towards constructive answers to some of life's most challenging questions? How can we truly obey Jesus' command to his followers to "Go and make disciples (learners of the truth) of all peoples." (Matthew 28:19)?
Many of the answers to these questions can be found in the teaching ministry of Jesus. He was an excellent communicator and a key way he taught was through stories. Luke chapter 8 tells us about one of his "long, hot storytelling afternoons". Through his parables Jesus opened up peoples' hearts and minds to God and His kingdom. His stories challenged everyday common-sense, false mindsets and religious hypocrisy. His tales provoked people to turn their lives around for good.
The narratives we hear and see each day are the lens through which we make sense of our lives. Stories can powerfully influence, shape and change our lives and, through us, the world around us.
In this introductory course you will learn how sharing stories on a relevant and topical theme can help you make disciples of others. The stories and vignettes we share will help you talk about the good news of Jesus Christ and His kingdom.
Each unit of this course focuses on stories of slaves, slave owners, slave traders, human traffickers, their victims and Christians who are opposed to slavery. The stories include some about those who are enslaved to habits or addictions. You will engage with these fascinating people. We will show you how idolatry enslaves people and how Jesus can set them free.
As you work through each story in turn you will come to understand more about how slavery devastates lives and how human traffickers view vulnerable people. You will see how the materialist faith promotes slavery. We will also consider Christian teaching about God's love for everyone and contrast Christian faith with the pervasive, materialist mindset. We will learn about slavery to sin in the book of Romans and how all of us can find freedom from its power through Christ.
The 46-page digital course booklet includes 21 stories, each with a number of ideas of how to go further - from further reading or listening, to discussion questions, related Bible passages and creative exercises to help unpack the issues raised. Each story is designed as a self-contained course unit, but the units build to address the deep concerns many of us have for justice, equality and inclusion and demonstrate how to discuss a biblical response which challenges this social evil. The stories are followed by some sample conversations for you to practice sharing faith through the lens of slave owners and enslaved people, as well as suggestions for further reading and links to anti-slavery organisations.
Alongside the booklet are 34 'lightbulb' audio clips which provide more detail and context to some of the stories and the issues of faith, belief, worldview and morality that they raise.
Purchase the course
The course is available as a digital download.
Licences for individual use are £8, or £5 for full-time students.
A licence for group use (up to 10 participants) is £30.