The Training Course
Two Ways to Live: know and share the gospel
A seven-week training course designed to teach every Christian to know the gospel thoroughly and to share the gospel clearly and naturally.
The Two Ways to Live training course stems from the conviction that every Christian should know and understand the gospel clearly for themselves, and that every Christian should be able to explain their faith simply and clearly when the opportunity arises.
Knowing the gospel
As a concise and memorable summary of the gospel, Two Ways to Live has obvious application in teaching Christians the gospel. And the gospel is something to be learned. It is a message, or story, with intellectual content. It is a body of knowledge that we need to be taught, and which is in turn passed on to others. This idea is simply assumed in the New Testament, so much so that we often fail to notice it (see, for example, 1 Cor 15:1-3; Eph 4:19-21; Phil 4:9; 2 Tim 3:14).
Two Ways to Live is a very effective tool for teaching Christians the content and meaning of the gospel. It embeds in our minds the basic truths by which we are saved, by which we live, and which we can share with others. It is something of a modern-day catechism, although we might not call it so. In this sense, Two Ways to Live offers the kind of foundational training that every Christian needs. Over the first four weeks of the training course, participants learn the Two Ways to Live outline thoroughly by rote. This lodges the ideas, categories and logic of the gospel firmly in their minds, and provides a framework for conversation. However, they also spend some reflecting on the content and theology of the outline, through listening to two talks (contained on the Participant's CD-ROM), and discussing them in the group.
Sharing the gospel
Knowing the gospel leads inevitably to telling the gospel. How we do so will of course depend on our particular abilities, circumstances and opportunities. This course does not assume that every Christian will have the same gifts and opportunities to share the gospel. However, it does assume that all Christians should know the gospel, and that all Christians should be able to explain their faith clearly to others as they have opportunity.
It is very important to note that the exact wording of Two Ways to Live will rarely, if ever, be appropriate to use in an everyday conversation. It is not something that we recite like the Apostle's Creed. It is a set of ideas which are thoroughly learned by rote before being adapted to our own style of conversation and then used in a variety of ways in different situations. All three aspects are important—learning the presentation thoroughly by rote, so that we are completely comfortable and conversant with it; then practising how to say it in a way that feels natural for us; and being ready to utilize the framework in a variety of ways in different contexts.
In this way, when an opportunity arises to talk about the gospel, we have six pegs in our minds on which to hang the conversation. Having this framework provides direction and confidence in talking about being Christian.
Starting from Session 4 in the course, participants spend some time looking at what the Bible says about sharing the gospel, and at the attitudes, motivations and methods that should accompany it. Then, they learn how to use the Two Ways to Live outline to share the gospel with others. This involves learning to adapt the basic outline to their own natural patterns of speech, and then practising this in different contexts.
The course materials for Two Ways to Live: know and share the gospel are as follows:
- The Participant's Manual (AU store | US store). One of these is required for each person doing the course, including the leader. It includes an enhanced audio CD containing two talks on the logic of the gospel, plus other multimedia resources to help in learning the Two Ways to Live outline. The Leader also needs a Participant's Manual (see below).
- The Leader's Manual (AU store | US store). This manual contains an extensive introduction to the rationale, aims and methods of the course, how to set up the training in your church or fellowship, as well as comprehensive notes, tips and content to enable you to lead each session.
- The Training DVD (AU store | US store). This contains a range of very useful role plays and demonstrations that help participants see different facets of Two Ways to Live in action, such as:
- How to do the drawings
- Different examples of how the basic outline can be adapted to someone's natural way of speaking
- Examples of how not to share the gospel
- Role plays of how to respond to the different reactions people might have after you've explained the gospel using Two Ways to Live
The Training DVD also contains extra information and input for the Leader about the course as a whole. If you don't have access to facilities for playing the DVD, then the course can still be run successfully without it. However, we recommend that, if at all possible, you utilise the extra dimension that the DVD material provides.