“My brother was up for talking more about faith, so I suggested a one-to-one" Chris' story
Feeling uninspired after months of lockdown? This September we’re sharing some stories of CEM resources in action, collected pre-pandemic. As we tentatively start to make plans for the new academic year, we hope these stories will spark some ideas for your evangelism this season.
This week we introduce you to Chris Chasty, a Civil Engineer at Network Rail, and his experience of using CEM materials one-to-one.
Hi Chris! How do you find living and working as a Christian in London?
I’ve been in London for four years now and attend a church in the city. It’s been a big period of growth for me, and where I’ve really got going as a Christian.
It’s great living with two other Christians, and I love the social aspects of being in London. At the weekends I often like to cycle out into the country to get my fix of fresh air.
It’s quite tough being a Christian in my workplace, and I struggle to be bold enough, but I do have a few other Christians in my office and we meet up to pray regularly which helps us to have an evangelistic mindset at work.
What was your experience of lockdown?
Lockdown was generally a positive experience for me. I was back in Macclesfield with my family and enjoyed having a bit of a pause; cycling in the Peak District and spending quality time with family. The things I found harder were the initial work IT issues and I don’t love working from home as I prefer the office environment.
My highlights of lockdown were all the ministry opportunities that came up.
I led on three virtual Christianity Explored courses with my church. We ran them back to back as there was a lot of interest, and I gave the talks for the first time on the first course (we did them live on Zoom). Although it was quite a lot of work, I enjoyed writing and giving them.
One hairy moment came in the second course, where someone else was doing the talk but his internet kept cutting out so I had to sub in halfway through!
I was also able to finish off Discipleship Explored one-to-one with my brother whilst back in Macclesfield.
Can you tell me more about the one-to-one? How did it come about?
I was chatting to my brother about my faith on holiday last year and he was up for talking to me about it in more depth, so I suggested a one-to-one.
We started with Christianity Explored because I knew the material well. We weren’t living in the same city and so we weren’t seeing each other much and with Christianity Explored we could do one or two sessions at a time when I went to visit every month or so. It’s also a really manageable amount of studies with just seven sessions.
We were also able to fit in two of the ‘day away’ studies which we enjoyed.
We moved onto Discipleship Explored as a follow up just before lockdown.
How did you run the sessions?
We would make an evening of it when I went to visit. So we’d do the Bible study, then have some dinner and then watch the video. But being one-to-one it was very flexible and we’d occasionally mix up the format.
It would be too awkward to do all the teaching yourself in a one-to-one, so having the films was great to give variety and my brother really enjoyed them.
By the end of Discipleship Explored
we were humming along to the theme tune together!
What did you find were some of the main challenges and encouragements of running these courses one-to-one?
There were very few challenges.
You lose a bit of the liveliness of a larger Bible study. And Discipleship Explored
really encourages community and the importance of being part of the local church, so at times we did feel the absence of that group dynamic.
But on the plus side it meant that I could tailor the questions to my brother, and spend time on the questions he wanted to spend time on. You can really serve the person in front of you and understand where they are at.
It was great to see my brother feeling compelled and convinced at the end of Christianity Explored
, and Discipleship Explored
was a good next step in working out what it might look like for them to follow Jesus.
We both really enjoyed session 5 of Discipleship Explored
, Righteous in Christ, which is based in Philippians 3:8-9 and the idea that the gospel is all about what God has done and not what we have done. It spells it out so clearly and helped to consolidate what we had seen in Christianity Explored
; that it is impossible with man but possible with God.
What tips would you give to anyone thinking about running one of these courses one-to-one?
Find out more about Discipleship Explored
It helps if you can incorporate the one-to-one into your day or evening, and think about having food and creating a fun environment to watch the films in so it feels like an event (we watched them in a university study room).
Knowing the material really well makes everything run more smoothly and allows you to be flexible and relaxed in your approach.
Plan in advance how you’ll play the films, I learnt the hard way it helps to download them first!