Gareth: Hi Johnny & Alison. We hear you’ve just been using the ‘Uncover’ studies with some friends. Remind us what this ‘Uncover’ stuff is?
Uncover is a resource to help us to read the bible with our friends. It comes in two parts, consisting of a bible study and a copy of Luke’s gospel. The bible study material is really a self contained package with all the prompts and questions, some helpful sections on background and context, and extracts of the relevant gospel passages.
There are 6 sessions – so it’s not a particularly long series, but all with a particular emphasis on the person of Jesus, his love for those he encountered, and the purpose behind his life and mission. Its good stuff!
So how did you feel before you got started?
Well, I guess both excited and a little bit nervous. We’ve met before with the couple, so that helped. But, still it’s natural to wonder how it’s going to go.
How did you approach the idea with your friends?
They came along to the God Particle in the summer and we asked them would they be interested in following up with a course. And then when we got back from holiday in the summer there was a message on our answering machine saying they’d like to get together – an answer to prayer! I appreciate it may not always work out like that.
What does a typical session look like then?
We normally meet about 8pm and finish at 10pm. It suits our friends to have it at their place, so we enjoy their coffee and cake! But in a way I think that having it at their home makes it more relaxing for them.
We use the Uncover material pretty heavily to lean on, albeit, we try not to be a slave to it, and are happy to follow wherever the conversation goes. The material is very good at helping you to dig below the surface of the passage and getting us all thinking about just what a loving Saviour we have.
Did they ask questions you didn’t know the answer to? Scary!
We sometimes get asked questions on the gospel passage that we can’t answer. But we just “park it”, and get back to them the next time we meet.
The conversation will often throw up big questions – but usually the type we can prepare for. Having said that we want to be honest with them that there are areas that we find difficult too!
How are the studies going down with your friends?
Very good I think. They are genuinely interested in exploring the bible, and my sense is that the Uncover material has helped expose another side of Jesus. The result is that we have very thought provoking evenings. Of course we always want to see immediate results, but that’s in the hands of God.
What would you say to someone who is a bit nervous about inviting a friend to do ‘Uncover’?
Asking is the hardest bit – but pray about it and take the plunge. Suggest you do one study and see how it goes.
The rest is relatively easy. The Uncover material uses familiar passages and leads you through the text so that you don’t have to be an expert in the bible. And if you don’t know the answers to the questions that come up, then you’ve got time to find an answer before you next meet.
This article is taken from a conversation between Gareth Crispin with Johnny and Alison Walsh.
Taken from the Winter 2013 edition of In Touch