CMS - Inspire July August 09 - The Y Course

The Y Course – why now?

“Thank God for Alpha,” say the creators of The Y Course. But what about people who aren’t even close to asking about Christianity or Jesus?

Promising “no pressure, no question off-limits and no cucumber sandwiches”, The Y Course begins with questions about life, not Christianity. It assumes that people are unfamiliar with the Christian story and suspicious towards church and institutional faith.
“We start with issues that people struggle with, like why so much suffering and what’s the point of so many religions?” says course co-creator Peter Meadows, associate executive director at Bible Society.

Joseph Steinberg, the other half of the creative team, explains: “We spend a lot of time exploring what God must be like. Otherwise, to the contemporary mind, it means little to speak of Jesus as God.”

The eight-week course doesn’t use talks.

“People today don’t want to be talked to but talked with,’’ says Peter. “So we’ve produced 16 six-minute chat-show style segments on DVD to fuel discussion.”

These segments feature Joseph, one of the directors of CMS, and Peter having frank discussions about life’s big issues with respected BBC presenter Gemma Hunt.

Churches are gravitating towards the cringe-free, jargon-free, story-filled style of The Y Course.

“We’re aiming to respond to a need in the church for something that builds bridges to people who don’t trust authority or the concept of absolute truth,” says Joseph, who was inspired to create this course based on his own experiences as a parish priest. “In that sense it’s a pre-Alpha course.”

The Y Course contains The Book of Y, The Y Course DVD/ CD and a Leaders’ Discussion Guide, as well as publicity materials for churches. 

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