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Faith Pictures: a unique course to help you pass on good news

Church Army hopes to encourage ordinary Christians to share their faith more effectively using images and stories, thanks to a new resource ...

Faith Pictures is Church Army’s brand new resource, launched at the General Synod of the Church of England in November 2015 by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

The downloadable evangelism course is rooted in the latest communication theory on the importance of storytelling and use of images, helping people to talk about their own unique faith journey.

Faith Pictures takes a significantly different approach from other evangelism courses, with three main features:
• Honesty – about the faith journey, without bracketing out hard questions
• Humour – Faith Pictures is designed to be fun for participants
• Whole church – it’s a simple idea that can be used across the entire church, encompassing different traditions and age groups

Christian writer and Church Army tutor, Mike Starkey, who created the resource, tells us more:

Why did you decide to call the resource Faith Pictures?

Lots of people struggle to find the right words when it comes to talking about their faith. This downloadable course is based around a very simple idea. It’s about helping people to come up with a concrete image that lets them talk about their unique faith journey. This could be anything – a sunrise, buried treasure, wrestling match or a pair of glasses, for example.

Can you give us a taste of what we can expect with this online course?

It’s very accessible, there are no pre-packaged “correct” answers or formulas and it uses no jargon. Group leaders can download the guide and hand-outs. There is a short video for each session, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, comedian Milton Jones, theologian Paula Gooder and many more. For those who don’t have internet access, the materials will be available from Church Army.

Who is Faith Pictures aimed at?

It’s aimed at anybody who’d like help with talking about their faith with friends and colleagues.
It’s particularly suited for small church groups and those churches that wouldn’t normally use words such as evangelism.

I am quite introverted – is this resource suitable for me?

Even people who are talkative and extrovert often struggle to talk about their faith and the difference it makes to them. This course begins where people are, and helps them explore what might work for their particular personality type and temperament, and within their own networks and routines. It’s not the sort of course that leaves you feeling demoralised and out of your depth – it’s all about what you can do, not what you can’t.

Is the course difficult?

The whole course has been designed to be as accessible, user-friendly and as simple as possible. Ease of use doesn’t mean the content is shallow or trivial, though – hopefully, it will prompt some deep conversations. I hope that people will find the course’s emphasis on honesty and openness to be liberating!

How long will it take me to complete the course?

There are six sessions in total. It is designed to be run by groups over a six-week period, with one session a week.

What makes this evangelism course different from other ones?

It takes seriously the ups and downs of people’s faith journeys, encouraging people to be honest about their faith and doubts, rather than feeling they have to present a shiny ‘before and after’ testimony or compare their faith with somebody else’s.    

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Justin Welby says about the course: “Faith Pictures is an amazing gift to the Church. It is doing just what we need – helping every Christian to share their faith with friends and family. It doesn’t patronise or give standard answers, but stimulates each person to tell what they have experienced of God. It is fun, engaging and free. Please think about running this course in your church.”

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