For 50 years now, the non-denominational charity, Unlock, has worked in urban communities in the UK to resource small groups of local oral learners to connect their own stories and experiences with the stories in the Bible.
The work is inclusive and relational, it can be slow but its impacts are profound, it is small scale but far reaching. It starts with people’s own stories and values what each person has to bring to the learning process, including, and in fact especially, those who have had a negative experience of formal education and are not ‘bookish’. Unlock uses creative activities to connect people’s lived experience with the stories in the Bible and we see transformation.
Unlock usually works with people outside of church who may be interested in finding out a bit more about faith but perhaps are not attracted to the formal methods of learning often associated with church. Their work is based on a reflective learning cycle and is a tried and tested way of introducing people to the Bible in a nonthreatening way. Many churches have activities that draw in members of their surrounding community but then struggle with how to move on from those relationships into exploring faith, especially in urban environments where anything formal might be treated with suspicion
Christians can, and do, learn about their faith simply by:
- sharing stories from their own everyday experience,
- relating them to the stories in the bible and
- deciding what to do about it,
- then taking action and
- sharing stories of the actions they have taken and so on . . . .
This simple approach is easy to facilitate and is accessible to people who are alienated by traditional, text based methods of studying Christian faith. (It can also prove to be a refreshing approach for those who are quite comfortable with traditional methods!)
Unlock are now arranging training events for the last quarter of 2022 and throughout 2023. If you would like to host some training at your church please get in touch with Dawn Lonsdale or Jenny Blake at the Unlock office to talk through the options available, Unlock will do their best to tailor their offer to your specific needs.
email@example.com or Tel: 01709 380 318
New Resources from Unlock – Slithers of Gold
Unlock’s newest resource, Slithers of Gold, is available free on the Unlock website. Slithers of Gold includes creative activities, discussion questions and reflections on the themes of guilt, mending and grace; connecting issues in day to day life with Bible stories. It is suitable for use in various informal contexts including small groups.
As with all Unlock resources, leaders need to use the material flexibly, creatively and selectively, adapting it to the needs of their own local context and groups.
Slithers of Gold is not designed as a series of distinct sessions but as a succession of linked topics and activities that can be run over as many or as few sessions as seems appropriate.