What is Life Explored?

Life Explored is an exciting new way to share the gospel in today's highly visual culture, and a great reminder for Christians that enjoying God brings happiness, satisfaction and peace. Developed by Christianity Explored Ministries, the seven sessions feature a combination of short films - shot around the world - and Bible interaction. It can be run before or after CE, or completely independently of it. 

What’s the big idea of Life Explored?

We all want to be happy. Why is lasting happiness so hard to find?

Life Explored is an exposé of the little gods that promise us so much happiness, yet deliver so little. As it explores the Bible story (creation, fall, redemption, new creation), Life Explored shows how our deepest desires for happiness can only be satisfied in one person, Jesus Christ. The best gift God can give us is himself.

Who’s it intended for?

Life Explored has been designed to speak powerfully to those who don’t consider themselves to be religious and have never read the Bible. But it will also provoke good discussions among followers of Christ, too.

What are the distinctives of Life Explored? 

  • Because we can no longer take any level of biblical literacy for granted, Life Explored surveys the whole biblical plot line: Creation, fall, redemption, new creation. Life Explored therefore gives people the context they need to be able to understand who Jesus is and why he came.
  • Because we can no longer assume that the God our friends reject is actually the triune God revealed in Scripture, each of the sessions emphasises a different aspect of God’s wondrous character and work. Life Explored reveals that God is good, trustworthy, generous, liberating, fulfilling, life-giving and joyful.
  • Because it’s more readily acknowledged among postmoderns than the concept of law-breaking, Life Explored describes sin in terms of idolatry. People begin to admit that they are worshipers of something, whatever that may be, and if it is not the living God who made them and gives them every good thing they enjoy, their chosen god will ultimately fail them. As D. A. Carson explains, “In a culture like ours… a better way to unpack the nature of sin is to unfold the nature of idolatry rather than the nature of law… These evils are more easily admitted among postmoderns than are the evils of transgressing law.”
  • Because of the way Nathan brings David to repentance in 2 Samuel 12, we’ve created a series of short films (almost parables) which help people to feel the seriousness of their sin by presenting it from a different, and convicting, perspective. David and Herod were both adulterers. And both were called out on their sin by Nathan and John the Baptist respectively. But notice the difference in approach. John confronts Herod with raw, propositional truth: “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” (Mark 6:18). Nathan, on the other hand, tells David a story (2 Samuel 12). And it’s the story, to paraphrase Hamlet, that catches the conscience of the King.

The short films on Life Explored are intended to create in our viewers “Nathan moments” which help people to see themselves as they really are – and God’s grace as it really is. These short films are scheduled for a global premiere on ShortsHD, an international cable and satellite television channel dedicated to short films, including Academy Award nominated short films.

Who created Life Explored?

It’s been written by Barry Cooper and Nate Morgan Locke of Christianity Explored Ministries. The presenters are Barry Cooper, Nate Morgan Locke and Rico Tice.

The films are produced and directed by Dot&Cross, whose previous work includes Tim Keller’s The Prodigal God, Francis Chan’s Basic, and the Nooma series.

How does a typical Life Explored session work? 

There are two short films to watch in each session. The first is an original story set around the world, and in different points in history. The stories are designed to engage emotions as well as minds, as they open up an aspect of life which people may recognise in themselves. Each highlights a particular “idol” and reveals its’s tragic shortcomings. Participants discuss a simple question based on this parable-like first film.

Following a Bible reading, the second film is shown. The teaching films explore the Bible passage, are presented by evangelist Rico Tice, and the course authors Barry Cooper and Nate Morgan Locke.

Participants then look at the Bible passage together and answer some questions.

Summary
• Film 1 (10 minutes)
• Discussion 1 (5 minutes)
• Bible Reading (2 minutes)
• Film 2 (15 minutes)
• Bible Reading (3 minutes)
• Discussion 2 (25 minutes)

The timings are flexible. You can run a whole session in an hour, but if you have more time, we suggest using that extra time for Discussion 2.

Can Life Explored work in my context? 

Life Explored is as flexible as you are. It’s been designed to be run one-to-one (just two people in a home or coffee shop watching the films on a phone/tablet and discussing what they’ve seen), or with larger groups meeting in a bigger space.

The whole church can even take part in Life Explored. In fact, the best way to get people excited about inviting people to go through Life Explored is to let them experience it first. 

What do I need to run the course?

Simply pick up a Leader’s Kit. A Leader’s Kit contain a Leader’s Handbook, a Handbook for your guest, a DVD and an access code for digital downloads of the films, so they can be downloaded to your electronic devices

If you’re planning to share Life Explored with more than one guest, just pick up additional Handbooks.

Do I need to purchase Bibles as well?

The Bible texts for each week are included in the Handbooks.

Are there any promotional resources available?

Yes. There are Life Explored posters, invitations and banners available from The Good Book Company. You’ll also find teasers and trailers for the films.

What does each session cover?

1. The Good God.
A preview of the six stories we’ll be experiencing together on Life Explored, and an introduction to the opening question: What’s the best gift God could give you? Explores Genesis 1.

2. The Trustworthy God.
Colonial India. A girl’s view of her best friend is changed unexpectedly, and forever. Have we been deceived into believing lies about God? Explores Genesis 3.

3. The Generous God.
The Californian gold rush. A prospector risks his life in the quest for gold. How far would you go for what you love most? Explores Genesis 12.

4. The Liberating God.
Suburbia. A man is hooked by a late night infomercial and feels his life would be complete if only he could have the perfect garden. Have your desires ever left you feeling trapped? Explores Exodus 12.

5. The Fulfilling God.
Edo-Period Japan. A woman is drawn away from her husband and family in pursuit of what she hopes will be a more exciting life. What are you hoping will bring you fulfilment in life? Explores John 4.

6. The Life-Giving God. 
Los Angeles. A Hollywood actress has everything, but something isn’t right. What, if you lost it, would make you feel that life wasn’t worth living?
 Explores 1 Corinthians 15.

7. The Joyful God.
In orbit above the earth. As his space station disintegrates around him, an astronaut reflects on those he loves. What’s the best gift God could give you? Explores Revelation 21. 

Can I get more information?

Yes! Go to www.ceministries.org