Two Ways to Live: Know and share the gospel

  • 28 June 2013

The Two Ways to Live: Know and share the gospel course stems from the conviction that every Christian should know and understand the gospel clearly, and be able to explain their faith effectively when the opportunity arises. However, the beauty of this course is that it does not assume that every Christian will have the same gifts or opportunities to share the gospel.

Participants spend some time looking at what the Bible says about sharing the gospel, and at the attitudes, motivations and methods that should accompany it. They learn not only what the gospel actually is, but how to share it simply and naturally with others. This involves learning to adapt a basic gospel outline to their own conversational style, and practising this skill in different contexts. They also spend time reflecting on the content and theology of the gospel outline, through listening to two talks and discussing them in the group.

After this seven-week course, participants should come away with:

  • a sound and thorough knowledge of what the gospel is, and
  • the ability to share it with someone clearly and naturally when the opportunity arises.

To get a feel for the difference this course can make, please watch the two "conversations" below.


In the opening chapter of Colossians, Paul writes of “the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth”. The gospel itself is a growing and dynamic power, according to the Bible. It gets into people’s ears and minds, and changes them. It bears fruit and spreads and grows, throughout the whole world. This gospel cannot be contained or kept hidden, like a lamp under a bowl. It begs to be shared. The seven-week course you are about to embark upon has two simple aims:

  • to help you know and thoroughly understand this powerful gospel for yourself
  • to equip you to share it with others, as you have opportunity.

In doing so, the course doesn’t envisage that many of us will be ‘Billy Grahams’ preaching to thousands, or even that we will ‘preach’ at all. What it does aim to do is equip every Christian with a clear understanding of the key points of the gospel, so that we can share it clearly with others—whether in a particular conversation at work or after church, or in a relationship with a friend over months and years.

The Two Ways to Live gospel outline that is the basis of this course was first developed in Sydney, Australia, in the early 1980s by Phillip Jensen. Somewhat like the gospel itself, Two Ways to Live has now spread all over the world, and is used in a variety of resources, including this training course. A debt of great thanks is owed to the many people who have worked on, and improved, this course over the years—people like Colin Marshall, Owen Chadwick, John Chapman, Steve Abbott, Bronwyn Partridge, Dominic Steele, and many others.

— Tony Payne, Revising editor, April 2003