QPlace trains believers to respectfully and lovingly engage those who believe differently, and create a safe environment (Discovery Bible Study) to discuss their questions about God and the Bible.
QPlace guides believers in leading the lost into Discovery study very similar to what David and Paul Watson promote, with a particular emphasis on engaging the lost initially through questions, listening well, then inviting into interactive community discussion of the Bible (without providing “right” answers or pressure to “make a decision”).
The collective experience of QPlace indicates that
- Most people in our U.S. context have spiritual questions, but lack a context for discussing those questions without fear of being judged or pressured.
- Unfortunately believers too often rush to answer such questions before really listening, reinforcing such fears rather than creating a safe environment for those who believe differently to encounter God and reach their own conclusions through Scripture discussions.
QPlace president Mary Schaller co-authored The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversation to help believers discover how Jesus interacted with others beyond “sharing the gospel.”
(This emphasis on asking questions rather than rushing to give answers fits well with what I have been learning about how to better love my own wife and “recently adult” daughters. I have come rather belatedly to the understanding that love is communicated more in the questions we ask and the empathy we express than in the suggestions we make.)
QPlace is a recent update to “Neighborhood Bible Study,” which emphasized inductive Bible study:
Inductive learning involves looking at a text or at experience analytically, extracting themes, patterns, and context, asking questions, and drawing conclusions, in a similar vein as the scientific method. This is a very active form of learning which is driven by the learner. … Q Place discussion guides ask thought-provoking questions rather than give answers or a lot of text. No one in a Q Place is an expert, but everyone is analyzing the ideas and content together, and participants decide for themselves what they believe about the subject matter.
QPlace has collaborative relationships with:
- AWANA (to reach unchurched parents of participating kids),
- YMCAs that want to put the “C” back into their ministry, and
- 400+ churches in our region of the country alone.