The Room For Doubt Six-Week
Message & Curriculum Series
What Is It?
The Room For Doubt Series is a six-week message series and curriculum for individual churches, area-wide campaigns, small groups, Christian colleges, and university campus ministries. It includes message/sermon manuscripts, an Adult Discussion Guide, a Youth Discussion Guide (primarily high school), a number of videos, and other resources. The materials are all available online in downloadable format for easy access and low cost.
The Series encourages reflection and open discussion on some of the most important questions of the Christian faith.
- Is Doubt Always Bad?
- Does God really exist?
- Is the Bible reliable?
- Why Do Christians Say that Jesus is God’s Son?
- Why would God allow tragedy and suffering?
- Isn’t it intolerant to say that Jesus is the only way?
As part of the Series, Room For Doubt highly recommends that a special Q&A event be scheduled that promotes widespread community involvement. If desired, we can provide or recommend individuals who can help with such an event.
Who Is It For?
The Room For Doubt Series is for churches and other groups who want to focus on some of the big questions about the Christian faith in an open and candid environment. It is for those who have questions and doubts about Christianity and for those who want to help others who have questions and doubts.
Why Should My Church, or My Ministry, or My Small Group Consider It?
America (and much of the world) lives in a “post-Christian” culture. This partly means that more people live without much, if any, awareness of basic Christian ideas, and they are more prone to be skeptical of them. And those raised in the church increasingly question their Christian heritage. Many studies estimate that about 60% of “churched” youth will not remain active in church in their twenties. In addition, more and more people are not affiliating with any religion. The fastest growing people group in America is now the "NONES"--those who say they don't identify with any religious group.
Just look at some charts that help illustrate these points.
The RFD Series will create an atmosphere that invites questions--even doubts--about the Christian faith. It will offer experiences where you can be honest and open, without intimidation. It will provide opportunities for finding some answers for why you (and others) should consider, or reconsider, the basic claims of the Christian faith.
Here is a brief video clip that introduces the Series. This clip is one of many that are provided with the six-week Series to use for promotion, during sermons, in small groups, or in classes. (If the embedded video does not work properly, you can find it on our YouTube channel HERE.)
1. A "CORE" CURRICULUM that includes ALL of the following:
- 6 Message/Sermon manuscripts. (For a SAMPLE, click here.)
- ADULT Discussion Guide in PDF format. (For a SAMPLE, click here.)
- YOUTH Discussion Guide in PDF format (primarily for high school). (For a SAMPLE, click here.)
- Videos for Series promotion (1:24 in HD and other resolutions).
- Video Series Welcome (1:37 by Mark Mittelberg).
- Video Series Overview (16:32 especially for church leaders by Mark Mittelberg).
- Video for small group leader training (28:35 by Mark Mittelberg and Garry Poole).
- Videos for sermon bumpers (2-3 minutes each, specifically designed to use in sermon introductions).
- Additional videos of a “doubters uncensored” panel on various topics (2-4 minutes each; usable for discussion starters and adaptable for sermon use; hosted and produced by Garry Poole).
- Graphics, logo files, official program fonts, slide templates, and more.
- Webpages with recommended online resources, including videos, for EACH of the six topics in the Series.
2. COMPLEMENTARY RESOURCES:
A variety of additional resources will be available and more added periodically (e.g. print versions of the discussion guides; DVD's of the Series videos; recommended books; instructional videos; and even entire classes). Some of these may require an additional cost beyond the core curriculum.
Who Produced the Materials?
Under the supervision of key leaders at Lincoln Christian University, the messages and curriculum were written specifically for Room for Doubt by Mark Mittelberg and Garry Poole, in consultation with Lee Strobel. These three are long-time ministry partners who served for many years together at Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago. They are joined by Dr. Rich Knopp who offers a variety of complementary resources (e.g. live presentations, print publications, video productions, classes) that can be used during and after the Room For Doubt Series.
Mark Mittelberg wrote and refined the Room for Doubt messages and he contributes some of the video materials. Mark is the author of a number of books, including The Reason Why Faith Makes Sense; The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask; Confident Faith: Building a Firm Foundation for Your Beliefs; Choosing Your Faith in a World of Spiritual Options; and Becoming a Contagious Christian (with Lee Strobel and Bill Hybels). Mark is available as an independent consultant for Room For Doubt Series and is willing to appear for a special Q&A event as part of the Series by special arrangement.
Garry Poole was the author of the Room for Doubt discussion guides. He conducted the video interviews with the “Doubters Uncensored” panel and offers some small group training videos. Video clips from these discussions are available as part of the core curriculum. Garry has written a number of notable works, including the discussion guides for many of Lee Strobel’s best-selling books (e.g. The Case for Faith; The Case for Christ; The Case for a Creator). His publications also include Seeker Small Groups and The Complete Book of Questions: 1001 Conversation Starters for Any Occasion. Garry is available as an independent consultant for Room For Doubt and is willing to help churches plan and incorporate the six-week Series as part of a more comprehensive evangelistic campaign. He is available to help host a "doubters uncensored panel" by special arrangement. Garry is currently developing a new evangelistic campaign strategy that incorporates the Room For Doubt Series as one component. Contact Room For Doubt for more information about that.
Dr. Rich Knopp is the Program Coordinator for Room For Doubt and Professor of Philosophy and Christian Apologetics at Lincoln Christian University. Rich presents program workshops and produces a variety of related educational courses and resources. He is also the Director of WorldViewEyes, a youth-oriented grant program that has received over $1,000,000 from the Lilly Endowment to help youth understand and develop a Christian worldview. His multimedia presentations have been attended by over 76,000 youth and adults in twenty-two states, Canada, and China. In addition to various journal articles, he co-edited and contributed a chapter on the philosophy of science in Taking Every Thought Captive: Essays in Honor of James D. Strauss; he published a chapter on science and religion in Theology in the Present Age: Essays in Honor of John D. Castelein; and he contributed a chapter on Christian ethics in a recent book to honor the well-known Christian apologist Norman Geisler: I Am Put Here for the Defense of the Gospel: Dr. Norman L. Geisler: A Festschrift in His Honor. Rich also hosts a limited number of Q&A events as part of the Room For Doubt Series.
A video of a workshop presented at the 2017 North American Christian Convention by Rich Knopp and Garry Poole is available. The title is "Preparing the Soil for the Seed: Giving Room For Doubt." Rich talks about the Room For Doubt program and the importance of creating an environment that welcomes tough questions--even doubts--about the Christian faith. Garry discusses the value of "room for doubt" (or spiritual discovery) groups. That video is available HERE.
How Much Does It Cost?
Because of the importance of this Series, Room for Doubt wants to make the materials easily accessible and very affordable. We are charging a very modest fee to sustain the program and assure its further development. For convenience and to keep costs down, the CORE curriculum is available in downloadable formats. This will include everything necessary to do the Series. (See the list of items included in the CORE curriculum above.)
The primary intent is for the six-week Series to be used in an ENTIRE church from high school on up (sermons, small group curricula for adults and for high school youth). In this case, the cost for ALL of the materials in the CORE curriculum depends on the average church attendance. (See table below.) The price for your size church is ALL-INCLUSIVE. This means that when you purchase the CORE curriculum for the size of your church, you get EVERYTHING in the CORE curriculum, and you may make however many copies you need of the adult and youth discussion guides for your church. (NOTE: Discounts are available for "LCU Partner Churches" who support Lincoln Christian University at least $500/year. Contact Room For Doubt if you have questions about that and to receive a discount code for the online store.)
|Average Weekly Attendance||All-Inclusive Cost for Everything
in the CORE Curriculum
|Under 200||$200 entire cost|
|200-500||$300 entire cost|
|500-1000||$400 entire cost|
|1000-2000||$600 entire cost|
|Over 2000||$800 entire cost|
If your entire church is not doing the Room For Doubt Series, the CORE curriculum can be adapted to small groups or individual classes. In this case, the cost is based on the number of expected copies of the discussion guide that your group needs. (See table below.) When you purchase the CORE curriculum for the size of your smaller group, you may make as many copies of the discussion guides as you need for your group. In addition, you will have access to the sermon manuscripts and videos (and ALL of the CORE curriculum).
Expected Number of Discussion Guide Copies
All-Inclusive Cost for the
$25 entire cost
$50 entire cost
$100 entire cost
Please contact us if you have any questions.
Access the Online Store
To get the CORE curriculum (i.e., sermon manuscripts, the ADULT Discussion Guide, and the YOUTH discussion guide), go to the ONLINE STORE.
After your purchase, your invoice will provide instructions for how to access and download the other components for the series (e.g. videos, program fonts, supplemental resources).
Some Endorsements of the R4D Series
- "Room for Doubt has been one of the most rewarding, enriching, and life-changing church-wide initiatives we have ever done. Our culture longs for a safe environment where questions can be asked and doubts explored without judgment or condescension. That is exactly what Room For Doubt provides!” - Rick Grover, Lead Pastor, East 91st St. Christian Church, Indianapolis, IN.
- “Our experience leading more than two dozen churches through a community-wide RFD campaign—well, it was more beneficial than we hoped.... Our churches (from a variety of ‘tribes’) are poised to work together in even greater ways in the future. RFD was the catalyst for new days for Christ’s work in our community.” - Wayne Kent, Lead Pastor, 1st Christian Church, Decatur, IL.
- "Our congregation has welcomed the theme and our small group ministry has joined in the discussion making weekly resources available to our Life Groups.... The plan, schedule, and resources available through the Room for Doubt program are outstanding and very beneficial to making the most of this opportunity. I whole heartedly recommend this program for any congregation seeking to better engage its community and those who are struggling with doubt." - Tom Ellsworth, Senior Minister at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church in Bloomington, IN.
- “This message series and group adventure stretched me as much as it did the congregation. As a result, more people joined a life group or responded than in any other sermon series I have done.” - Rusty Richards, Lead Minister, Minier [IL] Christian Church.
- "Room for Doubt was invaluable for our congregation. We live in a small college town and the topics of the series are extremely relevant to the culture in which we find ourselves. However the biggest benefit was helping move the culture of our congregation to being a place where people can ask questions and seek truth without feeling judged or looked down upon. Room For Doubt helped me as a pastor to engage hard questions in a clear manner. The small group curriculum was a great resource for our leaders to facilitate a discussion for believers and skeptics. And, the Q&A session with Dr. Knopp was well received with many great questions not only from our church but from the community as well, and Dr. Knopp was great in the hot seat!" - John Tischer, Lead Pastor, Greencastle Christian Church, Greencastle, IN.
- “Our experience with Room 4 Doubt was, and continues to be, inspirational and impactful. What a great responsibility and privilege we have to live out Jude 22, ‘Be merciful to those who doubt.'" - Mark Wright, Lead Pastor, Hazel Dell Christian Church, Carmel, IN.
- "Our church family had already done a few apologetics studies and sermon series - but when the Room For Doubt series became available, we put that on our 2016 preaching/small group calendar. It was better than anything we had done previously, and was extremely well-received by our members and guests alike. I highly recommend RFD, especially to those who do sermon-based small groups." - Bob Hentrich, Senior Minister, Chillicothe [IL] Christian Church.
- "Along with six other central Iowa churches, our congregation experienced the Room for Doubt series and were greatly blessed! This series approaches apologetics from a unique perspective. It gives the hearer permission to wrestle with doubts instead of quickly shutting them down. I loved that about this series! Our church became so interactive throughout this series (and I have heard from the other churches that they did as well). Many questions surfaced that prompted us to host Doctor Knopp at the conclusion of our series to help us deal with some of those questions and to close out the series in spectacular fashion. I highly recommend this series for your church. It will open a door for great discussion and understanding of doubts held by the unbelieving world and doubts held by those in Christ at times as well." - Mike Demastus, Preaching Minister, Fort Des Moines (IA) Church of Christ.