Engage a biblical worldview
In 2006, Dr. Del Tackett, a founder of the New Geneva Theological Seminary, created The Truth Project, a worldview curriculum estimated to have been seen by over 20 million people in over 100 countries. A 20–year veteran of the United States Air Force who served at the White House as director of technical planning for the National Security Council, Dr. Tackett later worked as a top executive at Focus on the Family.
Most recently, Tackett launched The Engagement Project, designed for people interested in diving into an explosive new take on evangelism in the 21st century. Through live discussions based on ten 50–minute videos, Tackett takes participants on a series of “worldview tours” that reveal God’s plan and prepares participants to lead small groups in their communities.
In an exclusive interview with SACONNECTS magazine, Tackett discusses why such a project is needed now more than ever.
SACONNECTS: How will we ultimately get back together in this post–COVID world, given all the social, political, racial unrest that’s happened the past year and a half?
Dr. Del Tackett: You hit the nail on the head. The state of our culture right now is one that is sliding more toward disunity and isolation. It’s the atomization of our culture. So, I think the only way we’re going to live in this world and walk as Christians is to seek unity, as God has called us.
That includes how we engage the world around us. I believe that the answer is exactly what Jesus pointed us towards in the Gospel. The New Testament points us toward this notion that we are called to build those deep relationships with people. It’s only through those relationships that we’re going to breakthrough this intense irrationality that has descended upon our culture.
I get the impression that through The Engagement Project you plan to bring people together in small groups, rather than in mega congregations.
This is what we did in The Truth Project and the Lord deeply blessed that. We had people who were committed to pray and open their homes and go through the project together for 10 weeks. We’re doing the same thing for The Engagement Project. We’re asking people to open their homes and bring other believers in. They will go through these tours and talk about what God has called us to do as the body of Christ.
The project is built to get the body of Christ healthy and to ask, “What do we do? Why are we still here? What has God called us to do? How do we go about doing that?
How small is small, would you say?
I like the number 12. Someone may not have an apartment big enough for that many people. But I usually tell my folks, “Look, if the group is too big that you can’t pray for everybody, then it’s too big. If people don’t feel comfortable because the group is too large to be able to talk and discuss the issues, then the group is too big.” So, I don’t have a specific number, but I think it’s a group that’s small enough to be knit together and can discuss and wrestle with the things that we’re presenting to them.
When I think of small groups, I think of how quickly they can get big. At what point do we separate them and make two smaller groups? Is there a plan or process for making sure the group stays small enough?
I can point to you how we did it with The Truth Project and we’re trying to do the same now with The Engagement Project. We ask people to come together for 10 weeks, maybe once a week, I’d say. Then we pray that those people will then open their homes to other people. That’s a multiplication process that I think is part of God’s modus operandi. So, we’re not talking about building a small group and then that group gets bigger. We’re talking about a small group that goes through the study and then they open their homes to others.
I think opening your home is such a key to being connected and engaged with people, but so many of us are afraid. How do you get believers to take what they think is such a huge step after all our “social distancing?”
That’s exactly right. I’ll be honest with you. I think a lot of it stems from either a fear of people, or “my home is not good enough” or “my home is my sanctuary, and I don’t want anybody in.”
But the Lord has called us to something beyond our own little conclave. There’s something about inviting people in your home that breaks down barriers; there’s something about gathering in a home and breaking bread together that opens the possibility of a relationship with other people. So, we’re trying to encourage people to take this before the Lord and pray about this. The enemy will want you to stay isolated; the enemy wants you to just pull your door shut and not let anybody in. I don’t think the Lord would want us to do that.
The concept of being a “tour guide” is so interesting. The person who leads the group must go through a preparation process and a conceptualization of who they are in the matter. To be a tour guide kind of says it all. How do you prepare people to lead in this way?
We do conferences to help prepare them and we also have some online courses, but I try to tell people, “Look, it’s not as hard as we usually blow it up to be. Our videos provide all that teaching. Your job is simply to pray for people, to open the discussion, and to be a kind and loving person. You don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to prepare anything. The only thing you need to do during the week is pray for the people in your group.
What are some of the tenets of the faith that you hope to instill in these leaders?
This is hand–in–glove with The Truth Project, which was meant to build a comprehensive, systematic biblical worldview. We’re encouraging people to go through that process. The Engagement Project is the next step. What we’re trying to do here is to help people turn and gaze upon the crown jewel and the nature of God’s character. We want to radically transform the people of God so that they will begin to look at other people who live around them with a new set of eyes and with a heart that will want to engage.
by Warren L. Maye
For current information on upcoming tours, go to DelTackett.com.