A review of The Happiness Lab from Melbourne

We recently received an email from our friend Mandy from Syndal Baptist Church, Melbourne, sharing how their church uses UDC resources.

Well, there’s been lots of experimenting in the disciplines that develop a happier life happening “Down Under” during 2018… well, amongst some of the Syndal Baptist community in Melbourne, Victoria anyway!

Having been inspired by participating in the evangelism workshop, “A Year of Conversation”, facilitated by Sharon & Paul from the Ugly Duckling Company at Syndal Baptist in fact, May 2017, we felt it was timely for us as a church to facilitate The Happiness Lab starting mid-January 2018 as a way to engage with those who don’t yet know Jesus and who, most likely, would never consider exploring the Christian faith through the kinds of courses we usually invite them to attend. It was also the perfect follow up course to which we could invite guests & visitors who had attended our “Joy to the World” themed Christmas services and it complemented our Sunday sermon series during January entitled, “The Joy Filled Life.”

Many of the 25 participants in our initial course were non churchy/pre-Christian people, including one churchgoer’s yoga teacher, someone else’s Buddhist wife, someone’s else’s wife who is into the new age, as well as a host of other pre-Christian friends, family members and neighbours of participants who would never normally walk into a church setting! We found the course content to be very informative and accessible for our pre-Christian guests (and Christian ones too!!)

The resources provided by THL helped us to facilitate engaging discussion in smaller groups, and the suggested take-home experiments were relevant and practical. I would highly recommend THL as a course to anyone seeking to engage with pre-Christians in their community, starting at the point of our mutual “felt need” to experience a greater level of happiness in our life. Each of the topics explored are gospel-centred (without being overtly so!), and ultimately point to Jesus as the one who said “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).