VISION, HISTORY, VALUES
The vision of Q Place is Christians all over the world inviting people into small groups to question, discover, and grow in their relationship with God.
History: Our Story Begins
Q Place began with the name Neighborhood Bible Studies (NBS) in 1960 when Marilyn Kunz and Catherine (Kay) Schell recognized that many people would be interested in the Bible if they could discover it for themselves.
Small Groups, Big Discussion
Marilyn and Kay used their experience on staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and Nurses Christian Fellowship to help Christians invite their neighbors, coworkers, and friends into small groups to study the Bible together. They wrote Bible study guides, helped Christians learn how to cultivate a thriving small-group environment, and developed guidelines for healthy Bible discussions.
Key Time-Tested Guidelines
These three guidelines and their underlying principles paved the way for healthy discussions among people of diverse backgrounds and personalities.
- Keep to the chapter under discussion, building a common frame of reference.
- Avoid tangents.
- Let the Bible speak for itself.
Because these groups did not assume previous Bible knowledge and avoided religious jargon, people brand new to the Bible felt respected as thinking adults and were comfortable being there.
NBS grew rapidly. Within five years, 200 groups were meeting in the northern suburbs of New York City. Soon, groups began to multiply in pockets all over the U.S. and Canada. NBS then spread to other countries including England, France, Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands, Jordan, and Spain. NBS study guides were translated into twenty-five different languages. Over the next forty years, NBS engaged more than a million people in discussing the Bible together.
From NBS to Q Place
In 2007, the leaders of NBS took a close look at cultural trends and recognized that people were often not initially drawn to Bible studies yet tended to be more curious and open about basic spiritual issues. People who weren’t interested in attending churches would come to a group where it felt safe to discuss questions and discover answers for themselves. In fact, most of the principles of NBS’s method were a better fit than ever. What was needed for these discussions was refining of our time-tested materials, some new resources that would get to the heart of people’s spiritual questions, and enhanced training to help Christians start groups all over the country and the world.
Why “Q Place”?
The Q is for questions, which are at the heart of every Q Place group and also reflect the way Jesus interacted with people around him.
Jesus asked relevant questions about God and the Scriptures. He listened. He lived with his followers. He loved them. He told them stories. Jesus helped them seek and discover answers at their own pace and in their own way.
Practices of Jesus that Build Trust
Over the next several years, the Q Place team discovered nine practices in Jesus’ interactions with people that could help Christians engage with people around them and invite them into a group. As a result, The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations book and curriculum were born.
Coaching and Training to Multiply Groups
Online training to start Q Places (seeker groups) and training for church leaders in doable practices with their congregations have continued to equip and mobilize Christians in effective evangelism and discipleship in the United States and beyond.
As Q Place continues into the future, the challenges are great, but more important than the strategy, plans, and effort is the conviction that God, revealed in the Bible, desires for people to come to know him. The desire for all those involved with Q Place is that he would use this ministry to accomplish his work in people’s lives.
Our CORE Values
The Bible and the life of Jesus are worth serious examination.
God’s Spirit will guide those who are spiritually open.
People grow and learn best when they discover truth for themselves through discussion and study.
An ideal environment for spiritual growth is in a small group where personal dignity is valued and leadership is shared.
Statement of Faith
Q Place endorses, as statements of faith, the historic creeds and confessions of the Christian faith including the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed (appended) since these creeds are based on, and confirmed by the Bible, the Word of God. Q Place affirms the Bible as fully authoritative and entirely trustworthy, the divinely inspired Word of God.