Compass

Compass: Exploring Christian Faith Together
The Compass Team, Jenny Ellis, Bev Hollings, Roger Johnson, Ken Kingston, Piers Lane, Howard Mellor, Viv Morrissey, Nick Moxon, Martin Wellings, Methodist Publishing, 2013

£5.00 (Approx)
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Compass is a short interactive course that introduces the Christian faith for those who wish to explore its meaning. Like any compass it relates to a particular map and the one intended is Christian discipleship in the Methodist Church. The course’s eight sessions cover the basics of Christian faith and illustrate them with themes which have shaped our Methodist heritage and present expression of Church.

Compass is intended as a guide on the journey of faith that will appeal to the beginner and also the well-travelled. It offers a process of learning and discovery, helping people to explore the significant aspects of Christian faith and to anchor them in their experience of life. At all points there is a chance to discuss, reflect, question in the context of a small group.

From those who have piloted the course: “I found Compass very inspiring, enabling me to grow in both knowledge and confidence whilst looking at my faith and beliefs.” “Particularly welcome were the Methodist Emphasis section, appreciated not only by those new to Methodist but also by those with a much longer association.”

What do you get and how?

A5 book for participants. Downloadable leader’s guide from www.methodist.org.uk/compass. Free posters and invitations available to order. Sessions:

  • Glimpses of God.
  • Meeting Jesus today.
  • The difference Jesus makes.
  • Empowered by the Holy Spirit.
  • Life together.
  • Engaging with Scripture.
  • Following Jesus.
  • Called by Name.

Pack of images also recommended for Session 2 at www.methodistpublishing.org.uk.

Who is it for?

Enquirers, Beginning, Growing, small group

Cost?

£5.00 (+ £5.00 for pack of images)

Review

  • What is the overall quality of the material?

    Nice matt-covered book.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The leader's guide introduction states ‘Compass is above all, an opportunity to explore our questions, share our experience and learn from one another.' Each session has straight-forward aims and outcomes for leaders.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Good introductory notes in Leader's Guide for planning and preparation. Clearly laid out A4 sheets, though no icons here. Timings given. Activity sheets included here.

    Who could lead it?

    This is designed for a Methodist to lead, but the Methodist Emphasis is included as a separate section.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Ground rules, icons, good spaces for notes, easy to read and all material included. Substantial between-session reading and suggestions for prayer and reflection.

    How good is any digital material?

    N/A

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Good introductory notes in Leader's Guide for planning and preparation. They advise thinking through how to run and set up group, with careful consideration of those who may be new to Christianity. Activities require preparation of materials, and a list of these appear at the start of each session in the Leader's Guide.

    Is there website support? Links?

    No

    Is it dated?

    No.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Lots of discussion and interactive activities, prayer, reflection

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Good mix of reading, discussion and activities. Latter are creative and tie in well to the topics, from images of Jesus to poetry, sugar lumps and flowers.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Obviously this would work best in a Methodist setting, but it could work in others by skipping or minimising the direct Methodist material if you wanted to. There is some great interactive material here - this is a rich resource. It may work best for those who have some experience of being a Christian, or of going to church, or some other contact, as it travels quite fast through the major Christian concepts.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Interactive activities and between-session reading, prayer and Bible passages.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Major part of most sessions.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Imaginative use of the strong biblical emphasis, encouraging participants to engage thoroughly with the text. Really great questions throughout, including those based on the biblical material.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Strong connections between biblical material and application to the individual's life. Good acknowledgements of common assumptions around the Christian faith as a starting place for discussion and thought. Practical advice about how to read the Bible regularly.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Methodist background and aims. Final session 8 gives the option to respond in becoming a member of the Methodist Church.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    This course covers a lot of ground in the eight sessions. It is very creative, engaging and practical.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Sensitive, clear and engaging presentation of basic Christian truths. Moves quite quickly to responses to this (e.g. an act/prayer of confession and forgiveness in Session 3). Encouragement to join the Methodist church in Worship, Service, Learning and Caring and Evangelism. A good emphasis on practical outworking of faith in life.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    Reflects well the Methodist commitment to social transformation, and contains inspiring material about the foundation of Methodism in Charles and John Wesley.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Good connections with the challenges of the world today, both internationally and personally.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Includes this both personally and as a church community.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Methodist commitment to social and community involvement is a consistent theme.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Acknowledges the challenges facing the world.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Implicit in the Methodist commitment to intelligent evangelism.

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