Discipleship Explored

Discipleship Explored: Following Christ. What is it all about?
The Christianity Explored Ministries Team; Barry Cooper on DVD; The Good Book Company, 2nd edition 2012

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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Following Christ. What’s it all about? Discipleship Explored is a course designed to give you the time and space to think about what it really means to live the Christian life. This eight-session journey through Paul’s letter to the Philippians can be used with individuals or groups of any size to present the excitement, challenge and joy of following Christ. It’s ideal for new Christians, or anyone who wants to know Christ more deeply.

What do you get and how?

DVD, large A5 Leader’s Guide, Handbook. 8 sessions based on Philippians: Living in Christ; Standing together in Christ; Transformed by Christ; Righteous in Christ; Knowing Christ; Rejoicing in Christ; Content in Christ. 150 minutes including meal to begin (course itself 105 minutes). International version with 22 translations available, and subtitles on DVD.

Who is it for?

Adult beginner Christians

Cost?

Leader’s guide: £8.00, Handbook: £3.00; DVD: £25.00. Sample pack including one handbook, DVD and guide: £30.00. Kindle versions available, similar prices. www.amazon.co.uk; www.eden.co.uk; www.thegoodbook.co.uk

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Excellent. Well-produced and attractive DVD and books with super-clear layouts.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Very clear. Shared meal to begin, and exploration of what being a ‘follower of Jesus Christ' means. Clear chapters, titles and explanations.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Substantial Leader's Guide. Thorough preparation, timings, structure, training for team, backup notes on Philippians and tough questions and Christian belief, notes for talk if this is preferred to watching the DVD, how to invite people, how to deal with pastoral issues, what to do after the course ... and even a map.

    Who could lead it?

    The course recommends: ‘Mature Christians who are able to teach, encourage discussion and care for guests'. A leader able to encourage lively discussion in the context of Bible study would enable all to get the most out of the material.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Smart glossy handbook with very clear layout, space for notes,

    How good is any digital material?

    DVDs well presented with the engaging Barry Cooper talking against some imaginative settings, photographic angles and ideas which bring the biblical material to life. Head-on engagement with theme.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    This is intended as a serious commitment to running the course as well as possible, so plenty of preparation to do, from team training, getting support from church, and talks if not using DVD, to invitations and meal organisation. Actual studies on biblical material are quite straight-forward, but familiarisation necessary.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Resource-rich website for leaders, including publicity materials: www.ceministries.org; and for non-Christians: www.christianityexplored.org.

    Is it dated?

    No, and shouldn't be for a while. Updates on leader's website.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Discussion-based.

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

    No hands-on. Mix of watching, discussing, reading , so fairly cerebral in style. But strong presentation if this is what you are looking for.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Studying a Bible passage, and discussing on groups, would be new concepts for some so decide whether the DVD input/passage-plus-questions approach would suit your group. The questions attempt to both understand and apply the passage. Between-session study also encouraged.

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

    Handbook includes Bible studies for every day inbetween the sessions. Leaders are encouraged to help participants get going with these, and bring questions back to the next session. Group discussion questions include application of material.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Apart from the meal, almost 100% as talks, DVD and discussion centre around Philippians.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Memorable spoken presentation of biblical passage on DVD. Vast majority of questions are entirely biblically-based.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Straight-forward connections between the biblical material and how it might impact daily life and thought. The questions attempt to both understand and apply the passage. Between-session study also encouraged.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Straight-forward evangelical understanding of biblical material. No particular denominational bias or assumptions.

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

    Thought-provoking and challenging engagement with issues.

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

    Questions clearly aimed at helping participants to engage with the issues; between-session home study would enhance this. Encouragement to join local church community.

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

    Foundational engagement with the principles for living life as a Christian, as found in Philippians (see titles covered in What do you get?).

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Straight-forward connections between the biblical material and how it might impact daily life and thought. The questions attempt to both understand and apply the passage. Between-session study also encouraged.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Understood as integral to the message of Philippians, so included in exploration of how faith impacts life.

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

    From the angle of living well as a Christian.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus

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