Essence

Essence
Rob Frost, Kingsway Publications 2002, reprinted 2003

£12.00 (Approx)
3.8
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

An exploration of contemporary spirituality which looks towards a lifestyle integrating body, mind and spirit. A 6-session interactive programme to stimulate a deeper spiritual life, drawing from the teachings of Jesus and the Christian mystics. ‘ … tool for Christian mission’. Could be used over a weekend.

What do you get?

Used hard copies or free to download from www.sharejesusinternational.com/resources/essence/

Who is it for?

Enquirers. Adults. Introduction to Christian spirituality. ‘Designed for all who recognise they are on a spiritual journey and who have a desire to travel further on that journey.’

Cost?

£12.00 average for used hard copies.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of the material?

    Book is ring-bound and easy to use therefore. Photos dated, but good layout. Downloadable version has updated photos and layout.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Very clear and easy to follow

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Clear and concise. Helpful icons, shading etc. Good introduction and guidelines. Layout works better in original book rather than download, where some typos have crept in and introductory leaders' guidelines are missing.

    Who could lead it?

    A leader with some experience, two additional team recommended. Would need passion for interactive material and willingness to explore different ways of doing things. Large groups possible, with one leader for each set of six people.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    No notes or book but journaling recommended and worked-on activities can be taken home.

    How good is any digital material?

    Straight-forward CD with audio resources for use in sessions, or downloadable files from sharejesusinternational.com

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Lots of practical prep for each session, gathering materials and preparing short input sections.

    Is there website support? Links?

    N/A

    Is it dated?

    Downloadable version has updated photos and layout.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Extremely well. Mix of individual and group activities, but essentially interaction-based. Even to light massage!

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

    Imaginative mixture of listening, doing, experiencing, sharing, reflection, music, poetry ... would not suit everyone, but cannot be faulted on variety and creativity. Biblical meditation included.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Rich blend of biblical material, reflection and activities. Designed for those longing for more ‘experience' rather than only cerebral knowledge. Would work for mixed ages.

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

    Very well, and homework given.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Interwoven into session in targeted ways, sometimes up to half of the material.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Mixture of biblical perspective on issues, and encouragement to engage with the biblical material in understanding and imaginative reflections.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Always relevant to theme: The journey so far, the journey within, the journey to a better world, the journey to wholeness, the journey to spirituality, the journey to the future.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Not particularly. Very open and relaxed. Ignation-style reflection included.

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

    This is introductory level regarding Christian discipleship, but covers a wide range of psychological approaches to engaging with the God issue. Firmly rooted in Christian understanding. Encourages personal responsibility for spiritual and emotional growth.

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

    Aims to start where people are at, and the multi-experiential approach should provide tools to use into the future. Journaling encouraged.

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

    Aims to introduce participants to the connections between themselves and the God who has made them.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Focus on personal growth so participants' and leaders' input will affect this. Based on how we experience life day to day.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a focus, but journey to God idea applies to everyone, so Essence good for this.

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

    Not a focus.

    How well does it connect with the global issues?

    One session focuses entirely on relating well to environmental issues, in partnership.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus

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