Freedom in Christ

Freedom in Christ: A 13 week discipleship course for every Christian
Neil Anderson, Steve Goss. Monarch Books/lionhudson, no date recorded but this is a fully revised version for 2015

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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Equipping disciples to make disciples. The Freedom in Christ Course is an easy and effective way for any church to implement effective church-wide discipleship. Created specifically for the UK church, the original version has now been used by over 125,000 people. This new and fully revised version is exceptionally easy to use. Many churches run the Freedom In Christ Course two, three or more times a year. It is often used directly after introductions to Christianity such as Alpha and Christianity Explored and this revised version contains an optional introductory session to make the transition to the Freedom In Christ Course straightforward.

Course participants will learn how to: take hold of the truth of exactly what happened when they became Christians; resolve personal and spiritual conflicts; become a genuinely fruitful disciple; make following Jesus a way of life.

Either present it yourself using the PowerPoint presentations on the enclosed CD or use the accompanying videos presented by Steve Goss (available separately on DVD). The course is ideal for cell and small group use or for a Sunday teaching series. There is now a whole range of optional supporting resources including an easy-to-read book series for participants and comprehensive training courses for church teams on DVD.

What do you get?

Various combinations, but starter pack contains Pack for 20 people with: Course Leader’s Guide & CD; 20 Participant’s Guides; Discipleship Course DVD Set; 20 Steps booklets; Steps DVD; 60 Postcards (20 of each); 50 invitations; 3 Posters (A3); 1 set of 4 Discipleship Series books. 13 sessions plus one optional Introduction session plus material for awayday/weekend.

Four sections:

  • Part A: Where Did I Come From?, Who Am I now?, Choosing To Believe The Truth;
  • Part B: The World’s View Of Truth, Our Daily Choice, Demolishing Strongholds, The Battle For Our Minds;
  • Part C: Handling Emotions Well, Forgiving From the Heart, Leading People Through The Steps To Freedom In Christ;
  • Part D: Walking in Freedom Every Day, Relating To Others, Where Are You Heading?, Staying On The Right Path.

Who is it for?

Small groups, whole church, beginning, growing

Cost?

Various combinations. Starter pack for 20 people is £259.00. Sample DVD and book available for free. Components available separately e.g. £3.99 for participant’s workbook, £30.00 for leader’s, £79.00 for DVDs.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of the material?

    Excellent across the board.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Exceptionally clear with objectives for each session spelt out each time. See What does it say on the tin? for overall aims of the course.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Brilliantly laid out with headings, icons and timings all the way through. Choice as to whether to use DVD of talks, or powerpoint and text supplied. For the latter, the slides are included with the text, and clear directions given for progressing through them. All materials available through ficministries, plus option to register and receive further support. Training also available. Tips and guidance on good course running. It is suggested that one or two small groups go through the course first before extending it to the whole church congregation, but the course is certainly designed for the latter. Optional session 0 at the beginning is to lay the foundation of why the Bible is trustworthy for those who are new to this approach.

    Who could lead it?

    This is a significant resource which aims to enable transformation in participant's lives through exposure to biblical material and teaching. While the material is comprehensive and the DVD an option, leaders would need to have enough confidence themselves in the aims and objectives. They would also need to be confident in dealing with the life issues that may arise from the topics (there are further resources available if ongoing help is needed). Obviously if it is being used for the whole church, then the leadership needs to own and participate in the leading of it.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Each participant will need own workbook plus The Steps To Freedom In Christ booklet and three Biblical Truths postcards. Accompanying slim books set: Free to be Yourself, Win the Daily Battle, Break Free, Stay Free, and The You God Planned are also recommended. Workbook is attractive with main points of each session, plus graphics and a few exercises to complete. It is suggested that one or two small groups go through the course first before extending it to the whole church congregation, but the course is certainly designed for the latter. Optional session 0 at the beginning is to lay the foundation of why the Bible is trustworthy for those who are new to this approach. The Steps To Freedom are a specific and integral ministry component of the course for which each member has an appointment with an ‘encourager' and prayer partner, and the opportunity to pray through responses to the material.

    How good is any digital material?

    Good production, including inspirational clips from participants and leaders of the course. DVD of talks are led by Steve Goss in studio background with audience of participants. Regular graphics to illustrate. Lots of clips on website. Information on training and other courses from ficministries. Comprehensive.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    The material is straight-forward to use, but the concepts are aimed to be life-transforming, so the most important thing is to familiarise oneself thoroughly with it. Extra reading is suggested to enable this. If it is run as a church, there will be lead-in time; and either way the Steps To Freedom appointments need to be catered for (training available). Lots of helpful advice on preparation is supplied in the book and the CD.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Lots of support via the website, including training, extra resources, ongoing support and video clips. Comprehensive. www.ficm.org.uk

    Is it dated?

    No.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Regular ‘Pause for Thought' several times each session, for discussion. Worship and prayer together encouraged.

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

    Listening, watching and interacting. Lots of graphics and pictures.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    This is a popular resource which is highly recommended by those who have used it. Most churches use it regularly once begun (125,000 people so far). There is quite a bit of listening, but more time in the sessions is given to the Pause for Thought discussion times. The teaching is broken up around these. Discussion is pertinent to topic, and encourages sharing of personal ideas and responses.

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

    Points for reflection or action between each session. Discussion moves to action throughout.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Focus verse for each session. Whole material based on conviction that freedom in Christ is biblically-based.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Whole material based on conviction that freedom in Christ is biblically-based. Teaching based on this. Actions based on applying biblical material personally and corporately. Emphasis on truth of Bible versus lies of world and Satan.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    All the material, including the supporting books, are firmly based on the Bible. Steps to freedom, prayers and ways forward out of difficult life experiences are all biblically based.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Evangelical. A resource that takes the Bible at its word.

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

    This is great stuff – a resource which takes what the Bible says about nearly everything and applies it unflinchingly to the whole of the Christian life. Comprehensive, thorough, personal, corporate, clear.

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

    The teaching is head-on, no messing about, practical and biblical. It encourages us to examine our beliefs, practices, hang-ups, and hopes. It supplies tools for dealing with thought-patterns, traumas, the past and anything else that gets in the way of freedom in Christ. It is focused on encouraging participants to take responsibility for their own discipleship journey, and is therefore very interactive.

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

    This resource has clearly been life-changing for many. It paints a picture of a life lived with God's priorities and definitions, and supplies the tools to get there.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Very well, fully acknowledging the challenges and pain, yet spelling out the way ahead into healing and freedom.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Implicit in becoming a fruitful disciple, living in freedom of Christ. Some examples given of how this might work out in personal evangelism.

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

    Not a particular focus, but again, implicit in living as a disciple.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Implicit.

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