Course of your life

The Course of Your Life: A Personal Revolution
Tony Payne, Matthias Media, 2011

£30.99 (Approx)
3.8
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

God’s word teaches us that all Christians are involved in God’s great work in the world. We are all not only disciples of Jesus Christ, but also disciple-makers – each in our own way, according to our circumstances, opportunities and gifts. If this is the case, how can we teach and train Christians to catch this captivating vision of being a disciple-making disciple in every aspect of our lives? The Course of Your Life aims to do just that: to revolutionize people’s understanding of who God is, what he has done in Christ, what his extraordinary plans are for the work, and how that relates to each of our lives. Ultimately, this course is a biblical framework to help you fire people with a new love and joy and enthusiasm for serving Christ as disciple-making disciples, through God’s word and prayer.

What do you get and how?

Leader’s Guide, Workbook and DVD (latter is not essential but ‘highly recommended’). 9 sessions. 90 minutes each. Weekend away (‘The Intensive’). 10 one-to-one meetings in pairs to read the Bible (Colossians), for the duration of the course.

Session titles:

  • Getting started.
  • God’s creative purposes.
  • What went wrong?
  • God’s answer.
  • God’s agenda.
  • Christ’s death, my life.
  • Transformation.
  • God’s method.
  • Intensive.
  • Where to now?

Who is it for?

Adults, Growing

Cost?

£30.99 for bundle including DVD, leader’s guide. Workbooks available for £4.50 from www.thegoodbook.co.uk

Review

  • What is the overall quality of the material?

    Attractive and well-produced matt large A5 format paperbacks.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Clear and thorough, spelt out in introduction, and in detail at the start of each chapter.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Thorough introduction including a variety of suggestions as to the best use of the material, with emphasis on bedding it in to your group or church, rather that rushing through it as another cure-all course. Guide contains ‘all the material in the workbook, plus notes and scripts for the leader in blue.' Option as to whether to use video input or do own teaching. Mix of video/teaching, Bible study on relevant passages, discussion; timings given. Space for notes. ‘Intensive' teaching (for weekend away) and one-to-one meeting notes included. A significant course aimed at helping people to realign their lives with God's agenda: bringing transformation to the Christian, and motivation to reach out to help others along the way. Covers foundation of salvation history, Christian discipleship, plus implications. Extensive, thorough and clear.

    Who could lead it?

    Designed as a whole-church course, to be run through small groups, so church leaders to lead. However, a small group within a church could run most of it for themselves, with a confident leader.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Workbook with subtitles, some main points and illustrations, Bible passages for study in the group time and the ‘Intensive' with plenty of space for writing notes. Complete notes for one-to-one meetings to study Colossians, with a variety of ideas for Bible study. Clear and easy to use.

    How good is any digital material?

    Clear and thorough teaching from Tony Payne, sitting in various domestic locations.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Depending on how you use this course, preparation could include a significant amount of reading, and grasping the material; plus preparing your congregation, publicity, etc. Encouragement to make prayer a priority.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Downloadable publicity, course promo, samples of videos: www.matthiasmedia.com/courseofyourlife

    Is it dated?

    No.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Great questions on biblical material, and on implications. Different styles of engagement with material, most in groups.

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

    Different styles of engagement with material, most in groups. One-to-ones. Weekend ‘Intensive'. Mix of watching, listening, reading and discussing. Social interaction around these encouraged. A challenging course with lots to think about, read and commit to.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Flexibility as to timing and use, appropriate to situation. Leader's grasp of material essential, plus enthusiasm. A challenging course with lots to think about, read and commit to.

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

    Emphasis on working together because it is biblical to do so. One-to-ones back up the group work and discussions, and are a detailed study and application of Colossians. Aim is to allow word of God to change ‘hearts and heads' towards Christian maturity.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Most of it.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Video/ teaching script firmly based on biblical material. Lots of Bible study, some in a variety of ways, as well as more traditional question-and-answer. Overview of rationale for Christian conversion, and life as a disciple-maker. Huge canvas.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Spells out why it is life-transforming to be a disciple. Aims to change people's lives. ‘Intensive' includes section on biblical attitudes to work and church.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Firmly evangelical.

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

    A significant course aimed at helping people to realign their lives with God's agenda: bringing transformation to the Christian, and motivation to reach out to help others along the way.

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

    Lots of good questions, and interaction with Bible and others to grow faith. One-to-one Bible study could be a great enabler. Lots of material to engage with. Big perspective.

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

    Biblical framework, and clearly spelt out encouragement to ditch one's own agenda for life and let God write a new one. Broad and deep approach.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Focus on how to grow as a disciple, and how to help others to grow, no matter where they are now. Examples given are rooted in real life.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Gives both reason and ideas for this, in helping people to move one step towards or along the discipleship path, both inside and outside the church.

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

    Engages with people in order to encourage them towards discipleship.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus apart from the implications of living as a maturing disciple.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Implicit.

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