Gospel centred church

Gospel Centred Series
Tim Chester (chief author), with, variously, Steve Timmis, Ed Moll, Marcus Honeysett, The Good Book Company

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What does it say on the tin?

Meet John, who is struggling to relate the Bible to his dull, difficult life, Or Kate, who is trying hard as a Christian, yet is deeply disappointed with God … How can ordinary Christians live the truly extraordinary life that God call us to?

The titles in the series include:

  • Church.
  • Work.
  • Life.
  • Leadership.
  • Family.
  • Marriage.
  • Preaching.

What do you get and how?

A5 book. For Gospel Centred Life chapters are: Gospel-centred change; Gospel-centred perspectives; Gospel-centred living.

Who is it for?

Adult Christians. Individuals or groups


  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Well-produced books.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Clear progression through each chapter.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    No leader's notes as such. However, material clearly set out with icons marking sections: Bible passage, questions, input on theme, reflection questions. No ‘clues' re the answers to searching questions, apart from the input section, which is challenging, biblically-based and thought-provoking. Some of these input sections would be quite long for a group to concentrate through, so a leader may choose to shorten them. Further reading suggestions at back.

    Who could lead it?

    Someone with experience of studying the Bible, tackling big questions, leading groups, and making them work well. Material could be used flexibly in picking out appropriate material to focus on.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Same book, see above. No space provided for writing notes.

    How good is any digital material?


    How much prep will I have to do?

    Familiarisation with passage, input and questions would be necessary, especially if some material was summarised, but it shouldn't take too long. Preparing self to engage with the issues is probably most important.

    Is there website support? Links?


    Is it dated?


  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Discussion-based questions. Honest examples of struggles we face should get responses and encourage participation.

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

    Mix of reading, listening and discussion. No hands-on or other suggestions, apart from ideas to follow up between sessions.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Participants would need to be happy with the Bible study/reading/listening/discussion approach.

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

    Depending on theme, questions and material may well provoke discussion of how to do this. Sometimes, ‘Ideas for action' appear at the end of chapter.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Half of the material is focused on Bible study, though input on theme centres around it too.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Questions on passage, then theme input, then more reflective questions which take the issues further and apply them personally.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Good rhythm of engaging with the passage as it is, then encouragement to apply it. Grounded in everyday life and attitudes.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Evangelical approach.

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

    Challenging, biblically-based explorations into whole-life discipleship under the different titles in this series. Huge range.

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

    Clearly attempts to engage with challenges of faith. A good leader for a group would make the most of the opportunities given to tackle major, deep-rooted attitudes to life and faith.

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

    Challenging material throughout.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Well-rooted in the real and daily challenges of living life as a Christian, emotionally, practically and spiritually. A real strength of this resource.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Included in thinking through approaches to life, church and work.

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

    Depending on theme. If it's relevant, it will be whole-heartedly there.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Implicitly or explicitly in many of the themes.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Depending on theme. For example, local and global mission is a large focus in the Church: Becoming the Community God Wants You to Be edition.

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