Gospel Shaped Living
Vermon Pierre, The Good Book Company, 2015

£49.99 (Approx)
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

“We want churches called into existence by the Gospel to be shaped by the Gospel in their everyday life.” (Don Carson and Tim Keller, co-founders of The Gospel Coalition).

Gospel shaped living is a seven-week whole-church resource that explores what it means for a church to be a counter-cultural community that shines Christ’s light to the world. This Leader’s Kit contains everything you need to evaluate, plan. Promote and run an engaging and immersive program with your church.

The church of Christ should be a distinctive community of God’s people – but how different are we, really, from the rest of the world? Explore God’s word to untangle some of the false ideas and traditions that have shaped church life in the past, and to reveal the more deeply challenging picture that emerges from the Scriptures.

This engaging and flexible resource will allow your church members to share their own experiences, benefit from the ideas and encouragement of others in your fellowship. And grow more like Jesus as they are inspired and equipped to live for him in his world.

Gospel shaped living is for any congregation that has been given life by the gospel and wants to put the gospel at the center of its life.

What do you get?

Leader’s Kit, includes:

  • 1 x Leader’s Guide
  • 1 x Member’s Handbook
  • 1 x DVD
  • Download card
  • Bulletin samples
  • Quickstart Guide

Course elements are Main Teaching Session with DVD or talk, and discussion (core) ; Personal Devotionals (recommended); Group Bible Study(recommended); Personal Journal (optional); Sermon Series (suggested passages given).

Sessions:

  1. Your church: a light in the darkness
  2. A united church in a divided world
  3. A serving church in a selfish world
  4. A generous church in a stingy world
  5. A truthful church in a confused world
  6. A joyful church in a suffering world
  7. How to be the church in the world

Ideal is for the resource to be used for Sundays/midweek groups/ personal devotions.
An alternative is midweek groups/personal devotions.

Downloadable publicity from www.gospelshapedchurch.org

Who is it for?

It is designed for all-church use, and to be adaptable for those 11-plus.

Cost?

£49.99 Leader’s kit, including:

  • 1 x Leader’s Guide
  • 1 x Member’s Handbook
  • 1 x DVD
  • Download card
  • Bulletin samples
  • Quickstart Guide

£7.99 Handbook (needed for each member)

£12.00 Leader’s Guide (needed for each group discussion leader)

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Well-produced, attractive and substantial resource. Clear, contemporary and thorough look and feel. Extensive amount of material.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Good explanation of content, aims and outcomes, with a clear curriculum chart.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Nice quality softback book with plenty in it! Well-put reminders that attitude is of primary importance, with enthusiasm as crucial as the determination to value all taking part. Different options clearly explained – this is for whole-church use ideally, including small groups, but can be just small group based as well. Nicely laid out with icons and headings. Very clear directions yet not prescriptive in atmosphere. Suggested areas of ‘answers' for questions. Further reading suggested. Lots of backup material on website. Looks easy to use, despite the amount of material, which is straight-forward but thorough. Option as to use of DVD talks or outline notes for giving them live. Space for leaders' reflection provided in the Leaders' guide (which all leaders would need a copy of). Discussion and Bible study interspersed with DVD/short talks (around 5 minutes each), session finishing with prayer. Devotions for between-session times are not in the Leader's Guide, though the relevant Bible passage is given. Separate Bible study for small groups is there in full, with application and prayer sections to finish. Suggestions for sermons given, with creative use of the rest of the material.

    Who could lead it?

    All the material is there, so easy for a less experienced leader for the small groups. As a whole church resource, the main leaders would be the ones to deliver the sermons and themes etc. A leader may want to cherry pick from the provided material.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Nice quality softback book with icons and lots of space for note-taking under the questions. Inter-session devotional readings with passage, questions, thought for the day and prayer suggestion. Journal space also given. Bible study for small group has the questions and brief introductions, application and prayer. Space for sermon notes too . . . it's all there. This is a resource that will make people think and possibly the sort of resource to return to in the future, as there is so much to take in at first go.

    How good is any digital material?

    Clear and concise DVD talks given by Vermon Pierre (Lead Pastor of Roosevelt Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona). Just him talking, but his delivery is engaging, biblically based and thought-provoking. And not too long.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Decision by leadership as to how to use this resource. Fairly straight-forward as a small group resource, though plenty of backup material to look through if wanted. Such a complete resource, its best use would be for whole church. If so, good preparation and set up is essential and would take some time.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Website: www.gospelshapedchurch.org. Plenty of backup material including publicity, promos etc.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    The pattern is quite straight-forward, with input from talk or Bible passage (for the small group) followed by discussion . Questions are good, open and start where people are at. Many should be able to contribute.

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

    Options on DVD use or talks cater for some variety. Otherwise the resource is reading/listening/discussion/prayer. Engaging with the well-thought out issues would need commitment on the part of the members – this is not a ‘light' resource, but it is rich. Lots to think about.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Designed to be adaptable for ‘all kinds of churches' whatever size or background, with a flexible structure where needed. The questions are accessible for a wide range of people and do not assume previous knowledge. Might need shortening for some users however.

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

    Application section included in each session, both within the main material discussion, and in the separate small group Bible study. Balance between individual and corporate is carefully included. Good progression through the themes, Bible passages, devotional material and studies.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    The small group Bible studies are entirely based on the Bible. The main core of the material is introduced by theme, then dives into Bible study in response to the theme. Well-chosen material.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Great encouragement to dig into the biblical material and gain understanding, application and inspiration. Very thorough and grounded exploration of the relevant material. Lots to take in, but the sort of resource that people could go back to time and again.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Realistic about the challenges of life in responding to the challenges of the biblical material. Starts where people are likely to be at, and attempts to inspire them onwards. Good challenges to both personal and corporate living, and how they are or not reflecting the gospel values.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Evangelical. Published by The Gospel Coalition which is ‘a coalition of pastors and churches that wants to put the gospel of Christ at the very centre of our lives as believers.'

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

    Great resource for inspiration and good grounding in the foundational and world-changing truths of Gospel living.

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

    Really good and thorough study and application of the power of the gospel to change lives and motivation. Something for everyone, no matter how long they have been Christian.

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

    Thoroughly Bible-based, with strong application in thinking things through and applying them. Good questions.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Very well – implications of living with or without Christ are very clear.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Based on the conviction that a church community living as it should, will indeed be a light on a hill that attracts people to it.

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

    Emphasis on sacrificial, generous and serving love. Themes encourage thought and action about the way the church interacts about with the world in a helpful way.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Covered in consideration of standing up for truth in a selfish world.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Focus on the change that comes from allowing the gospel and Spirit to be at work in our lives.

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