Living an Authentic life: a Lent study course
USPG 2017

£0.00 (Approx)
4.2
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Living an authentic life: a five-session Lent study course exploring discipleship with the world church.

Our Lent study course for 2017 explores what it means to be a disciple of Christ by looking at the bible and reading about the experiences of Christians around the world. We do not intend to offer definitive answers, but rather encourage you or your study group to investigate what discipleship means to you personally and collectively. We hope the result will be that we feel more able to live an authentic life, being true to ourselves, true to those we meet, and true to God.

What do you get?

Five sessions for individual or group. Available as a colourful A4 PDF download or to order as a booklet from USPG. Free, but donations welcome. Sessions:

  • Introducing discipleship
  • How shall we live?
  • Living with difference
  • A world of injustice
  • Counting the cost

Linked resources for churches to use as a Lent awareness campaign to support USPG 2017 fundraising appeal, based on getting education to girls in Malawi. Available via www.uspg.org.uk/resources/lentresources

Who is it for?

Individuals, small groups. Beginning, Growing, adults.

Further Lent resources for whole church, including all-age talks, sermon, PowerPoints, prayers and liturgy .

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    A deceptively straight-forward resource that is easy to use, but has the potential to help us grow as disciples ourselves, and become aware of the challenges our fellow disciples face around the world.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The aim stated in the opening is to ‘investigate what discipleship means to you personally'. This is reflected in the material's approach.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Straight-forward layout leads through the material. Brief but helpful opening points on authenticity, how to use the course, and facilitate the group. Opening Reflection (introduction to theme); Bible reading (printed in full); Questions (three); A story (from around the world, including the UK); Questions (three or four); Closing Prayer; Life Principles (with space to write down a response). Format differs slightly in the final session, and adds in a review section.

    Who could lead it?

    A leader who would be motivated by the combination of biblical material and stories from around the world.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    This resource could be led without the participants having a copy of it; but it would be great for members to have the booklet as the photographs and colour production bring the whole thing to life. In addition, the closing Life Principles section has some space for writing notes. There may be other times when group members want to jot things down too, and it's something to take home and ponder.

    How good is any digital material?

    N/A

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Reading through the material will not take long; but worth doing as it raises big questions, and it would be good to be aware of what's coming up.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Clear access to the resource on the website, which has a page dedicated to it.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    This is good – the questions are very open and would encourage honesty and reflection rather than a hunt for the ‘right' answer.

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

    While the photos help to bring the stories to life, this is a word-based resource of listening and reading and discussing. However, the reading out of stories could be shared. There is a closing prayer too.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Very suitable for a wide range of groups. Open question style means that it would apply no matter where one was on the discipleship journey.

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

    Life Principles section at the end of each session is an opportunity to turn discussion into action. Could be applied to the group or individual.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Half the time is spent exploring a passage, each of which is from the New Testament.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    A handful of good, thought-provoking questions follow the reading; the subsequent stories and further questions build on the theme.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    All the focus is on discipleship, from a variety of angles. The stories from around the world bring deep challenges to our understanding of what discipleship may involve. Yet even when the situations are very different, the principles are still relevant to us as well.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No.

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

    This course is only five sessions long, but it manages to sew together individual discipleship, global issues and biblical material. The stories from Christians around the world are inspiring and challenging.

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

    The open questions encourage all to engage with the issues. The Life Principles section gives group members an opportunity to nail down their responses into action.

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

    Setting our individual discipleship in the context of the world stage is thought-provoking and stirring.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    While some of the big issues faced in other countries may not apply to ours, they help us to think beyond ourselves and raise awareness. Yet the principles are the same, and the great questions give us the chance to interact with both our own situations, and that of others.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Session 3 invites us to think about how evangelism works in a multi-cultural, multi-faith context.

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

    Action points may well lead to this.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    For a short course, it raises big issues. These include abuse of women, persecution of Christians, poverty, disease and other massive challenges. They are brought to our attention through the story each time, which seems an excellent and effective way to do it.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Assumed as a priority, and implicit throughout. Would help to raise awareness of this very well.

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