Moving images, Changes lives

Moving Images, Changing Lives
Sarah Brush and Phil Greig. Church House Publishing, 2011

£19.99 (Approx)
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What does it say on the tin?

Moving Images, Changing Lives offers an entirely fresh approach to exploring the Christian faith based on popular films available on DVD. Film is one area of popular culture that isn’t afraid of exploring life’s big ideas and big questions. Even comedy or animated films often have powerful and thought-provoking undercurrents, making them ideal springboards for discussion and reflection with young people. Ideal for those exploring faith for the first time and as a Confirmation course, the eleven sessions in Moving Images, Changing Lives use films to explore God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, prayer, the Church, communion, living the life of faith and more.

Everything that a busy group leader needs to run the sessions is provided, including equipment lists, ice-breaker activities, photocopiable activity sheets, questions for reflection, prayers, film clips and YouTube links.

What do you get?

This course is a 95 page A4 book with everything you need to prepare to run the course. The course is split into eleven sessions and makes a term’s course in the foundations of the Christian faith. It suggests using film clips from over 30 different movies, which you would need to source for yourself.

Who is it for?

The course is primarily written as a preparation course for young people, aged 11-18 years old, considering Confirmation in the Anglican Church, but it could easily be adapted to be used as an introduction to the Christian faith.


  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    The book is really well written with each session designed around the idea of a trip to the cinema. Each session includes ‘the foyer' and ‘popcorn' sections which are the introduction and ice-breaker. This is then followed by a ‘trailer', which is a choice of film clips to introduce the theme, before being followed by the ‘main feature' which is the main teaching content of the session. The session concludes with the ‘credits', which gives creative ways to respond to the session through worship and prayer.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The book is very clear about its focus on confirmation preparation and makes good use of the movie theme.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Overall the leader's guide is very well presented and written. It offers clear explanations of each session and how to make the most of the course.

    Who could lead it?

    The course can be run by anyone who wants to help prepare young people for confirmation or who want to communicate the basics of the Christian faith. The book gives help with suggested teaching points to make during each session and also provides helpful background to sessions, in case the leader's knowledge is not too deep.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    There are photocopiable sheets in the book, which can be used as part of the individual sessions. The authors suggest that participants could be given a folder to keep these sheets in so that they create a record of the course. The handouts are a useful addition to the material.

    How good is any digital material?

    Whilst the course does not come with any digital content, it does rely heavily on the use of DVDs to show the movie clips. The book gives clear directions as to the title of each movie and where exactly to find the clip on a DVD, using chapter references as well as exact times in the movies to press play and stop on the DVD player. There is a great range of over 30 movies suggested, with there sometimes being different suggestions depending on the age range of the group.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Most of the preparation required will be in resourcing the movies and then watching the clips to make sure that they are suitable to show to your group. The sessions are clearly written and it would not take much time to prepare for each session, once you have the film clips.

    Is there website support? Links?

    There is no website support but they do suggest some useful links throughout the book which may enhance the sessions and keep the material relevant.

    Is it dated?


  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    The sessions are very interactive and encourage group participation and discussion, possible in small groups depending on the overall number of participants.

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

    The sessions use a variety of teaching styles and will be easily adaptable to the leader's particular preference. There is good use of different learning styles with a range of activities throughout the course to cater for people's different preferences.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The course is written with the suggestion that leaders adapt the course for their own particular group, and make alternative suggestions to activities throughout. It may be that some activities might not quite work with your group but rather than finding a completely different activity, the suggested activity just needs some minor tweaking.

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

    The course encourages people to talk to each other and to build up confidence in sharing their thoughts and ideas as the course progresses. The course is very participative.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Each session is based on an aspect of the Christian faith, and contains appropriate Bible references to explain and to teach.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    The material is very easy to deliver and is not overwhelming so would be accessible to young people who are not used to reading a Bible.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    The majority of each session focuses on teaching the subject rather than personalising it to an individual's situation, but there is an opportunity in the ‘credits' section at the end of each meeting, to put the teaching into practice through a prayer or worship activity.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    This course is designed specifically for preparing young people for Confirmation in the Anglican Church, and so the sessions are written from this perspective.

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

    This is a Christian basics course so focuses on these fundamentals. It is recommended that the course is followed up after to help people continue to grow in their faith.

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

    The purpose of the course is to help young people understand the Christian faith and to make a public expression of commitment. The course is good at leading people through this journey.

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

    The material helps expand people's understanding of God and his wider purposes.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    The use of movie clips helps to ground the material in real life, and helps young people to connect with the material.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    The purpose is to help participants grow in their own understanding of the Christian faith. It does not mention much about sharing our faith with others.

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

    Participants are encouraged to be active in their local church.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    The course does not focus on global issues as it focuses on the fundamentals of Christianity.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    It doesn't talk about mission specifically.

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