Reach Out

Reach Out
Sharon Swain and Biddi Kings SPCK, 2001

£12.68 (Approx)
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What does it say on the tin?

A discipleship course for growing Christian adults. Reach Out is for groups of Christians (new and not-so-new) who’ve done an introductory course and are keen to carry on, to grow, and to learn more about their faith … Dynamic, interactive and lively … a structure course, easy to run even for those without much experience … ecumenical and adaptable.

What do you get and how?

Book, and CD with handouts and graphics. 24 session course.

Who is it for?

Groups of adult Christians (Beginning and Growing), any denomination (though adaptation needed), anywhere (e.g. home for elderly).


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  • What is the overall quality of the material?

    Good. Book includes all graphics, and is well set out. Don't be put off by bizarre cover graphics . . .

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Simple format for each session. Each session's theme is clearly explained.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Very clear notes on preparation, with group-leading tips. Clear to follow, but must be done well in advance.

    Who could lead it?

    Needs enabling-style leader and two others. Include someone who can make activities work well, and someone who can work from ideas and notes rather than just verbatim where necessary.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Clear and good. Well tied in to session.

    How good is any digital material?

    CD contains all material needed. Good quality. Thorough.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Medium to high. Team and leader preparation, activity preparation, printing, understanding concepts and how you will use them.

    Will it date?

    Main material durable. Some situation and church culture examples may need updating.

    Is there website support? Links?


  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Excellent: all the time.

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

    Good mix of all styles. Might be challenging for those used to more passive learning.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Claims to be very adaptable. Some activities might be tricky for older people, but could be adapted. Would be suitable for younger people. More Anglican-based than it thinks it is, but multi-denominational with some changes, especially regarding church culture, practices and assumptions.

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

    Excellent. Essentially group-based and applied. Looks fun to do.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Half of each session is ‘Bible work'.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Good engagement encouraged. Increasingly thought-provoking as sessions progress. Aimed at familiarising group with the Bible. Easy answers avoided.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Biblical themes are linked in to overall themes of how the Christian life might work.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Anglican background which is dominant in places. Would need adapting for other traditions.

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

    Good. Covers ‘Called to a relationship' (with God); ‘Exploring the relationship'; ‘Moving on in the relationship'; in 8-session blocks.

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

    Style of sessions encourages full participation in themes. Take-home notes.

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

    Thorough and engaging exploration of Biblically-based themes. Broad brush-strokes.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Very well. Both personal and community.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Implicit in much, and explicit focus in one session.

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

    Part of curriculum, included in last block of sessions.

    How well does it connect with the global issues?

    Good. Ethical dilemmas, stewardship of the world included.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    One session's focus.

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