Simplify
Written by Bill Hybels, Published by Willow Creek and Tyndale Momentum 2014

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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Are you overscheduled? Exhausted? Overwhelmed?

In this four-week DVD study, bestselling author Bill Hybels shares his own story of the wake-up call that changed his life – and the steps he took to simplify his life before it was too late. You’ll discover how to stop living at a frenetic pace and begin charting a new course toward satisfaction, purpose, and significance. Join Bill to discover the power of simplicity in your schedule, finances, relationships, and soul.

What do you get and how?

The DVD contains a video presentation for each of the four sessions:

  1. Streamline Your Schedule: who do you want to become?
  2. Spend Wisely: being satisfied with job and money
  3. Strengthen Your Relationships: conversations that simplify life
  4. Fully Surrender: let God’s Word lead

Each video presentation is approximately 15 minutes in duration. The accompanying participant’s guide is a 90-page book, which ideally is given to each participant, although this is not essential, as long as at least the leader has a copy.

Bill Hybels has also written a book called ‘Simplify’ on which the course is based.

All resources are available from Willow Creek UK.

Who is it for?

It is ideal for small groups as well as for personal study, and will benefit any Christians who want to make better use of their lives.

Cost?

The DVD is £19.99, the participant’s guide is £6.99, and the paperback book to accompany the series is £9.99

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    The DVD is well presented and includes a mix of testimony, teaching and explanation. Each session is designed to last approximately 90 minutes, and includes an introduction, a conversation starter, the video itself, plenty of discussion questions, a challenge to end on as well as some optional material to work on individually outside of the meeting time.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The leader needs to read through each session to get a full understanding of what it is focusing on, but each session is very clearly described.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    There are five pages at the start of the participant's guide, which offer tips for groups and for running a group using the course. This is clear but quite short. There are no leader's notes as such.

    Who could lead it?

    Anyone who wants to! It could be shared around a discipleship group, taking it in turns to lead.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    They are useful for the leader to use to lead through the session and the discussion questions and challenge for the week ahead are particularly useful. It can be helpful for participants to have their own copies, particularly if you want them to complete the optional ‘on your own' bonus material.

    How good is any digital material?

    The DVD works well and is professionally produced. It is produced in America and all the testimonies are from Americans, but they are still relevant to the UK.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    The leader will need to read through the whole session, deciding which discussion questions to particularly focus on, as well as watching the DVD film in preparation.

    Is there website support? Links?

    www.simplifybook.com offers a look at the first session video, as well as downloadable sermon notes to teach on this series to the whole church.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    The material is based around group discussion.

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

    It is simply watching a film lasting about 15 minutes, then discussing the issues.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The material covered is very relevant to the busy Christian, and is easy to relate to.

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

    There is a challenge question at the end of each session, as well as some useful material to work on alone after the session.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    The Biblical content is fairly low, although clearly the material is built on Biblical principles and the testimonies are of how God has helped people build their lives.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    The discussion questions are more about outworking biblical principles than discussing biblical passages.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Very well.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Evangelical.

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

    The four sessions explore key areas of Christian living and inspire the participants to better whole-life discipleship.

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

    Very much so, encouraging people to be wise in their self-leadership and handling of time, money, relationships etc. The course also encourages individuals to seek out a Bible life verse.

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

    The testimonies help to offer fresh hope for God to work in our lives.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Very well.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Whilst this is not specifically touched upon, it is implicit through living out our lives more faithfully to God's plan.

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

    This is not part of the course.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    This is not part of the course.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    n/a

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