Simply Christianity

Simply: Christianity
J Dickson,

£10.00 (Approx)
3.6
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Simply Christianity is an evangelistic course based in Luke’s Gospel by well-known author and evangelist John Dickson. It is a five-week course, in which the leader presents the basic material, and then allows time for questions, reactions and discussion. It offers a great opportunity for a home group to run an evangelistic event over dinner or in a living room.

What do you get and how?

A Leader’s manual and a Guest’s manual are available from The Good Book Company. They both contain five sessions plus a complete copy of the Gospel of Luke printed within each booklet for easy reference. An extra Course introduction and instructions on how to use can be downloaded here. Additional A6 invitation cards are available in packs of 48.

Who is it for?

This course is designed to introduce interested enquirers to the basic message of Christianity. Adult. Small group

Cost?

Leader’s manual: £8.00

Guest’s manual: £2.80

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    A clear and substantial introductory course to the Christian faith, based on Luke's Gospel. Best suited to those who are happy to engage in some depth with material.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Aim is to let the Gospel of Luke speak for itself to those who are not yet Christians. Introductory values stress the centrality of the Jesus' story rather than ourselves; the importance of a good welcome and relaxed atmosphere; and sensitivity to group dynamics. Each session has main ideas to communicate (around four per session).

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Guidance given on absorbing course values and on leading groups well. It is envisaged that the leader will open their home for this course, and provide food and refreshments as well as the material. Overview and summaries of each session provided. Five sections to each session: Social; Presentation; Questions; Wrap up; Social. Leader gives the Presentation. Personal stories and ‘chit-chat' encouraged. Guidance on how to tell one's own Christian story well. Back-up research on Luke strongly encouraged for the leader. Extra material on the topic, which appears in the Guest Manual, is also in Leader's Manual. Thorough tips given on doing the Presentation, including the Jesus film, following up, training new leaders and leading a group well. Exhaustive Checklist supplied!

    Who could lead it?

    A small team might be best so that different people could use their gifts – ranging from providing hospitality to leading the presentation and question time. Leader is encouraged to know Luke's Gospel well, and Leon Morris' Tyndale commentary is recommended. Trouble-shooting guide suggests further background reading. Leader would need to be confident but not overpowering, and a good enabler of groups.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Guest Manual available with the main outline of each session included clearly, with headings and a few bullet points. Extra material also provided for each session, which digs deeply into aspects of the topic, often over several pages. This does, however, address common questions and misconceptions about the Christian faith, even though it is sometimes a lot to read. Solid and thorough engagement with each topic. ‘At Home' section suggests a short Bible passage to read. Full Gospel of Luke in back of Manual. Feedback form.

    How good is any digital material?

    N/A unless using the Jesus Film.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Tips on preparation provided. Bibles needed for the members.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Publicity available from thegoodbook.co.uk. Short promo vimeo at https://vimeo.com/5162528 (somewhat dubious quality).

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Social and question time set this up well. Honesty and all questions encouraged.

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

    Using the film would lighten this material as, a bit like the notes for leaders, it covers so many bases that there is a lot of material to absorb, whether listening or reading. The extra material in the Guest Manual is most appropriate for those who would appreciate a systematic and academic approach. It is clear and easy to follow however.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    It is envisaged that the Jesus film could substitute for Bible passages, as it is based on Luke's Gospel. It is also adaptable to one-to-one, groups, informal gatherings or as part of an evangelistic programme. Presentations are well-written and easy in style. They make no assumptions as to the pre-learning of the group, but convey information in a digestible way. However, the Guest Manual contains a lot of (very good) material which might well be overwhelming for people who have had very little exposure to the Christian faith before, or who are not familiar with reading a lot as a way to learn.

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

    Not a particular strength except that the material majors on creating a good atmosphere, and sharing reactions to Bible reading.

     

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Based on Luke's Gospel entirely. Commentary and presentation flows from readings.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Guests are encouraged to read passages from Luke's Gospel between sessions. Presentation is based on further passages, which are read and then leader comments on each.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Christian concepts are illustrated helpfully with everyday examples. But focus is on understanding the concepts.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Evangelical.

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

    Focus is on the historical and practical (ie what does it mean for us today?) nature of the Christian faith. Thorough and good exploration of Luke's Gospel.

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

    With the proviso that this material would suit a more academic audience best, this is clear material with lots to think about.

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

    For Enquirers, this resource would give them an extensive introduction to the Gospel of Luke. It engages with most of this Gospel's main themes. Extra material connects philosophically and carefully with topics.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    This resource has a somewhat cerebral approach but nevertheless engages with the reality of life, and the implications of responding to Jesus.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    This is evangelism.

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

    Not a focus internally, but obviously has the potential to actively bring community members together.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Implicit but not a main focus.

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