Small Group Toolbox

Small Group Toolbox: Identity
Ron Kallmier, CWR, 2014

£3.99 (Approx)
3.2
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Who do you think you are? Our true identity in Christ is something that is to be greatly celebrated and valued. Yet if it is not intently explored and developed within us, our self-perception can become distorted – we lose sight of our remarkable identity as a child of God. In this insightful study guide, Ron Kallmier encourages us to renew our minds and question our core beliefs. As our understanding of who we are ultimately influences the course of our lives, this profound topic surely deserves our attention. Based on key Old and New Testament passages, this booklet is designed for use by individuals and small groups, with space for notes.

What do you get and how?

Glossy A5 booklet. Four sessions:

  1. Foundations of identity,
  2. Belonging,
  3. You are unique,
  4. Living from the inside out;
  5. Appendix: My true identity as a follower of Jesus Christ (for personal use).

Includes leaders’ notes. www.cwr.org.uk.

Other titles in the series include:

  • Hearing from God.
  • Discovering your spiritual gifts.
  • Strong faith.
  • Building character.
  • Guidance

Who is it for?

Beginning and Growing Christians

Cost?

£3.99

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Clearly laid-out booklet with glossy cover, icons and spaces for notes.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    This book has one aim – to help readers or small group participants ‘re-examine what has shaped our understanding of who we are, and to compare our view with some biblical teaching'.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Good clear suggestions for using the study guide, both for personal and small groups. No separate leaders' notes otherwise – the material is the same whether individually used or in a group. No timings but each of the four sessions contain: introduction to topic, personal exploration, studying together and applying the Scriptures. The latter three sections are all question-based, with space for notes. If used as a group, the suggestions that participants engage with the personal exploration questions beforehand would make the most of the resource. The leader would have to decide what to do about the introduction to each topic. Simply reading it out may not be inspiring. Given the challenging nature of the topic, some participants may need further help to deal with underlying issues, beyond the scope of this resource.

    Who could lead it?

    This particular topic would require leader or leaders with some understanding of the issues involved, and pastoral sensitivity. As the material is not directive in timings, confidence in leading groups would be essential. Participants would need to feel secure enough to engage with personal applications and potentially deeply-felt issues. Leader would need to be prepared to lead in honest sharing, and to make the most of the topic. The material might need a bit of ‘life' injecting into its presentation.
    How helpful are the participants' resources? The topic is designed to dig into personal application in a real way, though dependent on the participant's response and willingness to do so.

    How good is any digital material?

    N/A

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Familiarisation with each session – would not take long to read through the introduction, but a leader may want to choose how much to use, and how to lead the session, in order to make the most of the subject.

    Is there website support? Links?

    General backup, blog and information of interest to small group leaders on www.smallgroupcentral.org.uk (based on CWR resources). Not specific to this resource.

    Is it dated?

    Struggles with identity are unlikely to go out of date anytime soon ...

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    This resource has the potential to encourage good interaction, based on engaging with the questions – personal ones, and then studying together which could be done in pairs and feeding back to the group.

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

    Words-based, plus question and answer style. No visuals apart from icons. Not sure how well the introduction would work if just read out to begin the study. Perhaps that should be read in advance by participants as well as engaging with the personal questions.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Introductory leader's section encourages adaptability. As a group resource it would need a good leader to bring the format to life – it seems easily suitable for personal use however. On the other hand, discussing these delicate topics would surely be more beneficial than studying alone.

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

    This looks like it would be a strength of this resource, if the group are prepared to really engage with this material. There is potential for real personal growth, where the group encourage each other on the journey.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    One section focuses on Bible study, the next on application.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Encourages looking at various passages, with identity in mind, by the use of relevant, thoughtful questions.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Implicitly because of the topic, contemporary examples are referred to, and the application section explores how the biblical material might challenge our perceptions. Through this section, and the personal exploration section, application is well covered.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Evangelical background, should be broadly applicable because of the topic.

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

    Identity is the topic here, but the author argues that this underpins everything else. How we see ourselves in God will affect our whole-life discipleship journey.

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

    Good Bible studies with thorough applications should enable this.

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

    For some people, the revelation of the depth of God's acceptance and love could be life changing. It could be that some may need further help to deal with underlying issues before this can happen.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    The introduction to each topic sets it in the context of everyday life, with the assumption that it is a modern Western one (with exposure to adverts, time pressure, tricky family backgrounds, YouTube etc.). A couple of real-life examples of people with identity issues are included, as well as biblical ones. Of course, the main topic of identity, implicitly involves real life.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a focus.

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

    Not a focus.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Slightly, as issues set in context of modern Western life.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus.

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