Soul

Soul
Created by Christianity Explored and published by The Good Book Company 2014 (3rd Edition reprint)

£49.99 (Approx)
3.4
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Soul from Christianity Explored, is perfect for introducing Jesus to older teenagers and young adults (15+). It features a range of activities, talks and Bible studies to communicate the gospel in an accessible and relevant way. The Soul course comprises a Leader’s Guide for those running the course, a Handbook for the course participants and a superbly produced DVD.

What do you get and how?

Leader’s Guide is 192 page handbook to help you lead this course. Split into three sections: How to run the course, the outline plans and talks for the seven sessions, Teaching material for ‘Inside Track’ a weekend/day away session. The Appendices also cover answering tough questions and Questions about Mark’s Gospel as well as questions about Christian belief.

The seven sessions work through Mark’s Gospel and cover issues such as why Jesus came, why he died, the resurrection and grace.

The Handbook is an A5 landscape, illustrated book for the participants to have each. There is plenty of space for note-taking, answering some key questions and to help them track the course. It is recommended that each participant has their own copy of the handbook.

The Soul DVD, is suggested as an alternative to giving the talks live. There are Soul branded copies of Mark’s Gospel, which are also suggested could be given out to each participant. Available from www.ceministries.org and the Good Book Company.

Who is it for?

The course is recommended for older teenagers and young adults (+15) and can be used as part of an ongoing discipleship group or as a stand alone evangelistic course.

Cost?

  • Soul Starter Pack (Soul DVD, 2 leaders’ guides & 9 participants’ handbooks) £49.99
  • Soul Sample Pack (Soul DVD, 1 leaders’ guide, 1 Handbook, 1 Mark’s Gospel) £24.99
  • CY Leaders’ Guide £6.79
  • CY handbook £2.69
  • Soul DVD £9.99
  • Mark’s Gospel £0.85

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Excellent. The leader's guide is comprehensive and clear. It provides all you need to deliver a successful course. The contents is very similar to the younger CY course, but includes different icebreakers and activities to make the course more suitable to older young people. The handbook is well designed and simple to use and appropriate for the target age group.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    The course is very clear in setting out its purpose is to share the Good News of Jesus with young people, in a progressive, seven-step series.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Very clear, with chapters on how to run the course, why you should run the course and training for leaders leading the sessions and discussion groups. There is a detailed explanation of how each session runs including games and activities, as well as the talk content and discussion questions.

    Who could lead it?

    The course does need committed Christians to run the course and be able to speak with confidence about their own experiences of faith as well as be able to handle participants' questions. Christian teenagers could be used to help adults in delivering the course. The leader's guide offers plenty of advice for inexperienced leaders.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Simple design, with plenty of space for writing notes if they want to. The layout is simple to follow and appropriate to the target age range. The books include summaries of each of the talks and some key questions for group discussion. These are useful as they help participants focus on each subject as well as giving them a good summary of the course to keep at the end.

    How good is any digital material?

    The website offers a few downloadable files to complement the sessions. These are of excellent quality and are age-appropriate. The DVD is professionally produced, with each presentation being between 11-15 minutes in duration. Each clip is written and presented by youth evangelist, Nate Morgan Locke. The content is communicated in a easy to follow style, although some young people may struggle to stay connected for the duration of each film.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Everything you need to run the course is provided but time would be needed to gather different materials needed for each session and for the person giving the talk to take the notes and make them personal to their own delivery style. Each session has a ‘leader's checklist' to ensure you have everything prepared.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Extra downloadable resources are available from the Christianity Explored website. They also encourage leaders to register their course so that they can pray for you as well as potentially send participants along.

    Is it dated?

    No.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    The sessions are designed to be discussed in small groups, to enable people to share their thoughts and questions and to experience the course with the same people.

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

    The teaching style is ‘talk' driven. Leaders can choose between using the DVD clips which present the teaching in a more interesting style than a ‘live' talk, although there is the option of giving the talk live if preferred, and detailed notes are included. The activities will help people engage with the topics and have some fun together. It is high on content in each session, which some people may struggle with, especially if they are from non-Christian backgrounds.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The writers recommend running the course as written the first time round as they think it will suit most situations. Some leaders may feel there is too much Bible text for un-churched participants and wish to simplify this. If giving live talks, there are detailed notes for each talk so it can be easily adapted to your particular situation.

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

    The course focuses on each individual's response to the Gospel but by using the same small groups each week, does create a small support group in which to explore the material together.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    The course uses Mark's Gospel for all of the teaching content (with a few additions from other books of the Bible on the Weekend away session). It is a Bible-driven course with plenty of stories and passages used in each session to teach and illustrate the themes. There is also an optional ‘The Mark Challenge' which challenges participants to read through the Gospel of Mark in 21 days, using a helpful Soul branded booklet of Mark's Gospel.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    It is done in a very easy, straight forward manner and opens up the texts well for young people to explore.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Each session includes discussion questions to help the group consider their own feelings and opinions and how the different themes affect them directly.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    This is a very clear, but thorough, explanation of the Christian faith, exploring grace, sin, the cross & resurrection and the Holy Spirit. All is taught clearly from Scripture.

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

    The course explores the core beliefs of Christianity and encourages people to take this further at the end of the course.

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

    It is a clear presentation of the Gospel and gives plenty of opportunities for participants to vocalise their own thoughts and questions of faith, as well as providing opportunity for them to make a commitment of faith, if they desire

    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 starter activities, especially, help ground the sessions in the real lives of the participants.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    The leader's guide encourages this to be a course that is run many times with previous participants inviting friends on future courses.

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

    Participants are encouraged to explore faith further at the local church.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    The course is focused on the gospel of Jesus and the life transformation of the individual.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    It makes it clear that everyone needs to discover a personal faith in Jesus.

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