The Cry of My Heart – 7 Bible studies for small groups
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‘We live in a world where we long to be real – we long to be genuine. We want genuine relationships – genuine community – and genuine success. That’s the cry of our hearts – to be real in a world that is increasingly fake.
These studies aim to show you how to be a genuine disciple, by exploring Jesus’ very own discipleship manual: The Sermon on the Mount. In it, Jesus – the Master Teacher – shows us how we can be genuine disciples and experience genuine success.
Suitable for young people of any age…’
The booklet is a compact design with 32 pages. The booklet is designed to be given out to all participants so they can record their answers, thoughts and questions.
The course is broken into 7 sessions which all focus on what genuine discipleship looks like, covering themes such as genuine success, genuine worship, genuine trust and genuine commitment. The course covers Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount teaching in Matthew’s gospel.
At the back, there are 3 pages of brief leaders’ notes to help understand some of the questions and the purpose for each session.
Whilst not necessary to lead the studies, there is a book of the same title by the same author which expands on the teaching and might be worthwhile for the leader to have read before leading the course.
Both the book and the booklet are available from the publisher.
For young people aged 11-18.
£3.49 for the Bible Study. Associated book of same title is £6.99
The booklet is well presented and professional in design.
The leader's notes clearly explain the aim for each study.
Although brief, the notes do help the leader to better understand the sessions.
Anyone used to leading a Bible study with young people.
The participants' resources are essential for making sense of the sessions. There is a combination of tables to complete, questions to answer and Bible verses to look up and consider. Each participant will need their own booklet so they can record their own observations.
There is do digital material connected to the course.
The material is a straight Bible study so there are no activities or ice breaker games suggested. Therefore, a leader will have to devise their own if they wish to include such things. The leader will need to work through the session for themselves in advance to work out how long different sections will take and which to give the most time to. The leader's notes suggest that there may be too much in each session to be included although it didn't seem to be too full. Another suggestion in the leader's notes is to read the relevant chapters of the associated book before each session.
It doesn't explicitly encourage interaction but would be down to the way the leader leads the sessions.
The style is based on written questions and responses, which will suit many young people, but some might find this restrictive.
There are some good ideas for connecting with the Bible verses which can be adapted if the leader feels it necessary.
It doesn't directly encourage this but for the material to be used well it would be very important to have the group working together and sharing their responses.
The whole course is based around the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, with other key Bible verses included to aide understanding.
There are questions to help the participants reflect on the Bible with no explanations or specific teaching points, presumably relying on the course leaders to ensure that the young people correctly understand and interpret the verses and questions.
The studies help the participants consider how to be genuine disciples in their everyday lives.
The course helps young people to be authentic in their faith and the way they live.
Anyone who engages with this course will grow in their faith and there is a specific opportunity for each participant to think through where they are in being a genuine Christian.
It helps the participants to see how profound Jesus' teaching is.
The material helps the participant reflect on their own life experiences and to put into practice what they are learning.
The second session is about ‘Genuine Impact' and explores Jesus' teaching about being salt and light. There is a specific section on considering how participants can be salt and light in their own lives.
It does not mention this aspect.
There is no mention of global issues.
This is not touched on in this series.