The Grace Course
Steve Goss, Rich Miller & Jude Graham, Monarch Books, 2012

£150.00 (Approx)
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

The Grace Course is a straightforward, effective way for churches to help Christians understand God’s grace and be motivated by God’s love alone, so that they go on to bear “much fruit”. It provides powerful, practical ways to submit to God, identify faulty thinking and renew the mind.
Live a fruitful Christian life simply by being the person God made you to be.

  • Don’t “perform” any longer for God or other people but learn to serve out of love.
  • Hold your head up high no matter what’s in your past.
  • Get rid of condemning thoughts and that “low grade fever” of guilt.
  • Stop returning to the same old sins again and again.
  • Fear nothing and no one except God Himself.
  • Learn to serve out of genuine rest.
  • Work together with others to reach the world for Christ.

The Grace Course has 6 sessions plus a practical, life-transforming ministry tool — The Steps to Experiencing God’s Grace.

What do you get?

In the starter pack you get:

  • 1 Grace course leader’s guide
  • 1 Grace course DVD set
  • 20 Grace course participant’s guides
  • 20 Grace course postcards (session 1)
  • 20 Grace course postcards (session 2)
  • 20 Grace course postcards (session 3)
  • 1 x Grace course customisable invitations pack (50)
  • 3 x Grace course A3 Posters customisable for your course

This Leader’s Guide contains all the information you will need to lead the course including full scripts for the teaching sessions and a CD with PowerPoint presentations. The DVD set has video presentations of the teaching by Steve Goss, Rich Miller and Jude Graham.

Session titles:

  1. Free!
  2. Innocent!
  3. Unashamed!
  4. Courageous!
  5. Humble!
  6. The Steps To Experiencing God’s Grace
  7. Fruitful!

Who is it for?

It is for small groups of Growing Christians and Sunday teaching. It works well as a 40-day church-wide campaign or a 6-week course during Lent. Either present it yourself using the Power-Point presentations on the CD which comes with the Leader’s guide or use accompanying videos on the separate DVDs. The DVDs contain 8 hours running time covering the six course sessions with optional subtitles for the hard of hearing.

Cost?

Starter pack £150

Leader’s guide + CD £35

Participant’s guide £3.99

DVD set £49.99

 

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Lovely chunky A4 Leader's Guide book with glossy cover. Crystal clear, inspirational and life-giving material, firmly rooted in the word of God.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Similar to the Freedom in Christ course, this complementary course has as its aim ‘knowing who you are in Christ; and the importance of renewing the mind.' Each course is however designed to stand alone, though participants will benefit from attending the FIC course first. In contrast to the FIC course, the Grace Course goes into more depth about ‘guilt; shame; fear; pride; and ministering out of rest', drawing from the gospels. Each session has clear objectives and ‘Focus truth', as do many of the elements within the session. The overall aim is for the course to be used as a tool to ‘help Christians recover their first love for God'. All spelled out very clearly.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Good introduction for leaders, both overall, and for each session. Option to present talks using powerpoints (full text given), or DVD with Steve Goss plus Rick Miller and Jude Graham (available in addition to the Leader's Guide). Sessions consist of Welcome, Worship, Prayer and Declaration, Word, Pause for Thought Discussion (three per session), Witness, In the Coming Week. Guidance given as to how to lead each section, including timings. Awayday retreat envisaged between last two sessions (suggested timetable given for this). Emphasis on encouraging all to take action for themselves rather than relying on ‘receiving'. Further reading and resources suggested. In order to unlock the content of the DVD, a leader needs to register on the FIC/Grace Course site, but this is straight-forward to do and gives access to all material. Team training videos available.

    Who could lead it?

    A confident leader, or overall church leader if done as an all-church programme. Not to be done in a half-hearted way – leader needs to be convinced of the value of the material, and ready to respond to people who may have personally difficult issues to confront.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Glossy book with full notes from each session including some of the powerpoint cartoon images and clear icons throughout. Great layout. No particular note-taking spaces, but plenty of white space to write in around the text if wanted. Pauses for thought included also, plus action points for inbetween sessions. Very good quality.

    How good is any digital material?

    Promos and samples on the site, plus powerful testimonies. DVD is very good quality, filming the presentation of the material to a group of people. Straight-forward presentations that include the powerpoints along the way. Presentations given by authors of the course, mostly Steve Goss. Super clear and engaging.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Decision as to DVD or talks; familiarisation with material essential. Deals with big issues, so leaders need to be well prepared.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Invitation to register at www.ficm.org.uk/gracecourse. Full information plus publicity and access to shop. Training sessions available around the country (UK and USA). Lots of extra material on the site, including promotional videos and samples of material.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Discussion, declarations and prayer/worship should engender a good group dynamic.

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

    Choice as to DVD or talks to suit. Significant amount of teaching, but topics are presented in a lively and engaging way; discussion questions should connect with most people. Extremely practical, and spells out steps to transformation very clearly and helpfully. Powerpoints are simple but very effective and memorable.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Quite a lot of listening, so may not suit some groups. Material does not lend itself to summarising, as has strong progressions through the topics. A substantial and challenging course, with practical responses throughout.

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

    Discussion questions focus on direct responses to the material just studied. Between-session ‘homework' is aimed at helping the lessons of the session to sink in. Focused on renewing one's mind by accepting and applying biblical truths.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Based entirely on biblical concepts.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Lots of biblical stories and passages to both ground and illustrate the themes. A great strength of this resource – immerses all in biblical truths.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Encouragement to appropriate all biblical truths for oneself. This is seen as the key to personal transformation. Deals unflinchingly yet kindly with the messes we get ourselves in, and the need to constantly return to God.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Firmly evangelical.

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

    Strong emphasis on transformation through renewal of the mind. Consequently, biblical truths are spelled out and participants encouraged to engage with them thoroughly. Superb holistic material in that the connections between the spiritual, mental and emotional are clearly made.

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

    Gets down to the ‘nitty gritty' very quickly, both accepting and challenging our generally inadequate understandings of key aspects of living as beloved, grace-rescued children of God. Challenges to replace own thinking with biblical truths is made very practical, including a ‘Lies list' of comparisons. Away day session provides ‘Steps to experiencing God's grace', which helps people to face and deal with blockages to this.

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

    Does not pull any punches here – topics are explored based on the conviction that only God sees us clearly, and we need to see ourselves as he does. Only living in his truth can bring us freedom. Only focusing on who he really is will set us free from our mixed up motives. Only allowing God to deal with us in every aspect of our lives will bring true transformation. This is explored thoroughly plus the implications for all our relationships.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Extremely well. Very practical. 100% engagement with the stuff of our internal lives, based on the belief that we can ‘experience God's grace every day so that [you] can be fruitful to the fullest possible extent.'

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a focus.

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

    Focus on how we relate to others in all networks, and how personal transformation can positively impact this.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus.

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