Dan Pryde, Associate Pastor at Life Point Mitchelton shares his thoughts on two excellent new resources – thanks Dan!
This?seven-episode?film series,?For the Life of the World: Letters to the Exiles, was developed from the concerning question that many Christians seem to ask, ?What is our salvation?for??
The designers of this resource seek to broaden our understanding, and reinstate the value and purpose behind the lives of every believer. For the Life of the World (FLOW) propose a full-size view of God?s salvation helping us to see how we fit into God’s plan to reclaim all of creational life (Col. 1:19-20). As its title suggests, this series argues that our salvation is not only for our personal redemption (though it definitely is!) but also ?for the life of the world?.
Christian bookstore owner Byron Borger comments, that in his 30-plus years at the bookstore, he?s never seen anything like it. He describes it in this way; ?It is stunningly beautiful in an upbeat, earnest-bohemian sort of way, endlessly fascinating, intellectually rich?even deep. While it is certainly informed by serious theological thinking and has important intellectual foundations, it isn’t dry or abstract.?
ReFrame by Regents College
?Reframe presenter Mark Mayhew opens each session with the same statement:
?The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ reframes everything, bringing hope, life, and meaning to every part of human culture. And yet many of us can?t see how our faith shapes much of everyday life and experience. What are God?s purposes for us? What does it mean to be made in the image of God? How do we live in the world but not of the world? We?re exploring, ?How does the biblical story reframe our story??
The team at Regent College Marketplace Institute?(RCMI) have laboured over this resource to not only ?reframe? their audience?s understanding of Gods big picture, but to then draw their audience through that new frame, placing them into God?s big picture.
This resource has been produced in ten-40 minute TED style lectures held by dynamic and renowned theological speakers from Regent College. Sessions also include engaging conversations, which are to be followed by group interaction.
After watching both of these series through, I can make the following comments (please note however I did not work through these resources with a small group, I only watched the session episodes):
- Both resources are intended (ideally) to be run in a small setting
- Little to no leadership experience or session preparation is required from group leaders
- Both resources have thorough and helpful ?Leader? and ?Participant? guides to work through both as a group and during personal reflection time.
- Both resources are high-quality productions
I would happily recommend either of these resources to anyone seeking to expand their understanding of God?s worldwide redemptive plan and His purpose behind our lives, post-salvation.
For the Life of the World is a resource that would probably appeal to a broader audience due to its upbeat and humorous nature. This would definitely be the type of product I?d love to take a youth/young adults group through, however, this humorous and enthusiastic feel might not appeal to everyone.
Reframe is thorough, theological, thought provoking, and no-doubt would initiate some quality group discussions amongst keen participants. I personally lean towards this lecture style of delivery, though I have many Christians friends who would probably glaze over the moment they realised they were placed into a lecture environment.
At the end of the day, picking the appropriate resource should boil down to the audience you?re trying engage. You can quickly get an accurate taste for both of these resources to help you decide which one is right for your group.
My only other closing observation is that the ReFrame sessions followed the Bible story line, while FLOW is more topic based. This fact also contributed to my personal preference towards ReFrame?s resource.
Dan Pryde – May 2015
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