Had an opportunity this week to preview All In: You Are One Decision Away from a Completely Different Life, a new DVD-driven study by Mark Batterson. Batterson, the lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C. is no stranger to developing creative resources to help small groups take bold steps together. The Circle Maker and The God Anthology, two earlier projects, were both well received.
Anchored by a four session DVD, Batterson lets us know in the opening moments that All In isn’t designed to comfort the comfortable. If you’re looking for a study that will challenge your members to new levels of commitment, this study fits the bill. I was captivated by a few of the opening lines that reflect the spirit of the study:
“When did we start believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things? Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. The will of God is not an insurance plan; it’s a daring plan. It’s time to quit living as if the purpose of your life is to arrive safely at death.”
Developed with Bible study veterans Kevin and Sherry Harney, each of the four sessions in the study guide include a video viewing guide (for taking notes during the video), a great set of discussion questions packed with scripture and designed to lead to application, as well as a very helpful guided prayer exercise. The study guide also includes Between Sessions material for personal reflections, personal actions and journal reflections and notes.
All In has the potential to be a powerful church-wide campaign. An available All In Campaign Kit includes a copy of the tradebook by the same title and a very simple campaign starter guide. Additional free resources (sermon transcripts along with templates for posters, invite cards and bulletin inserts) are available online at Zondervan’s Small Group Source site.
Whether you’re looking for a DVD-driven study that will challenge your small groups to truly follow Christ or you’re on the hunt for a church-wide campaign that will move your church in a new direction…All In ought to be on your short-list.