Review: Just Walk Across the Room

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There are a couple main categories of church-wide campaigns.  Some are designed to be an easy invitation for unconnected people or less-than-fully committed people who really need a next step.  Other campaigns are designed without apology to be a developing experience for everyone who participates.  Just Walk Across the Room, released in 2006, is without question in the second category.  It might even be the leading example of the kind of game-changing campaign that can move an entire congregation in the direction of powerful impact.

This is a fully developed, plug-and-play campaign.  You’ll find everything you need in the curriculum kit.  There are a number of key components to Just Walk Across the Room four week church experience.

First, it’s anchored by a very good four session DVD-driven small group experience.  The DVD content is well done.  Featuring Bill Hybels and a combination of stories and teaching, the video is the right length (about 15 minutes).  The first two sessions allow Hybels to give two great examples of his own journey as a just-walk-across-the-room sort of evangelist.  The third uses a combination of spoof bad examples with Hybels offering counterpoint examples of a more effective approach.  This session also features a clear explanation of “the bridge” illustration and Hybels’ classic ladder illustration.  Session four is a combination of Hybels’ description of his own “Matthew parties” and an intimate look into an his own ongoing opportunity to join in the lives of a regular group gathered by an unchurched friend.  I think you’ll be moved to consider how to do this yourself.  I know I was.

The included Leader’s Guide is fairly basic but does provide some good guidance for each of the sessions.  It will be especially valuable for newer leaders who just need a little extra encouragement.

The companion Participant Guide combines in-session discussion questions and in-between assignments that help take the discussion to application.  While there is work to do in between sessions…it’s pitched at a very inclusive level (Read: it’s not too hard for even the least committed to jump in an complete it).

Another available resource is Hybels’ book by the same title.  Just Walk Across the Room is extremely readable and each of the four group sessions includes a short reading assignment (2 to 3 chapters, about 50 pages).  It’s important to note that while the reading will enhance the experience, it’s not essential.  Participants will get a lot out of the study by attending the weekend service and taking part in the small group study.

As important as these other components are, the CD-ROM is packed with essential ingredients.  Here you’ll find sermon outlines, powerpoint slides (for both Mac and Windows), promotional ideas, web banners, and much more.  It really has everything you need to put together a memorable four week church-wide experience.

If you’re ready for your congregation to take the step that leads to impact…you’ll want to consider Just Walk Across the Room.  This is a powerful study and ought to be on your list to consider.

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  1. Larry Baxter on January 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Our small group did this DVD-based study last year; it was great! I could say lots about it but it boils down to this. 18 months after doing the study, we’re still putting into practice regularly in our lives and in our group, still using phrases we picked up during the study. It has helped us engage several outside friends in our lives and in spiritual conversations as we discover their story. How many curriculum have that kind of transformational impact?

  2. Anonymous on January 2, 2012 at 8:26 am

    That is an awesome report! Thanks for jumping in here, Larry!