Whether you’re a fan of Tim Keller or not, I think you’re going to see the potential of The Gospel in Life: Grace Changes Everything (Discussion Guide with DVD). This will be a very potent study for groups that are looking for a challenge. It will also fit nicely into a development pathway for coaches, senior leaders, and staff. And finally, it will provide a good preparation course for the kind of conversations that happen with the widening 60% who will never be reached by the attractional model.
An 8 session intensive course, The Gospel in Life combines DVD segments featuring Tim Keller, discussion questions designed to help the group thoroughly explore the teaching, and 7 home studies that are done in preparation.
In classic Keller form, the DVD segments are presented as it you are at the short lecture. Covering 8 essential topics, you’ll find yourself drawn in, compelled to take a few notes. Bookended with Keller’s teaching on the city (and our role in it) and the eternal city, there is an examination of how the gospel changes your heart, changes your community, and changes how you live in the world.
The questions that flesh out each of the group discussions are very thought-provoking and there are very thorough leader notes that will provide additional insights to enrich the study. Although the leader notes suggest that a 60 minute format is workable, that seems more likely if you are using this material in a classroom setting. I think it could require as much as 90 minutes if you plan to incorporate this study into an existing groups.
Each of the seven home studies (to be done in preparation for sessions 2 through 8) consist of 10 to 15 pages of reading (incorporating scripture as well as other related writings), and interspersed with questions for reflection. While this will be an easy assignment for some, it will limit the groups that can use it.
As you’re adding curriculum options for small groups needing more challenging options and developing pathways for leader training, The Gospel in Life is one you should be aware of.