One of the books that had the biggest impact on me in 2010 was Gabe Lyons’ The Next Christians. Huge impact on my thinking. At the same time, a very important confirmation of some of my core convictions about ministry in 2011 post-Christian America and the importance of the x-factor at crowd’s edge.
When I saw that there was a DVD-driven Participant Guide, intended to be used in the context of community, I was immediately interested. The book in itself is very impactful. Studying it, talking about it, dreaming of next steps, will provoke response.
The six-session study will allow a group to carefully process the ideas found in The Next Christians. Each of the sessions has a reading assignment to be completed in advance and feature a series of thought-provoking discussion questions to be wrestled with in the group. The DVD segment (watched as part of the group experience) includes the observations of author Gabe Lyons and a fascinating lineup of interviews with “notable thinkers and leaders such as Tim Keller, Andy Crouch, Scot McKnight, Phyllis Tickle, and Jon Tyson.
In addition to the advance reading, each session also includes a list of recommended activities for further exploration. This combination of outside reading, cultural observation, field trips and movies to watch will provide context for your members and enrich the discussion.
Who should be reading The Next Christians and using the DVD-driven group discussion? This is the kind of resource I would recommend for staff and key leaders in congregations. In addition, it would provide a helpful experience for small group community leaders and coaches as you develop your team. The ideas and concepts are presented in a way that will be eye-opening and next-step generating. This is not about the future. It is about the present and you won’t want to miss it.