Lessons for Faith Communities
Since I update the website for NextStep Resources, all the new books that arrive pass by my desk, so they can be entered on the website. Early last week four books came across - The Covenant, by James Garlow, When Life Doesn't Turn Out the Way You Expect, by Lawrence Wilson and Jerry Brecheisen, Answers for Chicken Little, by Dan Boone, and Why Me?, by Lawrence Wilson. Many times, I'll hold books back that lokk interesting and that I wish to look further into before they go out into the store. These did not fit that bill. I barely took note of them as I put them up on the web. Then, later last week, four DVD studies came in, by the same titles. Always on the lookout for new DVD Bible study curriculum and resources, these did catch my interest.
I was disappointed, however, once I viewed them. The studies themselves are little more than book discussions, with about a half dozen talks on each DVD by the author about the topic. The author is talking in front on a green screen background and gives anecdotes and a general overview of portions of his book. They last around 5-8 minutes long and provide no real discussion questions or added insight.
As I mentioned, none of the books interested me personally, so I would not really wish to do a book study or discussion on those books. Even if these had been done with books of interest, however, even then, I think it would be a stretch to use these in a study group setting. I remember a few years ago being in a small group which did the 40 days of purpose. Each week we met, I was one of two people who had read any portion of the book. Even this past year, I led a small group through Andy Stanley's little book, Fields of Gold - a book on stewardship, but a very good one, and a very short one - and only my wife and I had ever done any of the readings. The people were interested in the topic, and we had decent discussions, but I could not get them to read for the life of me.
I guess all that to say, offering a book discussion study on books of meager interest (the topics are somewhat interesting, but I would rather read people I know and trust on these subjects), is not something I get too excited about.
Check them out for yourself and prove me wrong, though. The DVD studies are titled the same as the books:
Answers for Chicken Little (a study on Revelation)
Why Me? (a look at suffering and a Good God)
The Covenant (how God's love changes our lives)
When Life Doesn't Yurn Out the Way You Expect (moving past disappoint ment)