My name is Becky and I'm new to this group. I'm a Director of
Christian Education in a middle-sized "mainline" Protestant church in
suburban Atlanta, and I'm a big fan of both Finding Faith and A New
Kind of Christian. Much of my church background has been in
traditional study in Bible and theology, kind of a "mainliner" all
the way but including many of the thinkers that Brian M. mentions,
and there is a lot of value in what I would like to pass on. BUT -
times and people have certainly changed and it's great to find ways
to reach people with Good News in a way that is intellectually
challenging. As I see it, the content itself from the background of
which I speak doesn't need to change as much as the WAY that people
think about discipleship. One of the things I like best about these
books is that it introduces the true central message of Jesus - the
Kingdom of God - which seems to be lost or overlooked in the majority
of popular Christian thinking today.
I think there's a place for these books in a variety of types of
churches and they'll be excellent for beginning dialogue between
moderns & post-moderns, different generations, traditionalists &
progressives, etc. We have a mixture of all these strands of
thinking in the local church - denominational & non-denominational.
Plus, people are joining churches from such varied backgrounds that
we must find more common ground along with forging a new identity. I
also envision them being excellent background for church leaders.
You've probably already discussed these things very well, but I have
what I think are two valid questions.
I'm proposing for an adult study group next year to read one or both
books. Am I right in assuming that it would be best to start out
with the Finding Faith book before going on to A New Kind of
Christian? That seems like the logical order to me.
The other thing is wondering if there will ever be available a
leader's guide / study guide / teacher's guide for either of these
books? I'm having a little trouble figuring out how to group these
chapters into readable sections for people to study without dragging
it out into a whole year for each book! I'm also capable of writing
our own study guides but am very pressed for time, as I review and
edit all curriculum for our children and youth (that's a big part of
my job this summer!). So if anyone has any inroads into approaching
Brian about this need, or if he could supply one online to us, or
whatever, that would be a great help to many of us!