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VINE VOICEon March 9, 2004
YOU FOUND IT! I don't know of a better small group resource. I've been through this workbook several different times with several different groups, everything from teens to pastors. I've always been pleased.
Two aspects of this study sticks out to me.
First, the wealth of companion material from Renovare. You will not run out of ways to challenge the members of your small group.
Second, the respect that is shown for believers in different Christian traditions. Renovare is distinctly and unashamedly Christian. It is not popular philosophy dressed up in Christian language. Yet, this book, as with other Renovare resources, value the distinctives that make up the different major themes in Christian thought. This could cause discomfort for those who are locked into a very narrow version of the faith.
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on March 19, 2000
This book will help you discover where you need more balance in your Christian walk. As you learn to practice the 6 different traditions; social, contemplative, holiness, charismatic, evangelical, and incarnational, your walk with the Lord will become more balanced. This has been a life-changing study for me!
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on October 8, 2005
I have been utilizing this book in my own spiritual journey for the last 4 years. The growth and depth of relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ is amazing and truly transforming.

I am the director of a leadership development program for my denomination. We are now utilizing this book as a part of our training with wonderful results. The students have all commented on the deepening of their relationships with each other and most especially a new understanding and deepening of their relationship with Christ. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is serious about becoming a devoted disciple of Christ.
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on September 28, 2007
What separates this small group guide from others is that it provides a framework for all future groups that actually contains concrete paths to real character transformation. That framework has some key components: (1) An emphasis on trying spiritual exercises in your everyday life, with plenty of ideas for exercises provided; (2) An emphasis on growing toward a balanced spiritual life, centered around 6 areas of spirituality: personal prayer, holiness, interaction with the Holy Spirit, compassion for others, gospel knowledge/sharing, and interweaving the sacred into the secular life; (3) Seeking spiritual growth in partnership with other believers who will encourage and listen to one another; (4) A non-judgmental, non-legalistic attitude.

The content of the studies is solid, based on the life of Jesus as He modeled for us the 6 areas of spiritual life. There are also well-thought out discussion questions that allow for deep reflection. There is virtually no prep time because each session is read through and discussed together.

I am currently going through this study for the second time with a larger group (15-25), and it works well even in the larger context, especially when we break up into smaller groups for some segments. I have heard from several people how great this study is. I believe that if churches used a framework like this one for their small groups, the Church of Jesus Christ would see an astonishing amount of fruit that would surprise the world.
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on July 9, 2005
Very good workbook- especially if you are leading a group and do not know what to prepare. However, if you want some leway to teach using your own style, the workbook doesn't leave you much room. It's a very stick-by-the-rules type of book. Very insightful and perfect for a small group setting, though.
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on April 5, 2000
The practical exercises in the Christian traditions are useful, and cause growth. (Romans 12:2) This book is useful for any spiritual formation group and increases awareness of need to grow in Discipleship. Have used exercises in my Walk to Emmaus(spiritual formation/accountability) reunion group--leads to Christian action.
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on March 6, 2000
This is a very good book for starting a Bible study that is labor intensive versus study intensive. I do recommended this for all people to lead after they have to a personal study with Celebration of Discipline materials. To my knowledge, this version is out of print because it has been revised and replaces by ISBN 0062516264. This new book includes the sixth tradition of incarnationalism. Also recommended.
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on March 16, 2007
I've worked as a small group minister for years now, and I feel that this workbook is excellent for starting a group of established Christians. Each discussion is clearly mapped out with leader's instructions in the margins. Through the course six different aspects or facets of Jesus are presented, and almost no one is intimately familiar with all six, so it stands to minister to long time church goers. But the new Christian will be strengthened too.

Other Christian authors are writing about Jesus as presented by various denominations (like Brian McLaren and Philip Yancey)but this little book is very easy to use for generating discussions.

What I found most important is that each section ends with several exercises or disciplines to practice in the time between sessions. Group members will surely experience spiritual growth if they practice the disciplines.

Lastly, it ends with an invitation to continue on as a group, using what has been learned through the study as a format for continued group life.
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on January 4, 2007
I purchased several of these books to lead a spiritual formation group in my parish. The book has helped my people share their faith and their struggles in that faith. It has also introduced them to the concept of accountability, which is always good.

The only problem that I encountered is the tremendous amount of oral reading required for each lesson. Some of my folks are self-conscious about their reading skills and as you take turns reading, it can be laborioius. Other than that, I would highly recommend this workbook to anyone wanting to go deeper in their spiritual life.
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on February 17, 2006
This workbook provides a framework for sharing the Journey of becoming like Jesus Christ, the goal of all authentic disciples of Jesus. It contains many wonderful thoughts and suggestions.
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