Friday, September 17, 2010

Tim Keller's Small Group Curriculum: Evangelism in Acts

On labour day weekend I finished preaching through the book of Acts. 37 sermons over 11 months or so, and my life will never be the same again! When I first decided to tackle this book I had a few goals. Among them I wanted to: 1) blow all of my theological categories up and be open to change as God's Word shaped me; 2) grow in prayer and evangelism, etc, etc. Wrestling with every word of Acts over the course of 11 months was very precious to me. Reading Bock and Kistemacher were really helpful. Stott's commentary was golden. I Howard Marshall's work on Acts in the 'Commentary of the New Testament's Use of the Old Testament' (ed, Carson and Beale) was extremely helpful. But one book stood out as heads and tails above the rest in helpfulness: Tim Keller's Small Group Curriculum on Acts. I mention it here because most people I talk to have never even heard of it. It's available on the Redeemer Web site as a PDF download for $10. I printed it out and had it spiral bound at Staples. It would be useful as a small group study, but I used it as a bridge from exegesis to application in my sermon prep. As a pastor-theologian, Keller is always thinking about real people, and more importantly, a real church, as he writes. He is concerned to understand the message of Acts and to make it practical for real people. The Curriculum is written for the small group leader, to equip them as they walk the group through a set of questions on a given text (he walks through all of Acts chunk by chunk in 29 'lessons'). The second part of the curriculum is a 'blank' question book for the small group attendees to have handy for note-taking and personal study. With a focus especially on 'evangelism' this is a very valuable resource for any pastor who is seeking to have his own life changed, and to call others to 'come with him' down the path of deeper discipleship. I highly recommend it. You and find it here. The other small group curriculum can be found here (although I've only just begun to use the one on Romans, so I can't testify to their usefulness. . .note that the Acts one is an 'advanced' curriculum, which may indicate that it is that much more technical than the others).

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