Thursday Review: an evangelistic resource for ‘non-booky’ people

A review of Pete and Ann Woodcock, Tales of the Unexpected: Stories Told By Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, DVD and Workbook, The Good Book Company purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US.

Tales of the Unexpected is a welcome new evangelistic resource from The Good Book Company. It’s aim is to ‘to share the gospel with those who are unfamiliar with the Bible who haven’t been in a classroom in a while’, what they call ‘non-booky’ people.

Over four sessions it looks at three parables from Luke’s Gospel (the rich fool in Luke 12, the runaway son in Luke 15, the stay-at-home son in Luke 15, and the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18). The resource involves a DVD with down-to-earth presentations and a workbook with questions and the relevant passage printed out. In an interesting innovation, the DVD offers alternative versions of the talks by either Pete Woodcock and Lizzy Smallwood. They both pretty much follow the same script so the idea is you can choose the presenter you prefer (an idea you could try for Sunday mornings, perhaps).

It’s exciting to the see The Good Book Company producing this kind of resource, especially since it’s billed as ‘the first in a series of planned resources called Jesus and You … as part of The Good Book Company’s on-going commitment to reaching hard-to-reach groups’. The DVD presentations are great and the questions generally seemed pitched at the right level. I commend the resource to you.

My one suggestion for future resources in the series would be to include a reading of the passage or a retelling of the story on the DVD so groups have the option to make it a completely oral experience. The workbook feels quite ‘busy’ and it would be great if the resource could be used in a way that means participants do not need to read text at all. (I also suggest they decided whether it’s ‘Lizzy’ or ‘Lizzie’ as both spellings are used on the DVD.)

Here’s a taster …

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3 thoughts on “Thursday Review: an evangelistic resource for ‘non-booky’ people

  1. Thanks for reviewing this, I was interested to know what you thought, having seen it advertised. It’s a pity indeed that the Bible texts aren’t on the DVD – I assumed it would be possible to use it entirely orally. Non-booky people may find it possible to read, even if it’s a foreign culture; but I’d hoped it’d be a leveller resource for the blind in our church.

  2. Any change this, or similar resources, are available in other languages? I’m an American living in Belgium and would love to use something like this, but would need either French audio or subtitling. Any suggestions on resources like this that cover multiple languages?

    Nice review, by the way, and great blog. It’s been a good read lately.

  3. Clay, I know of David Brown’s Passerelles course (with DVD, handbook, etc., ‘Soirées entre amis, Moments entre amis, etc.) designed for the francophone european world. In such a different culture, I’m not sure that straight translation and voiceover talent would be effective. But as it’s essentially studying Mark’s gospel in an oral format in a small group, if you have non-literate culture people (I didn’t know of any Belgians comme ça !), why not take the tips of the format and get people just doing it, without DVD? Alternatively, truly contexualise and do it as a BD!

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