Thursday Review: Soul DVD and CY evangelistic courses

A review of Soul DVD and the CY and CY Nano evangelistic courses.

Soul is a seven-session evangelistic presentation. It’s designed for young people. That said, although there is a youth slant (references to image, peer pressure and following the crowd), it would be perfectly acceptable for an adult audience.

Trailers and session titles are below.

Soul is basically Christianity Explored for young people. Rico Tice has been replaced by Nate Morgan Locke, but the basic content is similar. That means it’s cross-centred and grace-centred. There’s a clear explanation of sin, judgment and atonement while the cost of following Christ is plainly spelt out (using Mark 8:34-38). The tone is serious to the point of being sombre (go on, Nate, give us a smile). Extracts from Mark’s Gospel are read with the words appearing on the screen so that much of the time the format is Bible reading followed by exposition. There’s no compromise on the truth of the gospel for the sake of relevance. Instead, relevance is established by establishing our need of a saviour. The distinctions from other religions are highlighted which is important in our increasingly pluralistic context.

Rico Tice is a more natural presenter, but Soul is more visually creative. There’s plenty of moody lighting and overhead panning shots as well as strong visual images. The stilling of the storm is told with water beating down on a hooded narrator and the resurrection is narrated in an underground car park climaxing in a motorbike riding up a ramp into the light. Think of the production values of Nooma videos combined with the content of Christianity Explored.

CY is an accompanying course for teenagers and young adults while CY Nano is aimed at 11-14 year-olds. The material in both courses is very similar with just a few tweaks and a different visual feel. The courses are designed to be used alongside Soul. Each session begins with a short Bible study from Mark’s Gospel. Then you show the Soul episode followed by discussion questions. That said, both Soul and CY can be used independently. There’s a leaders manual that covers both versions of the course.

I like CY and CY Nano. It’s a great gospel presentation based on a Gospel (surely that’s the obvious place to start) with a clear explanation of sin and grace as well as the cost of following Christ. Plus they’re a bit easier to use than Christianity Explored. Again, I would be happy to use CY with any adult. Indeed my problem with Soul and CY is that now I’m not sure whether to use the Christianity Explored course material or the Soul and CY combination!

Soul DVD is available here in the US and here in the UK.

The CY Sample Pack is available here in the US and here in the UK.

The CY Starter Pack is available here in the US and here in the UK.

Here are the session titles:

1 – Christianity is Christ
2 – Identity
3 – Mission
4 – Cross
5 – Resurrection
6 – Grace
7 – Call

Soul comes with English or Spanish subtitles.


2 thoughts on “Thursday Review: Soul DVD and CY evangelistic courses

  1. Having glanced at the Soul video yesterday my biggest disappointment has to be the presentation. I haven’t done as thorough check of the content as you have Tim, but in terms of both production and presenting I’d think I;d stick with the good old Christianity Explored DVD…even with the youth. Scrap that, I’d preach it live.

    What I mean to say is I think the DVD misses the mark by quite a way. I’m sure people will be saying it’s a more ‘youthy’ DVD (because that’s what it’s suppose to be) but in reality it feels really dated visually and you’re right, Nate needs to learn how to smile. Bottom line is he’s less engaging than either Rico or Barry.

    Get the materials but preach it yourself!

  2. Thanks for the review, Tim: I too think these resources are excellent, so I’ll be glad to see them become better known.

    I disagree with you slightly, Sammy – some of it is a little dated visually, but I’ve been using the DVD with a CY Nano course and they’ve found it fine. I do think that it’s more suitable for the CY age, as they say themselves, while the talks in the Nano leaders’ handbook would be more suitable for the younger ones (as designed). But I haven’t time to prepare talks for our ones, and we’re such a small group that giving them a talk wouldn’t be as natural as watching a DVD together. The DVDs are a bit sombre, as Tim says – honestly, I also want Nate to smile, or register amazement with more than seriousness! But overall, even though I’m using it with 11 year olds, it works fine. Far more engaging / age-appropriate than Rico in DVD, which I was stylistically embarassed even to use with students – they didn’t engage. So I would say: use the DVD with CY age as designed, and if you can / have time for prep / have a group larger than 10, preach it yourself – but don’t be put off doing it with the DVD otherwise!

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