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4 Stars Out Of 5
Good but not Excellent
May 22, 2014
Overall I found this study to be somewhat disappointing. I had read the book and was really excited to bring the same message and experience for my students. Upon receiving the DVD series I was excited to have the four teachings by Idleman, as well as three testimonials. In addition the resources were very good as well.
However, as I started to watch the videos I was a little disappointed. Idleman shared a lot of the same content he had in his book which I thought was really good. But, with only 4 videos that were only about 20 minutes in length each, I was a little disappointed by the rush he had to do to get through the material. What he said was spot on, I'd just like a little more for my money.
The testimonials were very powerful. But, as a previous individual commented the content was a little much for the age groups I have. Of the three videos I was only comfortable showing one with my group without having parent approval. There was nothing "bad" about the videos, they were just over the heads of my students.
One of the testimonies, Merrick, shared about his battle and eventual failure with sexual temptation. Though I greatly appreciate his candor and have a similar story I wasn't comfortable with showing that to my middle school students.
The next video testimony, Sarah, shared about her struggle with homosexuality, cutting, suicide, depression, and other similar challenges. Again, the video wasn't "bad"...it was really great and would be a wonderful video to show to my high school students or perhaps to some students who I know are struggling with this. But, again, the content and explanation was a little more graphic than I would want to share with my students.
Both of the above testimonies were excellent and it was great to see how God has worked in their lives, pulling them out of their struggles in life and showing them his redemptive care and forgiveness. However, for my young group who live in rural America and does not have the same kind of struggles I found it didn't meet my needs at the present time. I will hold on to them and they could be of great value and use in the future.
When I saw the people commenting, here and on other sites, that the testimonies were a little intense I immediately thought, "oh, what softies who aren't willing to expose their students to real life." But I have since confessed for being judgmental and I would encourage you to know your group and consider if this is worth the investment.
I would encourage this for high school and college. If I had a middle school students who were challenged with sexual immorality I would be more inclined to use it. I don't, though, and those videos were not fitting for my group. Kyle's teaching was good for me but I thought my students were a little bored with them. The leader's guide was okay, but I found that relying on that to complete the lesson didn't work very well. Know your group before making this purchase!
I read the original book "Not A Fan" some time ago. I was doing some searching online and stumbled upon "Not A Fan" Teen Edition. I suggest using this Small-Group Discipleship Teen Edition product to any Youth Minister who really wants to teach their students what it truly means to follow Jesus. Great product and great resources.
Ok, maybe it was the way I presented the material to my small group or maybe it was a combination of the material and the way I presented it but this is an intense study and it can really challenge youth. I would recommend that unless you have a mature group of teens to stay away from the testimonials. Kyle's presentation is pretty light but the testimonials can be quite intense and are, in my opinion, meant for teens over 15. They get into issues of sex, drugs, abuse, etc. that might be too much for younger teens. I love the idea of challenging our youth to really look at their relationship with Christ and ask if they are a fan or a follower but remember that if you push too hard you could cause children to run away from Christ rather then to Him
This Bible study is making a difference in the lives of the teens in our youth group. We have teens that are understanding the price Jesus paid for us. Through the discussion, teens are finding that they want to be followers of Jesus and not just fans.