Little Books of Guidance
Small group material that deals with topical common questions about faith are like reality TV shows: there’s a lot of them out there and most of them are rubbish!
Finding material written by terrific and trusted authors that get to the heart of issues without being bogged down is much harder. So that’s why the new SPCK series Little Books of Guidance are so valuable. There are four in the series so far.
How do I Pray? is written by John Pritchard, former Bishop of Oxford and Chair of the CofE Board of Education.
Noted Anglican thinker Tom Wright has written Why Read the Bible?
Where on Earth is Heaven? has been penned by Paula Gooder, Theologian in Residence for the Bible Society and co-author of the Pilgrim material that is so popular in this diocese at the moment.
Heythrop College Research Fellow Keith Ward has contributed What Do We Mean by God?
Each of these books, (booklets, really) is just 30-40 pages long and in a small format useful for stuffing in your bag for a bus journey. But as small group material their structure is great. Each has three to five brief chapters, meaning that a session could be based on each one. The clear text lends itself to a study model: there are obvious discussion questions that flow from reading. The concise nature of the text might occasionally have one thinking, “There’s more to that issue than that”, but this just means that people can do a little more of their own research. In fact you could set up a participant a week to lead a mini seminar on one of these issues that bear more attention. That could form a 20 minute section of your weekly small group session.
These four little books are available currently at the Roscoe Library at St Francis College for you to preview.