In the past, handbooks or workbooks that came out based on previously published books have largely been a let down to me. They often do little more than point to sections of the original book to read, quote some related Scripture, and walk the reader through some application questions. This isn’t bad, but most good Bible study or small group leaders can figure that out on their own.
The Gospel Fluency Handbook is the opposite of such books. While it is based on Jeff Vanderstelt’s previous book, Gospel Fluency, it doesn’t require you to read it. In fact, that book is summarized for you in the Handbook. Moreover, rather than simply walk through some basic application questions, this book is designed to create an experience all its own.
But what is the book actually about? The Gospel Fluency Handbook is said to be a “practical guide for speaking the truths of Jesus into the everyday stuff of life.” Our greatest problem before and after our conversion is unbelief. This handbook is designed to take the reader into the depths of the gospel in order to build faith. Faith is not just for initial salvation, but living as Christ’s disciples in all parts of life. Throughout the book, the authors give very specific examples of sin and show how faith in Christ can be applied as the remedy. As a bonus, the handbook provides access to videos online which will enhance the learning experience.
In terms of the design, the book is laid out to give three sections to be read each week. This is followed by space for reflection and preparation for discussion with a group. Moreover, the actual look of the handbook is pleasing to the eye. The publisher laid out the handbook with differing colors, engaging graphics and charts, and a good use of fonts. The physical book is also spiral-bound, making it easier to record thoughts and interact with the material.
The Gospel Fluency Handbook is the type of resource churches need today. It can help clarify and reinforce the truths of Christ’s saving work for personal sanctification. More than that, it will create a gospel-rich culture which will make speaking about Christ to outsiders much easier and more fruitful. I highly recommend this handbook.
*Disclosure: I received this book free from the publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.