Kit (forthcoming; visit notafan.com.au) RRP $69.95
Reviewed by Harlee Cooper.
NOT a Fan is a whole-of-church study resource that could just as easily be used by individual home groups.
It's a six-week program with a feature film followed by small-group studies in weekly episodes.
Each is focused on "encouraging individuals to journey from being a fan of Jesus to becoming a completely committed follower".
Once I got past my scepticism about its polished mega-church origins, I found that Not a Fan has a lot to offer.
The film deploys "cinematic storytelling" in an interesting, and surprisingly effective, blend of drama and teaching by Pastor Kyle Idleman, a pastor at Southeast Christian Church.
This format is engaging and works well.
The plot follows Eric Neilson, a fictional member of Pastor Idleman's congregation.
Although Idleman is a character in the story, from time to time he addresses the viewer directly to teach.
Not a Fan seeks to unpack Jesus' teaching in Luke 9:23,
"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me".
When released, the kit will include a range of resources including small-group guides, a personal journal and sermon notes.
Only the film and the six small-group studies were available for review, but overall, Not a Fan seems to hit its mark.
James would be proud of the way Idleman drives home the idea that faith without works is dead.
The film does a great job of exploring some of the stumbling blocks to taking up your cross daily.
My only concern would be a subtle undercurrent of fear to the teaching ("What if you died tomorrow? Where would you go?"), although it never takes over.
I reserve my opinion until I see all the resources, but so far I would recommend Not a Fan as a great resource for