The Apprentice Series Continues to Change Lives Throughout U.S., World
For Immediate Release (August 2010)
Christians throughout the world continue to experience life change through reading and applying the principles laid out in James Bryan Smith's Apprentice Series books. Based on the idea that almost everyone has "false narratives" that they tell themselves about God and his purposes in their lives, each book includes short chapters that are followed by soul-training exercises aiming to deepen the reader's understanding about topics such as the nature of God, how to live in Christian community and what it means to be truly happy. Leading spiritual formation author Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy) has praised the series as "the best practice I have seen in Christian spiritual formation."
Created by bestselling author and Friends University professor Smith (Room of Marvels), the books were envisioned to be more than just small group guides or devotionals. Each title is actually a mini course in discipleship, teaching people what it means to be like Christ. Apparently, Christians were hungry for such a resource. To date, the series has been used by more than 75 churches across the world. The Apprentice Series is now complete with the publication of the third book, The Good and Beautiful Community (August 2010). The series launched with The Good and Beautiful God (June 2009) and was followed by publication of The Good and Beautiful Life (December 2009).
According to InterVarsity Press Associate Publisher Jeff Crosby, the response to the series from individuals and church groups has been extremely gratifying. He said, "Our work on The Apprentice Series and the marketplace's—and church's—response to it has exceeded what we expected when we worked aggressively to acquire the series several years ago. I've been surprised by the number of letters and emails I've received where someone is saying, 'These books are speaking directly into the questions, the needs I've struggled with in isolation. They've pointed the way forward.'"
Series editor Cindy Bunch added, "Readers and group leaders can be confident that these books have been field-tested with real people and have proven to be life-changing." Crosby also mentioned that IVP plans to work with The Red Group, a Chicago area-based marketing firm, in order to help communicate the enduring message of the series directly to the church in the hope of further expanding what is already a significant use of the resources.
To hear more about the series, including testimonials, visit apprenticeofjesus.org.