NEW LIVING & FAMILY GRACE WORKBOOK UPDATE
Well, finally here's an update on what we learned from all your feedback, for our new Family and Living Grace workbooks coming out Jan. 2020.
So thank you for all the feedback. In fact, in one of our meetings, our teammate Casey Pruet commented, "This really helped us learn so much about you and your needs!"
WHAT WE’VE LEARNED FROM YOUR FEEDBACK
First, the majority of you said you liked this newer version. Most of you felt it was easy to understand and that it would be easy to facilitate for your group. We wanted to make sure you still had a great community experience.
Second, the majority of you said that you felt confident with this newer version. Bottom line, we don't want to add any complexity! We want to keep it simple for every group leader to feel confident in facilitating the curriculum.
And then, the majority of you felt this was an overall improvement from the current version.
So, it tells us that we're pretty much on track with some needed changes.
Now, as for the constructive critiques. This is where we spent a lot of time and energy, just figuring out what worked and what didn't.
With any changes and updates, there's always some good technical feedback.
SO with the critiques from many different personalities, and leadership styles, it helped us see where things needed to be adjusted. We got great feedback about the scriptures, the overall content, and the various tools. And so much more! All of it was really helpful!
We did get a lot of mixed reviews on the appendix that provided the additional neuroscience and faith components, where we wanted to show the science and faith connection! But again, it was mixed with some saying it was a bit confusing …while others said, "the more science the better!" So, that was something we had to really think through.
One of the other things that had a lot of mixed reviews was how we toned down the "mental health language." We went from the phrase, "mental health difficulties and disorders" to the phrase, "overwhelming stress, anxiety, depression, and other similar challenges." The reason we tried this is that in earlier focus groups, the feedback was to tone down that language. BUT in this review of the material, we found a lot of people were not so keen on it. So, we were scratching our heads, because the idea to tone it down sounded good, but in actual practice - it didn't work. So that was interesting!
BUT where we spent most of our time was really listening and assessing the feedback where multiple leaders, especially Grace Groups leaders who have led for multiple years and know this material really well, commented that the new material seemed to be missing something. It was missing that "umph" in the education and simplicity. I actually got to talk to one Grace Group leader who told me that their co-leader said, "Why are they changing it? It works so well as is, it doesn’t need to be changed!"
As a team, we really took a lot of time to evaluate this because that's really key to listen to.
We know that change can take some effort, but with this type of change, we don't want to sacrifice that special quality or ingredient of what makes this group a unique and special experience.
So, our team, being, Casey Pruet and Natalie Franks and myself, spent hours and days discussing all of this feedback! And, of course, we always started every meeting praying, knowing God was going to guide us in His wisdom.
Based on all the feedback, and our team prayer and discussion…
UPDATES FOR JANUARY 2020
A REVISION UPDATE
We're going to do a revision update on the current Family and Living Grace workbook, not a huge overhaul like what the material you all got to evaluate. What that means is, we're going to take the positive things from the new material and update them into the current workbook - a fully revised edition.
WHAT STAYS THE SAME
Again, we felt this revision update was the best course, so that we maintain the quality of what the curriculum already has, not an overhaul that would somehow compromise that.
AND with it not being a huge overhaul, it means that you won't feel like you're losing out if you're using the current version or just purchased them. So, you can upgrade to the new revised version whenever you want.
We're going to keep the same 16-week topics and format (divided out in 8-week sessions) because it works and it meets the need.
BUT with that …
WHAT IS CHANGING
We're updating and changing out a few scriptures and stories that most people felt needed to change. As well, we're refreshing many of the tools to make it more user-friendly.
Then, we're cleaning up some of the flow of the group by adding the guidelines and opening crafted prayer at the beginning of each topic, rather than having to keep turning back to the beginning of the book to read them. AND we're adding a crafted prayer at the end of each topic. People really responded well and liked that in the newer workbook.
AND we're staying with the language and phrase of "mental health difficulties and disorders" because that seems to be a good middle-ground expression and helps ease the topic at the heart level, especially for the Family Grace Group who will tend to have more families in crisis and need to understand it from a mental health factor, not trying talk around it …leaving them with more guesswork.
And of course … we'll do an overall edit to help with some of those typos and grammar, because we want to make our English teachers proud … because we want to write gooder, and make sure we ain't doesn’t got no bad writing!
…. So that's what's we're working on … a new revised edition of the Family and Living Grace Workbooks for Jan. 2020.
WHAT ELSE IS COMING
BUT we want to also to expand on the Grace Group experience. We've mentioned this before, so here is a refresher on what to also expect …
FIRST, we're also planning to have the new workbooks available in a digital version - which will have huge benefits for all those starting groups overseas.
SECOND, each group will have a 2-3 minute topical video that corresponds with each topic. And all of these videos will be free for you and your group to access!
THIRD, we know we can't address everyone's unique situation, so we want to create a Facebook page for each group so that group participants can connect and share with each other with additional information and resources. We have seen over and over the depth of knowledge and experience you and your participants have … so we want you guys to be that open source of information and connect with each other!
GRACE GROUP PART 2
AND lastly, we are going to release a second workbook or a Part 2 Grace Group in a sense. So, when you finish the group there will be an optional guided curriculum that you can use with your group. This workbook will be designed on the research principles of "resilience" - the principles of why people have mental health recovery and what are those unique principles or ingredients of why people overcome.
So, this workbook will outline different resiliency principles with scriptures and guided questions for the group to have interesting dialogues and even creative ideas about how to apply it. It's a group model that you can repeat because being resilient is a skill that grows in the context of community; it's not a willpower strength that you either have or don't have.
We will also make this affordable and available in both hardcopy and digital format.
Overall, as you can see we're really trying to expand on the Grace Group experience, with a good revision of the workbook and adding helpful resources.
So, that's what we're busy working on and it's a lot of work!
Now, if you have any questions please feel free to email me directly (email@example.com), and I will do my best to answer your questions.
Thanks again for all that you do to serve others with His abundant grace upon grace!