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Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life

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Every honest Christian knows the need for change. But how to get there? How do you move forward from struggles both big and small? And how does our faith in God impact our everyday thoughts, feelings, and actions?

This six-session small group resource gives participants an opportunity to reflect on one particular area in their lives and then to learn more about how God changes us to become more like Jesus. All of us struggle to love God and those around us, but God has promised to keep working on us. And God always keeps his promises.

The change his gospel produces will make your life and your relationships truly beautiful. This self-contained resource with leader’s notes will encourage small group participants to understand and apply a biblical view of change to their lives and relationships.

Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life is based on the CCEF model of change from David Powlison’s course, Dynamics of Biblical Change. The easy-to-use six lesson format and included leader’s guide encourages participants toward an honest discussion of their own struggles while providing an understanding of how a relationship with Christ brings change. 

Topics addressed include understanding how we typically respond to trouble, how the cross of Christ brings comfort, help, and change, and how we can grow to be like Christ in the hardest circumstances.


Andrew Nicholls, MA, MB, BChir, is a former doctor and pastor who is now the director of pastoral care at Oak Hill Theological College, London. He is married to Hilary, and they have two children.

Helen Thorne, BSc (Hons), MA, is the director of training and mentoring at London City Mission. She is a trustee of Biblical Counselling UK and involved in pastoral care within her local church. She is an experienced speaker and author of Purity Is Possible5 Things to Pray for Your City, and Walking with Domestic Abuse Sufferers.

David Powlison (1949–2019) was a teacher, counselor, and the executive director of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He wrote many books and minibooks, including Speaking Truth in Love; Seeing with New EyesPower Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual WarfareThe Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context; Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness; Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken;and God’s Grace in Your Suffering. David was also the editor of The Journal of Biblical Counseling. 


"Real Change is an excellent short course for applying the truth of the Bible to the struggles of everyday life. Not only is it thoroughly biblical in its content, it is inescapably applied to the ordinary growth of the Christian life. If you want to be challenged to grow in godliness, it's a terrific resource."
Dan Wells, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Richmond, UK

"Do you have a tricky colleague at work? Are you worrying about Christmas with the family? Real Change enables you to connect the gospel of Jesus Christ to the real situations in your life. To see how your heart is responding to your situation, to learn what God is teaching you through your circumstances and to interact with him as he changes you."
Zena Schofield, Biblical Counselling Coordinator, Beeston Free Church; consultant psychiatrist, National Health Service

"Having taken CCEF's Dynamics of Biblical Change course as a student and having it taught several times as a Recitation Instructor for CCEF and for our church, I've long known that the material is tremendously beneficial for helping people know the God of the Bible better and understand how biblical change works. However, answering the question, 'How do we get this information more widely disseminated among the people at our church—especially through our small groups?' has been elusive to me. Real Change is just the resource I've been looking for! Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne have created an effective tool for introducing more people to the basics of how the process of being changed more and more into the image of Christ over time works in the life of a Christian. It's short in duration (six sessions), making it ideal for a Sunday school or small group curriculum. And yet it is faithful to communicate the essence of David Powlison's Dynamics course. I am eager to commend and utilize this new tool for creating more discipleship opportunities in our church."
Bryan Pickering, Pastor for Care & Counseling, Bethlehem Baptist Church Downtown Campus

"I am so excited by this book, which is so badly needed in our churches. Real Change provides an engaging, manageable, and thoroughly biblical exploration of spiritual growth. It helps us to do change as God intends—in community. It helps us apply the power of the gospel to the detail of our lives. It helps us help one another. I'm looking forward to making Real Change courses a regular part of the life of our church."
Steve Midgley, Executive Director, Biblical Counselling UK; senior minister, Christ Church, Cambridge

Additional Details

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0.35 LBS
6.00 (in)
9.00 (in)
0.24 (in)
Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne
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REL012120 RELIGION / Christian Living / Spiritual Growth
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12 Reviews

  • 5

    Be ready to be changed!

    Published by Theron St. John on 06 10 2019

    Barely into the new year, the struggle is real. The resolutions many people made have already failed or their commitment is waning. Then the mindset starts to set in that this year will be like every other year, and no change will take place. Yet, the reality is that while the struggle is real, the change can be too! It is this very truth found in Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life, a new work by Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne. With the well-known David Powlison serving as editor, Nicholls and Thorne use the basis of CCEF’s “Dynamic of Biblical Change” course to provide the reader with a 6-session course study guide on how to change for real. With the “Three Trees” diagram as a visual, the 6 sessions walk the reader through how God changes people, from understanding the influences and seeing their sinful hearts to looking to the cross in repentance and faith in Christ, Real Change trains the Christian in the right change, into the image of Christ, and encourages the context for biblical change. Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life by Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne is the resource to equip churches with the gospel truth that changes lives. It provides those who are wanting to change with the right motive and means to change. With a leader’s guide to help give some direction in each session, the study is designed to be used in groups, particularly in the local church context. The study guide dives into the reality of sin, the complexities of our struggle, and the clarity of the gospel. Additionally, Nicholls and Thorne are sensitive to the time and culture we live in, making it clear that if there are legal matters at play or if there is abuse going on, the respective authorities need to be alerted (Nicholls and Thorne 70, 72). Still, in their sensitivity to those issues, they do not shy away from the seriousness of addressing personal sin. That’s because real change only occurs when we admit we have a real problem. A real problem can only be addressed when believers are real with one another about their struggle and their need for the Savior. Real change needs the accountability of a real church. So, if you’re looking to find lasting and real change this year, resolve to get a copy of Real Change by Andrew Nicholls and Helen Thorne and go through it with others in your church. Be ready to be changed!

  • 4

    How to change for real with this six-week study guide

    Published by Teresa Kander on 06 10 2019

    This is a study guide for a six-week course on how to change for real, with God's help. The six sessions are titled CHANGE, HEAT, THORNS, CROSS, FRUIT, and REAL CHANGE. They discuss reflecting on the need for change, on ways your circumstances affect your heart, on ways which the desires of your heart drive your responses to the heat of life, on the ways Jesus' mercy impacts your past, present, and future, on the ways Jesus produces good fruit in your life, and how to persevere on a lifelong journey of change. The course is designed to be used by two people, or a small group divided into groups of two. It goes deep into the subjects and provides a lot of food for thought in each session. There are discussions in each session, as well as homework assignments for the time between sessions. I intend to recommend this study to both of the small groups I am part of, as I think it could be very beneficial.

  • 5

    An encouraging, instructing, resource that points people to Jesus.

    Published by David Hankins on 06 10 2019

    Do you ever feel like you're spinning your wheels, not making much progress in areas where you'd like to see change in your life? Often, change is difficult and slow going. It can be easy to get discouraged and abandon the effort. Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life seeks to come alongside believers as they pursue a personal change project, encouraging; instructing; and pointing people to Jesus. Based on the diagram from "The Dynamics of Biblical Change" course offered by the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, Real Change unpacks "The Three Trees Diagram" in six concise lessons, offering questions for reflection, study, and discussion, as well as, an included Leader's Guide. Users will find this guide Scripture-saturated consistent with the authors' stated goal. "This model is not intended to supersede Scripture but to summarize Scripture. Please use the model in such a way that it encourages people to run toward the Bible rather than seeing it as a stand-alone model" (53). For those who are familiar with the CCEF materials from which this derives it's inspiration, Real Change isn't merely a re-hashing of previously published material but takes more of a small group, Bible study approach as opposed to the lecture format of previous material. It's a welcome addition to the Three Trees "family" of resources and should prove edifying as those who utilize it examine their hearts and look to Christ, the Author of all real change.

  • 5

    Practical and Succinct

    Published by Charissa Crotts on 03 01 2019

    In this short workbook, the authors present a diagram that illustrates how change happens. The diagram shows two trees, one with fruit and one with thorns. Both trees receive the same heat, but they produce different results because of their different roots. In the same way, our hearts determine how we respond to circumstances and pressures of life. Each chapter highlights one element of the diagram and offers discussion questions and Scripture passages for readers to apply. Practical and succinct, Real Change is a good introduction to how sanctification looks in everyday life.

  • 5

    Very beneficial in a Small Group Setting!

    Published by Kristen on 02 21 2019

    The title of this new Bible study is what grabbed my attention: "Real Change: becoming more like Jesus in everyday life;" I feel like this is a continual goal of mine. This book is divided into 6 chapters, each one focusing on a broad concept which is then gone into detail and further broken down. Each chapter begins with a sentence or two stating the aim of the chapter. I like this as I know from the start what I am to get out of the reading. In the later chapters there is also a recap, a sentence reminding you of the previous chapters. There are readings, discussions, Bible verses to look up and read and questions to answer in relation to that and homework to work on before the next study. There is also a leader's guide included in the 2nd half of this book. The layout of this book is very straightforward and easy to follow and work through. I really liked how direct it was and it was a nice amount of material included for each section as it was not much that it was overwhelming, but it also wasn't so little that it seemed like not enough; it was a perfect amount for each section. I worked through this book on my own, and I feel like I benefited from this. However, I really think working through this book in a small group setting would be very beneficial as well and maybe I will in the future!

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