The Gospel-Centered Life: Study Guide with Leader’s Notes

Robert H. Thune
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Lots of Christians talk about the gospel, but how many really understand and know how to apply it to their lives? In this life-changing training resource, Authors Robert H. Thune and Will Walker communicate both to the new Christian and the seasoned pastor the need for gospel renewal.

By training people in the implications of the good news, The Gospel-Centered Life: Study Guide with Leader’s Notes helps pastors, leaders, and Christians everywhere who long to see gospel transformation in themselves and in their churches.

This Christ-focused material is simple and easy for leaders to use while also encouraging thoughtful, rich discussion. The Gospel-Centered Life focuses on true heart change rather than behavioral modification, helping readers recognize relationship issues in practical ways.

Featuring nine self-contained lessons with discussion questions, articles, practical exercises, and comprehensive leader’s notes in the back, The Gospel-Centered Life helps participants understand how the gospel shapes every aspect of life. Readers will gain biblical insight on the temptation to pretend and perform, what heart idolatry and repentance looks like, dealing with conflict in relationships, and much more.


Bob Thune, MA (Reformed Theological Seminary), is the lead pastor of Coram Deo, a gospel-centered church he planted in 2005 in Omaha, Nebraska, after serving as a megachurch college pastor and a Campus Crusade staff member. He is the coauthor of The Gospel-Centered Life, The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens, and The Gospel-Centered Community, and he is the author of Gospel Eldership. Bob and his wife Leigh have four children.

Will Walker, M.A. (Covenant Seminary), is the lead pastor and church planter of Providence Church in Austin, Texas, a gospel-centered church plant sent out from Coram Deo, where Will was on staff. He is the coauthor of The Gospel-Centered Life, The Gospel-Centered Life for Teens, The Gospel-Centered Community, and Journey to the Cross: Devotions for Lent. Will and his wife Debbie have two children and are looking forward to planting more churches in Austin.

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"With simple and direct language, The Gospel-Centered Life: Study Guide with Leader’s Notes helps people understand and effectively apply the gospel to their lives, regardless of where they are in their spiritual journey. It's one of the few resources out there that explicitly challenges others to reach out with the gospel, even as it is growing deeper into their own lives. I highly recommend it!"
Steven L. Childers, DMin, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

"I've used The Gospel-Centered Life in two different church contexts—one an established church in a Sunday school setting, the other in a smaller, re-start church context in our small groups. The curriculum has a rare combination of being gloriously simple for leaders to use and also having thoughtful and probing content. GCL starts the right conversations, pressing people to push past surface behaviors to the internal world that Jesus so valued. In a culture (and a church) full of people who are skimming through life, GCL presses you to pay attention to the conversations in your head and the motives in your hearts, and to bring all of it under the lordship of Christ and into contact with the power of the gospel. It is easy to use and strikes the rare blend of being applicable and accessible to both the seasoned believer as well as the person considering faith for the first time. We found doing it in all our small groups created a church-wide conversation that had real impact in terms of people’s discipleship and understanding of how great the gospel truly is."
Alex Kirk, Lead Pastor, Chatham Community Church, Chapel Hill, NC

"As we seek to make disciples of Jesus, I am continually looking for resources which rightly emphasize true heart-change over mere behavioral-modification. The Gospel-Centered Life is one of the most effective tools we are using in that regard."
Brian McCurry, Small Groups Pastor, Fellowship Memphis, Memphis, TN

"We have used The Gospel-Centered Life on our Summer Projects, in our discipleship groups on campus, in our small groups at church, and personally among our staff. It has proven to be a very effective way to both ground new believers in an understanding of the richness of the gospel as well as highlight its implications in their lives. In short, it's a home run."
Mike Jackson, Regional Director, Campus Outreach, Central Illinois

"Working with young people brings many unique challenges and adventures that can only be truly impacted by the gospel of Christ. The Gospel-Centered Life has helped draw these issues out of our relationships in surprisingly practical ways by going deep quickly enough to grip our affections, yet broad enough to connect with all types of students."
Kenny Hayes, Campus Outreach Director, Bradley University, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois.

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19 Reviews

  • 5
    Five Stars

    Posted by Rebecca Smotherman on 12 08 2016

    As described

  • 5
    Helpful Study

    Posted by Jean on 09 27 2016

    Our group of nine ladies has been thoroughly enjoying how much we have learned through this book. We would recommend it to others. We were pleased to have it arrive as quickly as it did.

  • 5
    Excellent study.

    Posted by Anonymous on 07 21 2016

    Excellent study.

  • 5
    One of the best books for a Discipleship group to help a group…

    Posted by J. Ford on 07 14 2016

    One of the best books for a Discipleship group to help a group understand the gospel. Excellent projects after each chapter.

  • 5
    Perfect for both teaching and learning

    Posted by Dani W on 05 29 2015

    I first went through this book with my community group at church but have since then used it several times within discipleship with different high school leaders in training them how to lead discipleship. The lessons may seem super simple but if we aren't always going back to the gospel then we aren't truly following Christ.

  • 5
    Solid study of the Christian life and excellent even for seekers

    Posted by Wanger on 05 03 2015

    Solid study of the Christian life and excellent even for seekers

  • 5
    Great Workbook

    Posted by Joey Parker on 10 12 2014

    The Gospel-Centered Life - Leader's Guide by Robert Thune and Will Walker is a study guide from New Growth Press and Serge to help believers grow in their understanding of their ever present need of the gospel. The intent of the Gospel-Centered Life is to "help you understand how the gospel shapes every aspect of life. Developed by experienced church-planting pastors, the material is designed to promote transformational conversations among small groups of mature Christians, new Christians, and non-Christians. Each lesson is self-contained, featuring clear teaching from Scripture and requires no extra work outside the group setting." The goal of this book is to "deepen your grasp of the gospel as you see your need for continual renewal, grow as you experience transformation from the inside out and be challenged to develop authentic relationships as the gospel moves you to love and serve others." These nine lessons cover areas like: the gospel, a lack of understanding of what Christ has done that leads to lawlessness, a lack of understanding for what Christ has done that leads to legalism, believing the gospel, the relationship between law & gospel, biblical repentance, idolatry, being on mission, what is forgiveness and how to handle conflict. Each lesson begins with a section titled Big Idea that serves as the thesis statement for the lesson. The Article (lesson) then covers around 4-6 pages that expounds on the Big Idea. The lesson then closes with an Exercise section that brings out the practical application. I found these lessons to be very practical and thought provoking. They are set up very well for small group studies. The Leader's Guide provides a lot of very helpful additional detail for the leader to be able to successfully facilitate this study. Each lesson contains a lesson outline that gives the leader a simple lesson plan including time frame suggestions for each section. The outline is then expounded upon giving the leader a helpful guide on how to setup the lesson, what Bible passages to read, what questions to ask and how to transition from the Big Idea to the Article to the Discussion to the Exercise to the Wrap-Up. The guide really look to be an incredibly helpful tool, especially for busy readers. The authors have already completed the work of what to read, ask and how to tie it all together for the leader. Since these questions are not in the Participant's Guide it also gives the leader the freedom to adapt the lesson how he sees fit. Overall I found this to be one of the more simple as well as helpful leader's guides that I have come across. Very well done! The Gospel Centered Life workbook is set up in such a way that no preparatory work is needed before meeting. The Article and Exercises are intended to spur on thought and discussion. The topics are all covered with the end goal of making much of Christ and the gospel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to using it in the future.

  • 5
    Easy to use

    Posted by Plodding on 08 18 2014

    Christ-centered. Doctrinally sound. Easy to use.

  • 5

    Posted by Corey J. Smith on 06 28 2014

    Fantastic study and helpful leaders guide. I highly recommend it!!!

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