Close Encounters (Starter Pack)

Close Encounters (Starter Pack)

People Jesus helped from the New Testament

from 9 reviews

In Close Encounters you'll discover who Jesus is by looking at the stories of five people who met him.

Part of the Jesus and You series.

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Jesus had many close encounters with ordinary people, turning around their lives in totally unexpected ways. Close Encounters helps us discover for ourselves who Jesus is by looking at the stories of five people who met him.

This straightforward, four-session course will bring the teaching of Jesus to a broad range of people, including those who normally have difficulty accessing the Christian message.

  • No previous Bible knowledge is assumed.
  • Each session is based on a modern, easy-to-understand translation of the Bible.
  • Using the down-to-earth skills of two experienced Christian communicators - Pete Woodcock and Lizzy Smallwood - the DVD presentations explain and apply these stories of Jesus in a colourful and memorable way.
  • A real-life story at the end of each session shows how Jesus still changes lives today.

This Starter Pack contains all you will need for running every session. You receive one DVD and three Handbooks. These resources will help you unpack some heart-warming true stories about Jesus, and introduce ordinary people to who Jesus is, why he came, and the difference he can make in our lives.

To help with promoting your course, we now have posters and invitations available for you to download. See the 'Extras' section on the top left-hand side of the page.

Product details


  • Welcome to Close Encounters
    1. The man who came through the roof (Luke 5 v 17-26)
    2. The man silenced by a demon (Luke 11 v 14-26)
    3. The sick woman and the dying girl (Mark 5 v 21-43)
    4. The blind beggar (Mark 10 v 32-52)
    Gripping real life stories


Contributors Pete Woodcock, Anne Woodcock
ISBN 9781908317728
Format Bundle
Dimensions 148mm x 210mm
Weight 0.32 kg
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company
Customer reviews

21 Feb 2023


(Review written for 'Close Encounters DVD')

This is similar in format to the other 4 sessions Lizzie & Pete do (The King & I, Tales of the Unexpected)
They're brilliant
I use them in our church, and always find them really helpful for people.

If The Good Book Co or Pete & Lizzie ever read this, all I'd ask is they keep doing more! They are such helpful ways of teaching people about Jesus, and how to read the Bible for themselves.

19 Nov 2019

“Excellent versatile Material”

(Review written for 'Close Encounters DVD')

Excellent clear evangelistic DVD and handbooks. We have used this course in a large gathering of 40+ people in a community space and with two people in their homes. It works in any setting that a DVD can be played. I particularly love the way you read through the passage a number of times in each study. In this way people do the hard work of thinking through a passage and then can clearly see the points being made in the DVD.
This material has been well received by those who are more mature in their faith and those who have little or no background in the bible. I will continue to use this material and hope that more titles become available.

29 Jun 2014

“Simple but powerful in explaining the truth about Jesus”

(Review written for 'Jesus and You Pack')

Bought this on spec to use in our summer bible study group. It worked really well with our men's group and also with one of our cross cultural ladies' groups.
The material is uncomplicated but very powerful. The study sheets are workable and lead the group into the detail of the story and the videos work really well to highlight the issues. Surprisingly found that the studies stayed with me and influenced my thinking. These studies are a great way of getting groups who have just started on their way with leaning about Jesus to get into important details. People who have been walking with Jesus for a long time will also be challenged to re-examine what Jesus says about a lot of our every day lifestyle choices.

27 Feb 2014

“Goldilocks porridge and Cinderella's slipper - it's just right”

This has proved really useful for us. Good clear presentation style; great to h ave a quiz to make sure we have read the passage; questions that really push to read what the verse says (and again, see what it says!); good points of strong personal challenge, but sensibly offered for personal reflection not open discussion. I would like everyone in our home groups to go through these to learn to read what the passage says. A good pitch for unbelievers; fringe believers; wobbly Christians. One of our group likes it - they get lost in sermons or think of a question that they then forget by the end. This has lots of pauses - don't get lost and can ask the questions. Final testimonies lend 'real-life application'. Four weeks is an easy sell - not high commitment.

To improve:
1. Sometimes the final section adds unnecessary complexity with new material.
2. Bible texts stuck at the back of the book meant confusing flipping back and forth. (This is remedied in the Close Encounters course with a pull out section.)

How we are using it:
Running one a term as a follow-on from an invitation event. Run concurrently with our Sunday morning church (we've kicked the youth group out of the room into the vicarage!). Then people come to church - they've not done a course on a Monday night and then get asked to switch to another day - they meet the church over coffee afterwards and also means we can use church creche provision. We are pushed for time, but get lots from it. Considering running a fifth week on next term to review; to cover left over questions and watch a couple of testimonies that we missed through lack of time.

4 Nov 2013

“Really useful resource”

Purchased to kick-start a new afternoon home-group, Close Encounters is proving really helpful: there's no dumbing-down here! Fresh perspectives for mature Christians, with good questions for discussion, as well as being user-friendly and helpful for new disciples and seekers, mean that the materials are flexible for mixed ages and stages. Just a few comments about the presentation: it's a great idea to be able to choose presenters, it helps to ring the changes during a session. One of our members has hearing problems and the zooming in and out on faces is distracting when lip-reading (subtitles would be helpful). The fixed-camera means that sometimes the presenter's face is to one side of the screen - or even cut in half! I appreciate that the minimalist background focusses attention on what is being said, but it is a bit bare - especially when the presenter's face is to one side. A change of setting might be helpful.
However, all-in-all, thumbs up to Close Encounters! I think we may need some extra handbooks and I'm sure we'll buy the other two courses. Many thanks to the Jesus and you production team. Any more planned?

23 Oct 2013

“well prepared”

(Review written for 'Close Encounters DVD')

Only used half of the first session so far (! - meatier than expected), but found the questions excellent for provoking thought and discussion, even amongst mature Christians. This series is certainly not a 'soft option' but has been well researched. The opening summary of the passage highlighted fresh perspectives, helping us to see a familiar passage in a new light. Questions encouraged personal application of the teaching. The idea of being able to choose presenters is inspired as this could affect the way material is received - well worth all the extra production time this must have taken. Many thanks to Pete, Anne and TGBC!

29 Aug 2012

“Great for slow readers”

Although only seen session 1 (out of 4) so far, the course seems to be faithful yet well applied, and simple but vivid. Short videos interspersed with times of reflection on one Gospel passage, and thankfully the content is nowhere near as thick and fast as other more established evangelistic courses, making it ideal for seekers with low academic ability. For that reason alone, it's worth a try!

29 Aug 2012


I've so far only managed to use session 1 of this course, but it seems to be soundly evangelical, and superb for reaching folks with a low academic ability who are starting from zero knowledge of the gospel. Ignoring the annoying introduction (which you can skip) and various superfluous aspects of the presentation, what really sets it apart is how ideal it is for those with a slow reading speed / short attention span. The 3 videos per session are only about 5mins each, and the content is nowhere near as thick and fast as other more established evangelistic courses. The content is vivid yet unadorned, and interactive yet carefully applied. Worth a look, imho.

20 Apr 2012

“watched clip”

May be great but that clicking noise puts me off every time you bounce back and forth from one person to the other...would drive me mad watching that for very long and would not be able to show it to a group I didnt know as it would I am sure annoy others too. sorry

[TGBC feedback: the 'clicking' noise only applies to the trailer and is not found in the actual session videos]

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