The story of 'Progress'

Updated: May 29, 2020

One of our recent Sunday Livestream children's talks was the story of John Bunyan, author of the much-loved classic Pilgrim's Progress.

Bunyan wrote Pilgrim's Progress whilst away from his loved ones under lockdown in prison - so right now, his thoughts seem more relevant than ever. Since that talk, several people have been inspired to dig out their old copy and start reading it again. If you've read it more times than you remember, (or are waiting to get it back from the person who got to the bookshelf before you!) here are some ideas for you...

A Pilgrim Path - John Bunyan's Journey

by Faith Cook

This is a simplified re-write of Cook's more detailed biography of Bunyan - 'Fearless Pilgrim'.

The story of John Bunyan resonates with the challenges many believers face today, both through the isolation of lockdown, and through many forms of persecution. Bunyan's story challenges us to think about our own situation. When freedom is threatened, even subtly, there are many temptations to compromise or deny the Truth.

Will I lean on the Lord to hold fast to the Truth and remain faithful under pressure?

John was an ordinary man, just a poor tinker, but was willing to do what he could and suffer loss to advance the gospel and the work of grace in the lives of believers.

Am I ready to deny myself and take up my cross in the same way?

By mediating on and applying God's Word to his experiences, through his writings, John has been a blessing to others for generations.

Do I mediate and apply God's Word to my everyday circumstances?

Am I using God's blessings to me to the benefit of others?

available here

Alternatively, and perhaps as an idea for home-schoolers, why not watch the Pilgrim's Progress Movie - which has kindly been made available to stream free online during the lockdown by Revelation Media.

Whilst it isn't Disney, the animation is excellent and the narrative sticks quite closely to the original story. Though it's animated, we enjoyed watching it as adults, and it was a good reminder of the main elements of Pilgrim's Progress.

It was a little scary in places so we would suggest watching it with (or perhaps before) smaller children. Also, it's worth noting that Christian's burden is never clearly identified as his own sin, so you may also want to talk about it afterwards to explain the allegory in what you've watched.

Here's the trailer.