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A probing but clearly written book, Calendar will find an appreciative audience beyond academia and clergy to the laity of the church: choirs and their directors, worship planners, adult study groups, and others who want to understand better the church's times of preparation and celebration. Calendar centers largely on theological meaning and parish practice in relation to liturgical time. Deliberately, almost no attention is given to detailed historical development, much of which is exceedingly complex in its origins and technical in its detail. An appendix entitled "Forgetting What You Were Always Taught (Or, This Book in a Nutshell)" aptly describes the radical reordering that Stookey believes occurs when our understanding of time and the story of Jesus takes its bearings from the Incarnation. So, just as the Christian week begins with Sunday, the day of Resurrection, Stookey follows the Christian year beginning with the season of Easter, and only then Lent; Christmas, then Advent. Illuminating discussions of Ordinary and Extraordinary Time, and the Sanctoral Cycle follow.
DISCIPLE: REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE is part of the four-phase DISCIPLE program and is prepared for those who have completed BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY. The driving idea in this study is the connection between memory and identity as the people of God. The word You in the title is meant to be heard both in its singular form (the individual) and its plural form (the community). We are a community of memory. Participants in this thirty - two week study will read the major and minor Old Testament prophets, with the exception of Daniel, and will read the thirteen Letters traditionally attributed to Paul. To establish the historical context in which the prophets spoke for God, daily reading assignments draw also on the books of Deuteronomy through Chronicles. Several themes weave their way through the study - the call to remember; the call to repentance; the need for renewed vision; and the place of community. The prophets and Paul are continually calling hearers and readers back to their God and to a sense of who they are as a people "set apart". Training for Disciple Studies is also highly recommended. Learn more about training here. Commitment and Time Involved 32 week study Three and one-half to four hours of independent study each week (40 minutes daily for leaders and 30 minutes daily for group members) in preparation for weekly group meetings. Attendance at weekly 2.5 hour meetings Disciple: Remember Who You Are Study Manual The study manual combines direction and information enabling study of the text - the Bible. Two titles in the commentary section of the manual reflect ideas central to the prophets and Paul's letters. "The Word of the Lord" picks up a familiar phrase from the prophets - a clear statement of their calling: The spoke (and speak) for God. Each member of the group needs a study manual and a Bible. The Bible is the text for the study and the study manual will guide group members in their study and preparation for the weekly group session. The study manual also includes suggestions for individual research and study-related activities. Space is provided for taking notes while reading Scripture, for recording thoughts and questions arising out of daily study, and for notes during the weekly group session. The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principle Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story. We recommend The New Interpreter's Study Bible. More Questions? Visit the Disciple site for more information.
Study Manual content illuminates some aspect of the Jesus in the Gospels each week and connects Scripture to daily life and Jesus' call to discipleship. The overarching aim is to deepen discipleship through better understanding of the biblical texts and their message. The study helps group members understand that Jesus is rooted in Judaism and the Scriptures of Judaism and that Christianity and the New Testament are rooted in the Scriptures of Judaism--our Old Testament. The Study Manual guides daily study and preparation for the weekly group meeting. The main elements in the format are designated by scriptural phrases: "They have no wine" (John 2:3) is a brief statement about the human condition and alerts the reader to some aspect of daily life that Scripture can shed light on. "Beginning with Moses and all the prophets" (Luke 24:27) is a way of referring to Scripture as a whole and signals the fact that we can understand Jesus in the Gospels better by understanding the Old Testament better. "Do you want to become his disciples, too?" (John 9:27, New International Version) is designed to stimulate thoughtful reflection so readers can come to their own conclusions about what their own discipleship calls for. Accompanying each day's Scripture reading assignments are suggestions of things to look for that take the reader deeper into Scripture. As readers become aware of detail in Scripture, they might ask themselves repeatedly, What am I to make of this? The study manual provides space for writing notes on insights, observations, and questions related to the Scripture, and for putting into words personal perceptions of Jesus from the week's Scripture.
DISCIPLE is a program of disciplined Bible study aimed at developing strong Christian leaders. The study gives the Old and New Testaments equal time, emphasizing the wholeness of the Bible as a revelation of God. DISCIPLE draws upon the work of scholars, the personal Bible reading and study of the participant, and dynamic group discussion to aid understanding of the Bible. The first study in the program is DISCIPLE: BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY, a thirty-four week overview of the entire Bible. Training for Disciple Studies is also highly recommended. Learn more about training here. Commitment and Time Involved Three and one-half to four hours of independent study each week (40 minutes daily for leaders and 30 minutes daily for group members) in preparation for weekly group meetings. Attendance at weekly 2.5 hour meetings. Study Manual Each member of the group needs a study manual and a Bible. The Bible is the text for the study and the study manual will guide group members in their study and preparation for the weekly group session. The study manual also includes suggestions for individual research and study-related activities. Space is provided for taking notes while reading Scripture, for recording thoughts and questions arising out of daily study, and for notes during the weekly group session. The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principle Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story. We recommend the New Interpreter's Study Bible. More Questions? Visit Disciple site for more information.
DISCIPLE: UNDER THE TREE OF LIFE, the final study in the four-phase DISCIPLE program and is prepared for those who have completed BECOMING DISCIPLES THROUGH BIBLE STUDY. The study concentrates on the Writings (Old Testament books not in the Torah or the Prophets), the Gospel of John, and Revelation. Emphasis on the Psalms as Israel's hymnbook and prayer book leads natural to an emphasis on worship in the study. Present through the entire study is the sense of living toward completion - toward the climax of the message and the promise, extravagantly pictured in the Revelation. The image of the tree and the color gold emphasize the prod and promise in the Scriptures for DISCIPLE: UNDER THE TREE OF LIFE. The word under in the title is meant to convey invitation, welcome, sheltering, security, and rest - home at last. Training for Disciple Studies is also highly recommended. Learn more about training here. Commitment and Time Involved 32 week study three and one-half to four hours of independent study each week (40 minutes daily for leaders and 30 minutes daily for group members) in preparation for weekly group meetings. Attendance at weekly 2.5 hour meetings. Study Manual Participants in Under the Tree of Life will recognize the familiar rhythm and requirements of daily Scripture reading and note taking in preparation for the discussion in the weekly group meeting. The study manual guides daily study of the biblical text and calls for written responses that become grist for discussion in the weekly group meeting. Two new elements in the study manual format represent special emphases in this study - the psalm of the week and the radical disciple. The psalm of the week will lead people into a deeper life of prayer using psalms as a guide. It is to be prayed aloud both daily and weekly in the study group session. Study manual suggestions on experiencing the psalm of the week pay attention to feelings as well as words. The radical disciple focuses on thoughts or actions relevant to the weekly theme. Whether praying or taking steps toward radical discipleship, participants know they are not alone - the community is there. Each member of the group needs a study manual and a Bible. The Bible is the text for the study and the study manual will guide group members in their study and preparation for the weekly group session. The study manual also includes suggestions for individual research and study-related activities. Space is provided for taking notes while reading Scripture, for recording thoughts and questions arising out of daily study, and for notes during the weekly group session. The titles of the sessions along with theme words and theme verses, and major persons, events, and topics will set the sequence of the biblical story in the minds of the participants. The principle Scripture for each session follows the chronological movement of the biblical story. We recommended The New Interpreter's Study Bible. More Questions? Visit the Disciple site for more information
The study manual guides daily reading in Scripture and in the Book of Readings. It encourages daily prayer while providing space for taking notes for use in weekly group discussion. Each lesson includes an explanation and commentary on the doctrines being studied, raises questions for reader reflection and written response, and suggests ideas for additional reading and study. The Christian Believer program focuses on classical teachings of the Christian faith--presenting, explaining, and interpreting them in a way that participants can understand, through the use of words, symbols, and hymns. Over a 30-week period, participants will examine the writings of ancient and modern Christian commentators and view video presentations by leading Bible scholars.
Worship Feast Advent is the next in the popular Worship Feast line. Worship Feast Advent takes youth groups from 1st Sunday of Advent through Epiphany, experiential worship outlines. The book also contains 7 worship openers for Sunday school classes and other settings. To deepen the Advent & Christmas journey even more, Worship Feast Advent includes 7 original Advent Christmas-themed worship songs on audio CD and printed lyrics with chords. Worship Feast Advent is a resource for youth groups and postmodern worship communities. Through these multi-sensory worship and prayer experiences, young people will sing together, wait together, pray together, and together prepare room in their hearts for the coming of the Christ Child. The project includes a prayer station experience around the lighting of the Advent candles and an audio CD of original Advent and Christmas-themed worship songs for groups to sing together.
Leading a small group on prayer can be daunting. After all, it's not easy to be an expert on the subject. When You Pray as a Small Groupis a resource that will help leaders guide their groups through developing a deeper prayer life. Used in conjunction with Rueben P. Job's When You Pray, leaders are provided with prayer activity ideas, example sessions, and five session templates for groups with different needs and interests: Discussion-based groups Activity-based groups Introspective groups Arts-focused groups Habit Breaker groups Through this study, not only will your group be encouraged as a whole, each individual's prayer life will be enriched and strengthened.
In today's world, families lead busy lives, with barely a minute to spare for one another. In all the juggling of schedules, one thing should remain constant - praying together. Based on the prayer guide When You Pray by Rueben P. Job, this weekly devotional guide is designed to bring your family together as you explore Scripture, share and listen to each other, and pray. Each week, you and your children will begin to develop a practice of prayer that will lead to a lifelong journey with God.
Part of the Protestant Pulpit Exchange, this book contains popular preaching material on 10 of Jesus' parables as found in the Gospel of Matthew. Trotter says that the single most important assumption for contemporary preaching on the parables is that parables are metaphors--a means to see something we do not yet have the eyes to see. Parables ought to do for us what they did for those who first heard them.
Welcome Speeches for Today can be used by laypeople asked to make welcome speeches for a variety of situations and events in the church. Sample speeches and prayers are included that can be used as a prototype for creating a personal welcome speech.
Connecting the biblical text with contemporary ethos, 'Walking on Water' contains fourteen sermons based on the miracles of Jesus.
During difficult economic times, it's tough not to focus on getting by with less and waiting for the next bit of bad news. But, as Christians, how do we to respond to what's happening on Wall Street? In Upside Living in a Downside Economy, pastor and author Mike Slaughter offers insight into seeking God's perspective in our daily money concerns. With clarity and a servant's heart, Slaughter addresses vital topics such as financial and spiritual investments, personal motivation and God's will, money and marriage, and determining priorities. Written for individual and small-group study, Upside Living in a Downside Economy will guide participants in strengthening their spiritual connection while making economic corrections and, most importantly, responding according to God's plan. Click here to view a clip of Mike Slaughter!
A simple tilt can turn something ordinary and commonplace, something well understood and familiar, into a powerful and unalterably different force. Any leader can provide the tools and instruction to enable someone to serve. Classes will be taught and church programs will be staffed, but boredom and burnout are likely and turnover is high. With a few small changes, however, you can be a leader who inspires people to serve boldly and lead others to passionate ministry as well. This subtle shift from being a leader who equips people for ministry tasks to a leader who empowers people to become ministers themselves can have untold impact on the church and the wider community. Each chapter looks at a leadership basic from a new angle, offering the tilt needed to lead others into true discipleship.With practical tools and exercises throughout the book, the reader is challenged to examine those things that keep us from releasing control and consequently prevent us from empowering others. Readers will rediscover hope and energy for their own ministry as they lead others to active and inspiring ministry as well.
The Wesley Study Bible gives you a fresh way to hear God's voice, share in God's grace, and become more like Jesus Christ through study of the scriptures. Journey with popular author, Maxie Dunnam, as he guides you with steps to read through the Bible in one year. These fifty-two devotions refer to the Life Application Topics in the Wesley Study Bible, so that you will grow as a more faithful disciple. These heart warming stories and prayers will form you as a follower of Jesus--whose daily life is marked by holy love and faithful living. Each devotion includes scripture references, thoughtful stories, a prayer, and reflection questions that are suitable for private meditation or group settings. This book will be your trusted companion to the Wesley Study Bible as you grow to love God with a warmed heart and serve God with active hands.
With wedding plans well underway, Lois Barker plots to gracefully get rid of her groom's catfish collection-stuffed, ceramic, woven. Her husband-to-be, Chris, on the other hand, has decided to get rid of something else: his homestead, which he gives to a needy Mexican family at church.Life is full of possibilities, and the community of Green is tickled pink that their newspaper owner is settling down with one of their own.However, the beloved small-town journalist is about to be blown away-by tragedy and by the grace that enfolds her in her third year in Green, Louisiana.
Dizzying changes have taken place in American religious life in the last half century. Yet in spite of that fact, taking a snapshot of a "typical" Christian church in America would reveal a surprising number of small-to-mid-sized congregations, rooted in a local neighborhood or community, tied to a specific denomination, where most of the members know each others' names, and hence are blessed (and cursed) with being the church together. In this clear-eyed, humorous appraisal, Jason Byassee contends that the "church around the corner" occupies a particular place in the divine economy, that it is especially capable of forming us in the virtues, perspectives, and habits that make up the Christian life. Not that he romanticizes these churches, however. Having been a rural, small membership church pastor, Byassee knows too well the particular vices and temptations to which they are subject. But he also knows the particular graces they've been given, graces like the "prayer ladies," those pillars of the congregation who, "when one told you she was praying for you it meant something. When one hugged you, you remembered all week. When one cooked for you the casserole tasted like love. And when you were around them you were in the presence of Jesus." Anyone who serves, or belongs to, a "church around the corner" will find their ministry strengthened by this enlivening, inspiring book.
Provides ready-to-use worship and preaching resources for themes related to Stewardship. Understanding the concept of stewardship in a broader context as management of our God-given gifts, this book provides material for twenty-four services including: suggested liturgies, prayers, Scripture passages, and sermon briefs to help pastors minister more effectively. Contents include: 1. Make Your Money Work for You (Luke 16:1-13) 2. Owning Up to Our Greatest Obligations: Death and Taxes (Matthew 22:15-22) 3. Make a Difference: Be the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31a) 4. Who Needs Bigger Barns? (Luke 12:13-21) 5. Playing the Price is Right (Luke 12:49-56) 6. Counting the Cost Means Quality not Quantity (Luke 14:25-33) 7. Why God Doesn't Want Your Money (Isaiah 1:10-18) 8. What God Deserves (Matthew 22:15-22) 9. Risking to Make the Right Investment (Matthew 25:14-30) 10. The Miracle of Immortal Giving (I Cor 15:35:38, 42-50) 11. Give Me Your Money or Your Life! (Luke 12:13-21) 12. Hold Nothing Back (2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18) 13. Who Do You Really Want to Be? (Matthew 21:33-46) 14. Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (2 Corinthians 8:7-15) 15. God, You've Got to be Kidding (Mark 10:17-31) 16. But It's Not What I Signed Up For! (Luke 14:25-33) 17. Give Me More than Possessions (Luke 16:19-31) 18. Yes, Sometimes the Directions Do Help (Mark 10:17-31) 19. Getting What We Pay For...or Not (Romans 6:12-23) 20. Life is Unfair? (Matthew 20:1-16) 21. Joy Fully Serving (Mark 9:30-37) 22. There is Nothing Wrong with Being Shrewd for God's Kingdom (Luke 16:1-13) 23. Be Empowered and Gifted (1 Corinthians 12:3b-13) 24. Jesus was no Fool (Matthew 22:15-22)
What would it take for you to make a radical change in the way you earn, save, and spend your money? On a deeper level, what would be required for us to experience a fundamental shift in the relationship between our faith and our finances? - From the Introduction Faith and finances--these two areas of our lives sometimes seem poles apart. And yet, shouldn't our finances be shaped by our faith? Guided by the Bible and the timeless wisdom of John Wesley, popular author James A. Harnish challenges Christians to face the issue of money head-on, with God's help. Ideal for individual or group use, this book's contents include: When Crisis Forces Change Gain All You Can: A New Opportunity Save All You Can: The New Frugality Give All You Can: A New Generosity
Note: This is the eBook version, and does not contain the DVD nor the DVD contents that the print version contains. If you preach, you are looking for ways to create worship experiences that keep people on the edge of their seats, straining to hear every word. Sermon Seeds helps pastors who want to approach the job of preaching more creatively by suggesting out-of-the-box surprises that bring about deeper understanding of God's message. Creative, multifaceted sermons can happen without extensive technology, money, or staff. Sermon Seeds stirs creative juices by providing ideas that can easily be adapted for use in a variety of settings. Contains forty creative sermon starters, each complete with the Scripture passage, message theme and elements, background information, creative avenue, and suggested ending. Themes include: Passing the Mantle, The Bread-Maker God--Holy Communion, and Grace: Breaking Through the Barriers.
These sermons on "the fruit of the Spirit" are developed out of Galatians 5: 22-23. This theme is often selected by pastors who preach because it is an excellent vehicle into understanding the characteristics of personal integrity at home and on the job.
Planning a worship service is far more than just choosing songs and seasonal images. Helping people to genuinely worship God requires creating an experience through which people can enter into the presence of the divine. Discover strategic insights for creating and integrating powerful God-experiences into your own setting. Discover how a real-life worship team interacts, champions creativity and creates powerful God-experiences, one week at a time. This descriptive book offers practical direction for building and leading teams, empowering creative ideas, and guidance for handling conflict and overcoming serious obstacles.
Radical Renovation: Living the Cross-Shaped LifeA Lenten Study for AdultsJames A. HarnishRadical Renovation is a powerful image of what can happen in our lives during the season of Lent. Just as a house can be rebuilt after it has fallen into disrepair or devastation, author James A. Harnish says, so God can enter in to our brokenness and completely rebuild our lives, so that we can become the kind of people in whom the living Christ can take up residence, and through whom the loving purpose of God can become a tangible reality in this world. As the great cathedrals were built in the shape of a cross, the author tells us, the traditional Lenten disciplines invite us to allow the Spirit of God to reshape the way we think, act, and live into the likeness of Jesus on his way to the cross. This seven-session study, appropriate for both group and individual use, will provide one lesson for each week in Lent. Each lesson includes a Scripture reference, a brief reflection, questions for discussion or reflection, a brief prayer, and a focus for the coming week. JAMES A. HARNISH is senior pastor of Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida. He is the author of Journey to the Center of the Faith: An Explorer's Guide to Christian Living; Passion, Power & Praise: A Model for Men's Spirituality from the Life of David; and You Only Have to Die: Leading Your Congregation to New Life, and he served as a contributor to both 365 Meditations for Young Adults and 365 Meditations for Men.Chapter titles and key Scripture verses:"Discipleship: Living the Cross-Shaped Life" Mark 8:27-38"Servanthood: A Peculiar Way to Greatness" Mark 9:33-37; 10:35-45"Surrender: Nothing Short of Everything" Mark 10:17-34"Forgiveness: Rebuilding Damaged Relationships" Mark 11:25-26; Luke 23:32-34 "Love: The Radical Center" Mark 12:28-34"Sacrifice: It's Nothing if It Costs Nothing" Mark 14:1-19"Hope: He Goes Before You!" Mark 16:1-8
In a brief introductory chapter, the author addresses the question of why we need to confess our sins, and offers three reflections in response: Sin as Pride, Sin as Violation of Boundaries, Sin and the Possibility of Forgiveness. The book includes seventy prayers of confession and words of assurance, with accompanying liturgies and music suggestions (Scripture and hymn indexes included!). The prayers are offered in three sections, confession and pardon related to: The Human Condition, The Holy Scriptures, The Liturgical Year. The Just in Time! Series offers brief, practical resources of immediate help for pastors at an affordable price.
Pray in This Way: Line by line imaginative, literary and social-commentary sermons on the Our Father. Each chapter contains framed call-outs in lieu of subheads and as a means to providing customers with key ideas that lead to the construction of their own sermons.