Small Group Studies from Saddleback

May 29, 2010

Some of the most popular, and most effective, small group studies have come from Saddleback Church. This month and next month we will be sharing them with you – click HERE to go directly to Saddleback’s website and order. Enjoy!

The Purpose Driven Life.

Imagine the life change that could come from aligning your weekend messages with small group studies. Combine the Purpose Driven Life sermon series with this small group study and personal reading of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren to help you focus your congregation on the foundational principles of living your life based on God’s design.

The Purpose Driven Life is available as:

  • a book
  • a small group study
  • a sermon series

Join pastor and author Rick Warren for a chapter-by chapter study of The Purpose Driven® Life. The official Purpose Driven Life Small Group Series serves as an excellent tool for those who haven’t read the book. This forty-week series is designed to lead a small group through one chapter of the book each week in a 15-minute video lesson with Rick Warren. A small group study guide for each of the six series helps your group internalize God’s five purposes through a time of reflection and application.

This curriculum is video-based. Each small group will need one DVD (which provides the teaching), and one study guide for each participant. One copy of the book, The Purpose Driven Life, is also recommended for each participant.

The Purpose Driven Life Small Group Study Series. Join pastor and author Rick Warren for a chapter-by chapter study of The Purpose Driven® Life. The official Purpose Driven Life Small Group Series serves as an excellent tool for those who haven’t read the book. This forty-week series is designed to lead a small group through one chapter of the book each week in a 15-minute video lesson with Rick Warren. A small group study guide for each of the six series helps your group internalize God’s five purposes through a time of reflection and application.

This curriculum is video-based. Each small group will need one DVD (which provides the teaching), and one study guide for each participant. One copy of the book, The Purpose Driven Life, is also recommended for each participant.

40 Days of Community – Better Together.

Imagine the life change that could come from aligning your weekend messages with small group studies. Combine the Better Together sermon series with this small group study and personal reading of the Better Together devotional to help you focus your congregation on rewards of living out God’s purpose of fellowship.

Better Together is available as:

  • a devotional book
  • a small group study
  • a sermon series

God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions. These six sessions, taught by Rick Warren, help us deal with the realities of stress, failure, crisis, loneliness, and change. The study takes you inside the Scriptures to see what they reveal about twelve of the most pressing questions people ask. They are questions you yourself either have asked or most likely will ask.

Wide Angle. In this six-week study, Rick Warren and Chuck Colson examine worldviews as they relate to the most important questions of our day. This is one of the most powerful and timely topics you can bring to your church. Combine a powerful weekend sermon series with the reading of a best-selling Colson book, then give people a place to discuss it through the gripping video-based small group study featuring dialogues between Chuck Colson and Rick Warren where they explore such key issues as truth, tolerance, terrorism, reconciliation, and the purpose of life.

Dangerous Surrender. In three sessions, Bible teacher, Kay Warren, challenges us to become dangerously surrendered, to expose evil, and to do good in Jesus’ name. Kay Warren had a plan. Together with her husband, Rick Warren, author of the megaseller The Purpose Driven Life, she planned that after her kids were grown, she’d travel the world, teaching and encouraging couples in ministry. It was a good plan. But it wasn’t what God had in mind for her.

In a startling wake-up call, Kay discovered the shocking realities of the AIDS pandemic in Africa while reading a magazine. She cried out to God, “Why are you bothering me with this? There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just an ordinary person. What could one person do about such a gigantic problem?” That began the struggle—first to avoid God’s call and then to surrender herself to God.

Giving in to God isn’t easy. It’s not for cowards. It’s the boldest, riskiest step you’ll ever take. This dangerous surrender can bring both joy and pain, both heartache and ecstasy, but it enables you to know God in a far deeper way than ever before. A rare book by an uncommon woman, Dangerous Surrender will shake, challenge, and stretch you to become more than you’ve ever imagined. Your world is waiting.

I Promise. Taught by Dr. Gary Smalley, this six-week study will help you to develop a marriage where you both have the freedom to be open and secure without fear of being criticized, blamed, or judged by each other. Based on 5 years of research by Drs. Gary and Greg Smalley, this small group study will help you to develop a marriage where you both have the freedom to be open & secure without fear of being criticized, blamed or judged by each other. Learn how to make your marriage a safe place where your relationship grows deeper naturally.

This six-week small group study you and your spouse will:

  • Discover five core promises that will double your security and marriage satisfaction in one week!
  • Learn three powerful ways to improve your relationship with God.
  • Learn the biggest marriage mistake that most couples make.
  • Find out why marital trials and irritations are the secret to intimacy.
  • Develop six levels of communication (most couples only get to the second & third level).
  • Find three ways to help your spouse win every argument…while you win.
  • Discover a new way to serve your spouse by identifying their key needs.

The Way of a Worshiper. These four sessions, taught about Buddy Owens, are not about music, but about discovering the secret to friendship with God.

Are you looking for God? The pursuit of God is the chase of a life time. In fact, it’s been going on since the day you were born. The question is: Have you been the hunter or the prey? This book, study and sermon series is not about music. It’s not even about going to church. It’s about living your life as an offering of worship to God. It’s about tapping into the source of power to live the Christian life.

Life’s Healing Choices. This study offers freedom from our hurts, hang-ups, and habits through eight healing choices that promise true happiness and life transformation. Using the Beatitudes of Jesus as a foundation, Senior Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and John Baker, who is also a pastor at Saddleback, developed the eight choices shared in this book.

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Small Group Studies: Freedom Was Enough and Emotionally Health Spirituality

May 5, 2010

Small Group Life Episode 3 – Freedom: Freedom Was Enough

General Editor – Steve Gladen

Jesus came to set us free. We are not free only to obey the law. We are not free only to worship. We have not been set free only to live up to some – any – expectation. We have been set free simply because God does not want us living in bondage. In other words, our freedom was enough.

Freedom: Freedom was Enough captures the journey that all followers of Christ experience from bondage to authenticity in our walk with Jesus. Exploring themes such as bondage, fear, legalism, pride, transformation, and authenticity, Freedom Was Enough will help your group discover what life with Christ was always meant to be.

Life seldom happens in neat, tidy ways. It tends to come at us like a story – full of unexpected twists and turns, laced with adventure, wrought with adversity – and is always meant to be experienced within the context of community. Small Group Life has been created as a guide for your spiritual pilgrimage. In these pages you will participate in a study of God and His written Word. You will grow in your knowledge of Christlikeness and apply all of these to the leadership and ministry that come from a heart fully alive. The sum of these parts moves us toward redemptive community.

Freedom was Enough is the third episode of the Small Group Life series. Steve Gladen, Pastor of Small Group Community at Saddleback Church, is General Editor of the series.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality By Peter Scazzero

A review by Vinnie Cappetta, our PDSGN Area Point Leader for the New England Area which includes the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

I did this study with a small group here at our church and I couldn’t stop some of them from talking at the end of the night.

The eight-week study of Emotionally Healthy Spirituality took us beyond merely reading about emotional health and contemplative spirituality to introducing us to a life with God that goes beyond the “tip of the iceberg spirituality.”

The study included four resources: the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book, the newly revised workbook, the small group study DVD, and the Begin the Journey with the Daily Office book.

During the the eight-weeks we studied:
Week 1: The Problem with Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality
Week 2: Know Yourself that You May Know God
Week 3: Going Back in Order to Go Forward
Week 4: Journey Through the Wall
Week 5: Enlarge Your Soul Through Grief and Loss
Week 6: Discover the Rhythm of the Daily Office and Sabbath
Week 7: Grow into an Emotionally Mature Adult
Week 8: Go the Next Step to Develop a “Rule of Life”

The Emotionally Healthy Small Group Study DVD included eight sessions, presented by Pastor Pete Scazzero, which prepared our group for each week’s in-depth study into the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality process. Pete’s 6-10 minute presentations introduce the topic for the week and explain the principals to be examined.  Peter doesn’t come off as a polished speaker, but the things that God has taught him will absolutely rock your small group’s world.  It will help them learn how to better relate with one another and people in their everyday lives.

In addition, the DVD includes Guidelines for Leaders and Leadership tools to assist and equip the Small Group leader in leading a healthy and successful small group.

The Begin the Journey with the Daily Office booklet introduces a revolutionary spiritual discipline intended to slow people down amidst the relentless demands of life. Each Office includes time for silence, Scripture, a rich devotional, prayer and a probing question. This eight-week book covers the eight themes found in the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book and workbook.


Small Group Studies – Crazy Love

March 23, 2010

by Michael Moore

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

One study many of our groups have been connecting with this season is Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

It starts by taking a look at God’s radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love for each of us.  Then it takes us to what our response should be to that kind of love; how passionate a love relationship He is calling us to.

Groups who are doing this study in our church are altering their lifestyles afterwards to love and serve God at a whole new level than before.  It is having a powerful impact.

This is a book study where your need to read the book each week and then watch a short DVD piece during group time that coincides with what everyone read.

The DVD does not stand alone.  Everyone needs to be reading the book as well.

I warn you, you cannot just keep living the same way after being exposed to God’s love at this level.

Michael Moore is the Pastor of Small Groups at Grace Community Church in Fulton, Maryland. He also serves as the PDSGN Area Point Leader for the states of West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.


Small Group Studies

February 25, 2010

Following the first release Formation: Building a Reliable Foundation, Mission: Invitation to the Adventure of Life, from General Editor Steve Gladen, is the second Episode in the Small Group Life series. Being “on mission” no longer JUST means occasional trips or life-long commitments to missions work. Today, “missional” is understood in a much broader sense—extending into an actual lifestyle, as opposed to a single event, that includes a passion for people everywhere and a mind set on Jesus’ charge to take care of the poor, brokenhearted, and disenfranchised. The process of becoming missional begins with surrender and ends in life stewardship. Its trail winds through our heart, comfort zones, and the dead areas of our existence. Exploring fundamental influences such as surrender, intention, and discomfort through this study will empower any group to live missionally with significance and passion.

Mission is divided into six different areas chose to best move small groups into a lifestyle suited for the missional journey to which we have been called:

  1. Surrender
  2. Intention
  3. On Mission
  4. Discomfort
  5. Stewardship
  6. Evangelism

Features:

  • Each Small Group Life Episode can be used as a 6- or 12-week study.
  • Six missional challenges included in each Episode (book).
  • Leader notes are embedded in each study.
  • Scripture commentary is located in the back of each scene.
  • Every lesson is rooted in Scripture and is adherent to sound biblical teaching.
  • Free downloadable lesson ideas for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade.
  • Free downloadable videos for each lesson.
  • Leader’s Guide included.
  • Includes family devotional ideas.

Order by visiting www.lifeway.com/sgl or by calling 800-458-2772. Available for shipping NOW!

What Does the Bible Say About…?


New from smallgroupmaterials.com, this series covers topics such as What Does the Bible Say About…
  • Trials
  • Fruitfulness
  • Happiness
  • Taking Risks
  • Being a Christian
  • A Thankful Attitude
  • Other Gods
  • Decisions We Make

These studies are inexpensive and are available as a download from the smallgroupmaterials.com website. They include 10 minute videos ($2.99) as well as downloadable discusssion questions for the group facillitator. Nine studies have been released in the “What Does the Bible Say About…” series, and four more are expected to be ready soon.

Many additional studies on various topics are also available from the same website. All are user friendly and inexpensive.


Small Group Studies

January 27, 2010

This month’s recommendation is from Vinnie Cappetta, our PDSGN Area Leader for New England Area which includes the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg

Zondervan has a 6 session DVD curriculum that makes the spiritual disciplines accessible for us ordinary people.  The cost is less than $12 for the dvd curriculum.

Christianbook.com has the limited edition, full length book at $3.99.  The font on this is smaller than you would expect, but for the price you can’t beat it.  It also has discussion questions in the back.

If you want a traditional participant’s guide, that’s $6.99.

I encouraged all of our small groups to do this study at the same time.  It was a huge success and allowed us to start several new groups.  Even the groups who didn’t participate in the church-wide campaign later asked me for the study because of the excitement generated by the campaign.  There are 6 sessions with two spiritual disciplines covered in each session.  You might consider setting aside 12 weeks for this study so that you can spend one week on each concept.  I know this is designed as a primer on spiritual disciplines, but most of us wanted to dig a bit deeper than time and format allowed.

Vinnie is also the Family Life Pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Framingham, Massachusetts.


Small Group Studies: December 2009

December 14, 2009

The Purpose of Christmas by Rick Warren

GIFT BOOK – Remember the reason for the season and go back in time to the most wonderful story of all – the birth of the baby Jesus. This book is enhanced with vivid photos explains how God designed Christmas to meet your three deepest needs and how understanding and receiving God’s three Christmas gifts to you will transform your life forever.

SMALL GROUP CURRICULUM AND DVD – The small group study guide and accompanying DVD cover three sessions taught by Rick Warren on why we celebrate Christmas and how it can change our lives forever.



Topics include:

1. Christmas is a time for celebration

2. Christmas is a time for salvation

3. Christmas is a time for reconciliation

Click HERE for more info.

Merry Christmas !!!


Small Group Studies: November 2009

November 23, 2009

 

Beth Moore studies for women. A great way to start Womens’ small groups!

Wanting to start small groups for women in your church? Using Beth Moore studies is a wonderful way to begin buidling relationships and give women the taste of what small group life can be.

Typically, women meet at your church once per week for about two hours for ten weeks. During the first week, they all gather together, collect their books, and watch an introductory video. During the subsequent weeks, they divide into pre-arranged groups and go to separate areas of your building. You do not need a large church to do this. The individual groups could meet in various areas of your building – the foyer, a children’s area, the worship center, a youth room, etc. All that they need is a place to sit and talk. During the first half of the session, the women gather together and discuss their “homework” for the previous week. This homework consists of daily reading from a workbook and the Bible and answering questions from Moore. Participants usually spend about half an hour to forty-five minutes completing the homework for each of the five sessions found in every week’s study. The questions are thought-provoking and inevitably lead to greater discussions and personal sharing.

In fact, the study sessions can be quite time consuming, and inevitably someone will not finish their homework, and as a result, will not show up for the study. You need to notify the women of this possiblity ahead of time. Give them some grace on the homework, and encourage them to attend, whether they have finished the homework or not. The real growth will occur during the sessions as relationships begin to evolve.

During the second half of the session, all of the women meet together in one room and watch the accompanying video session done by Moore – often from different locations around the world that correspond with the study. During Breaking Free, a study on breaking free from the bondage of sin, much of the video was taped in the southern United States on the grounds of a plantation. During Jesus The One and Only, much of the video was taped in Jerusalem and surrounding areas. This pattern is repeated, half the session discussing the homework and the remaining half watching the video, for the remaining weeks.

If your women are doing a ten week study, by week eight or ten you want to start planting the seed that they can continue as a small groups in their homes if they would like to. You then need to have another study ready for them to begin right away. Start promoting that study during weeks 8, 9, and 10. Let them know that a small group is exactly what they have already been doing. The difference is they will have a more flexible schedule and will be able to set their meeting day, time, and location (ideally in various members’ homes).

Check out all of Beth Moore’s studies here. You will need a Leader’s Guide, DVD, and one workbook for each participant.