Small group resources to journey inward and deepen your faith, so that together as a group, you will journey outward to share God’s love in the world.
A Jesus’ Shaped Vision for Life
Jesus has a vision for living life – it’s a life lived for others. He shared this vision in stories and in teachings and in how Jesus lived his own life. What does it look like to live for others? Where are you already doing this and where can you grow? If you had a map for a Jesus’ shaped life, what would it look like? This faith study corresponds with the fall 2023 theme, A Life Worth Living.
- Session 1 – What is the Jesus’ Shaped Vision?
- Session 2 – You are Here on the Map
- Session 3 – Creating a Roadmap
- Session 4 – Finding a Map when Feeling Lost
- Session 5 – Rest Stops and Sacred Sites
Less is More Faith Study for Small Groups
Explore five classic spiritual practices and how they could shape your life today using an adaptation of Less is More, a devotional written by Pastor Kai Nilsen as part of the Renovare community. This resource is a chance to try out each new faith practice and talk with others about their experiences. You decide how and/or how often to try a practice (no expectation). The themes/practices include:
- Week One: Solitude
- Week Two: Fasting
- Week Three: Simplicity
- Week Four: Frugality
- Week Five: Intercession
Questions God Asks Us
This faith study is designed to go along with Questions God Asks Us by Trevor Hudson. We are grateful to Pastor Josh Allen for giving us permission to use portions of the faith study created for Brentwood Hills Church, including many of the discussion questions.
- Group Member Introduction
- Chapter 1 – Where Are You?
- Chapter 2 – Where Is Your Brother?
- Chapter 3 – What is That in Your Hand?
- Chapter 4 – What Is Your Name?
- Chapter 5 – What Are You Doing Here?
- Chapter 6 – What Are You Looking For?
- Chapter 7 – Who Do You Say I Am?
- Chapter 8 – Do You Want to Get Well?
- Chapter 9 – Why Are You Crying?
- Chapter 10 – Do You Understand What I Have Done for You?
God’s Story, Our Story
Our lives are filled with stories – both those we hear and those we tell. The Bible begins with a story of creation (actually, two stories!). And Jesus uses stories throughout his ministry – to educate, to heal and to inspire. And we each have stories too – life stories and stories of how God continues to be active and creating something new in our lives.
We sometimes see ourselves in stories we hear from the Bible, and in stories we hear from family and other people. Would it surprise you to learn that your story is part of God’s story? Stories help us to forge connections and build common ground with others. Stories teach us valuable lessons. They help us to understand and appreciate one another.
Stories can also open us up to completely new ways of thinking and to a wide range of experiences. What will we discover if we have a chance to listen more fully to the stories of other people? Will we find God in new ways? Will we see our stories in different ways?
In this faith study, you can engage in conversations with others to explore more deeply how stories connect to your faith and resonate in your life. You can discover the power of story – God’s story, your story – to shape us, ground us, challenge us, and comfort us.
This faith study is designed for small groups to use in person or online. Each session is designed to be both easy to use and thought-provoking. You can use the entire series or select just one or two sessions.
- God’s Story, Our Story
- Tell Our Story
- Receiving Our Neighbor’s Story
- The Danger of a Single Story
- Unexpected, Untrue and Ever-changing Stories
Illuminations from The Saint John’s Bible and guided reflections are also available for sessions 1, 4 and 5. Contact Denise Floe for those resources.
Renew Your Life
From the beginning, God’s life-renewing Spirit has been present and available in times of isolation and connection, despair and hope, peril and promise. Don’t we need it now! Based on the book, Renew Your Life, by Pastor Kai Nilsen, this faith study explores how God’s creative energies of grace, possibility, paradox, the natural world, relationships, fruitful work, and rest meet us in our confusion, our loneliness, our despair and invite us to see, experience, and practice a different kind of life – a life that Jesus imagined, experienced, and practiced himself.
- The Energy of the Holy Spirit and Grace
- The Energy of Possibility and Paradox
- The Energy of the Natural World and Relationships
- The Energy of Work and Rest
Caring for One Another
Disruption, change, uncertainty, disappointment – It’s a time when our lives seem upended, not to mention the lives of those we care for and care about. While leaning into the hope of moving past COVID-19 and some restoration of our lives, we still need ways to cope, make sense of things and find a new way forward.
Pause, take a break, reflect, find ways to sustain yourself and be encouraged by others, all in the context of God’s steadfast love for you and promises to walk alongside you. You matter to God. You matter to others. Community matters to all of us.
- Life Seasons: Changes and Transitions
- Shaped and Reshaped: Vessels of God’s Love
- Wrestling with God: Questions of Faith
- God Meets Us in Times of Suffering
- Renewal: What Restores My Soul?
- Meeting One Another in Times of Suffering
- Holding One Another in Prayer
- Responding to Others in Difficult times: Listening and Being Present
- Can I Say That to God? Lament As an Act of Faith
- Finding Hope in Difficult Times
Be Loved Faith Study
Relationships are simultaneously much more valuable and much more complex than ever before. After the pandemic, many of us have lingering feelings of missed opportunities with others and stretches of loneliness and loss. Yet, maybe we also more deeply appreciate the people around us and any time we can simply be together. All this comes at a time when we also see more clearly the differences between people in our person-to-person relationships and the divides across the larger community.
The Biblical Story – which we continue to draw from and live out – is filled with God constantly seeking to be in relationships with us to share love and to show us how to love one another. God clearly sees how difficult that can be. God clearly sees the brokenness in our relationships and nevertheless still calls us into the infinite possibility that there might be healing and another way forward. It is not easy. Most often it seems that we cannot do this on our own.
What do we take from the relationship challenges of the pandemic? What gives us hope? Have there been any blessings or discoveries along the way? What do we bring to begin to heal the divides between us, both individually and as a community? Is there a way forward? Is there a way to live into and share the abundant life that God truly wants for all of us?
The Be Loved faith study takes these themes another step deeper in conversation for small groups.
- Be Loved… Be…
- Be Friend… Be Light…
- Be Loved Community… Be Loving…
- Be Steadfast…
- Be Changed… Be Blessed…
You Matter To God
God loves you and you matter to God – a statement that is significant for how we are in community with others, how we care about our neighbor, how we live out our gifts in the world, how we are in relationships with others, and much more. Most important, the statement that God loves and cares for you, shapes your relationship with God and how you live a life of faith.
- Your Life Matters to God
- Your Life Matters to Your Neighbor
- Tending the Soul and Living an Integrated Life
- Your Unique Gifts Matter
- Your Vocation Matters
- Your Relationships Matter
Connecting in Grace™: Energized
Ready-to-use sessions from the Connecting in Grace™ series, designed to be used as a devotion or a short faith study.
- God’s Love Story
- Living as Christians
- Experiencing God in Scripture
- Experiencing God in Prayer
- Experiencing God in Sabbath
- Experiencing God in Community
- Experiencing God in Times of Suffering
- God’s Gift of Community
For more information about faith studies or small groups at Incarnation, contact Denise Floe, Director of Small Group Ministry, by email or by calling 651-484-7213.