Discussion-based Lessons

Discussion-based Lessons

Discussion-based lessons have groups talking and changing. We are changed more by what we say than what we hear. "Instead SPEAKING the truth (not just hearing the truth) we will grow." Ephesians 4.15 https://www.youtube.com/embed/lduldVUA8-4

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God’s waiting room

God’s waiting room

I know what it is like to wait on a vision. Having been in ministry for more than four decades, I’ve had my fair share of the Lord giving me a dream I felt was from Him, only to have it derailed for lengths of time. Even as I write this book, I am in the midst of one...

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Changed more by what we say than what we hear

Changed more by what we say than what we hear

Jesus taught that we are changed as much by what we say as what we hear. Mark 7:15 (NIV) “Nothing outside a man can make him ‘unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him ‘unclean.’ ” “What comes out of a man”—what a man speaks is...

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The power of pre-decision

The power of pre-decision

If you were to start applying everything we have discussed so far in making pre-decisions, how might that positively affect your life? Here are three immediate benefits: 1. Pre-Deciding Reduces the Number of Decisions to Make Pre-deciding combats feeling overwhelmed...

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Sanctification by justification

Sanctification by justification

We grow in Christ as we go deeper into, rather than moving on from, the verdict of acquittal that got us into Christ in the first place. It is common in some quarters of the church to think that the message of the gospel initiates us into the Christian life, and then...

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Shadow Christians do the dirty work.

Shadow Christians do the dirty work.

Someone has to change nasty diapers and clean up vomit. When our children were younger, we had our share of handling both eruptions. My wife is a supermom (and an early childhood education specialist) who loves preschool children and probably knows as much about them...

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Worn out? Confused? Afraid

Worn out? Confused? Afraid

if you’re worn-out, confused, afraid, or a bit paranoid about what others are saying about you; if you’re angry, bitter, lonely, or misunderstood; when your anger makes it clear that your way isn’t working, I urge you to ask yourself a vital question: Am I humble...

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Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words

For every person, there will come a last meal, a last breath, and of course, a last statement. And in many ways, what we say in the end is a real insight into what we were in life, what we stood for, and indeed what we lived for. Generally, we die as we have lived. I...

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Thinking deeply about the love of Christ

Thinking deeply about the love of Christ

The first three chapters have primarily been laying the foundation—Jesus Christ’s fullness (chap. 1), our emptiness (chap. 2), and our union with him (chap. 3). Now we begin to get into the actual dynamics by which believers change. We begin with the love of God. My...

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The surprising orthodoxy of the dechurched

The surprising orthodoxy of the dechurched

Early in our research, it was disorienting to realize how orthodox the dechurched still are in their beliefs. This brought equal parts hope and confusion. Sixty-eight percent of dechurched evangelicals (DE), 69 percent of dechurched mainliners (DM), and 63 percent of...

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Preach the gospel to yourself every day

Preach the gospel to yourself every day

This then is the gospel with which we need to become thoroughly familiar and that we need to preach to ourselves every day. Jesus by His death and shed blood completely satisfied the justice of God and the claims of His broken law. By His perfect obedience He...

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The vital importance of union with Christ

The vital importance of union with Christ

We have sharpened our vision of who Jesus is. And we have established the ongoing salutary reality of self-despair and collapsing in penitent faith time and again into the arms of that Jesus. But does this Jesus remain at a distance? How do we actually access him?...

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Why so many detours?

Why so many detours?

Detours are delays. They are rerouted paths that keep us from our original route. Detours pop up in places we had not expected. When we get in our cars, we do so with a destination in mind. We plan to go somewhere. And we typically know how we plan to get there—which...

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Decide now what you will do later.

Decide now what you will do later.

Look at the heroes of our faith throughout the Bible. In Genesis 22, God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Um, no one is going to decide to do that in the moment. But in the past Abraham had pre-decided, My God is always trustworthy, so whatever he asks me to...

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The way forward is backward

The way forward is backward

There is a strange though consistent message throughout the Bible. We are told time and again that the way forward will feel like we’re going backward. The Psalms tell us that those whose hearts are breaking and who feel crushed by life are the people God is closest...

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Dealing with discouragement

Dealing with discouragement

Hannah’s discouragement leads to desperation, and in her desperation, she cries out to God. Remember, we’ve said that our emotions move us somewhere. In this case, Hannah allows her discouragement to drive her to connection. We can read her prayer for connection: “O...

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Becoming tender like tender Jesus

Becoming tender like tender Jesus

This is a book about growing in Christ. The first thing to get clear, then, is what Jesus Christ himself is like. Our growth is not independent personal improvement. It is growth in Christ. Who then is he? The temptation for many of us at this point is to assume we...

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Discover your destiny

Discover your destiny

Millions of people loved the television show Seinfeld when it aired. A college drama department did a study to find out why Seinfeld was so popular. They determined that the reason was because of its plotless programming. Seinfeld just meandered haplessly from one...

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Trusting God when it hurts

Trusting God when it hurts

ALL OF US face adversity in various forms and at different times. As someone has said so well, “Life is difficult.” I would go further. I would say life is often painful. Life often hurts. Nothing I say in this chapter is intended to make light of our pain. I simply...

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How do Christians grow?

How do Christians grow?

How do Christians grow? The question itself immediately elicits different feelings among us. Some of us feel guilt. We’re not growing, and we know it. And the guilt is itself self-perpetuating, further paralyzing us in spiritual stagnation. For others of us, longing...

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Think Ahead

Think Ahead

The Sum of Your Life It’s safe to say that life is the sum of the decisions we make. Why? Because a successful life is based not on a few big decisions made at a few big moments but on thousands of normal decisions made at thousands of normal moments. As James Clear...

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Step #1 when your way is not working

Step #1 when your way is not working

A journey to deep connection with Jesus begins with humble submission. It requires an acknowledgment that your way isn’t working. Admitting this to yourself is hard enough. Try it. Read this out loud: My way isn’t working. If your way was working, would you regularly...

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Sunday School University

For nearly thirty years, Dr. Bill Tolar and Dr. Brian Harbour have helped thousands of Sunday School teachers prepare their lessons by means of video.  Each week, they  provide an insightful walk through this week's scriptures and provide concrete Bible-to-life application points for you to make with your class this Sunday.  Their video lesson previews are available for both the Life and Explore Series materials. We have arranged a special one-month free trial of their videos for anyone who mentions joshhunt.com.  Click here for more information or to get your free trial.

Josh Hunt believes in the power of the small group ministry in your church. And, his belief is contagious. In his new book, Make Your Group Grow, Josh presents sound application to easy to understand research that will benefit every size and style of church. Your groups and leadership will benefit from this book.

Ed Stetzer,
President of
LifeWay Research, www.edstetzer.com

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