Vital

Resource of the Month: Vital series

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How can we build and strengthen our relationship with God?
In the video introduction above, Phin Hall gives an overview on the value of understanding and engaging in spiritual disciplines every day.

Throughout the Bible there is a call for people to enter into a relationship with God, where our lives are shaped primarily by our love for Him and for one another. But how many of us really fulfil this call? This is the goal of spiritual discipline.

The spiritual disciplines have been practised for centuries by godly men and women: they are of great worth in bringing us into a closer relationship with God as we ‘work out’ our salvation. With these Bible studies, you and your group will be encouraged to investigate what is so vital about these practices and to adopt them into a daily routine.

Each book in the Vital series contains four exciting studies, presented in a way that is beneficial for group, paired or individual study, including daily readings and questions to ponder individually or discuss in groups.

To help you engage further with these vital spiritual disciplines, QR codes and webpage addresses for the introduction and each of the four weeks allow you to access FREE teaching videos from the author, including the introductory video shown above.

Phin Hall
Phin has been involved in preaching, teaching, writing and lecturing on the Bible since 2004. His passion is to see the Word of God loved, known and understood so that it shapes people’s lives, builds up the Church, deepens people’s relationship with God and brings glory to Him. Phin is married to Marie, has three sons and a daughter, and runs a smallholding at his home in Hampshire. Phin’s sermons may be accessed online at www.phinhall.net

Engage in spiritual disciplines

If you were asked what Christianity is all about, what would you say? Believing in God? Going to Church every week? Reading the Bible? Being saved so you can go to heaven?

Jesus said the most important thing of all is to love the Lord your God with your whole being – heart, soul, mind and strength. Having a loving relationship with God is what Christianity is really all about. And while all those other things have their place, it is only as part of that personal relationship with God.

For centuries, God’s people have engaged in practices that have proved vital for growing that loving relationship with God. We call these ‘spiritual disciplines’, and in this series you will look at the following seventeen areas of spiritual discipline:

1)      Focus on God: worship, Bible study, meditation and prayer

2)      Focus on others: fellowship, submission, serving and witnessing

3)      Focus on ourselves: simplicity, giving, battling temptation and fasting

4)      Focus on daily life: solitude, silence, giving thanks, confession and living for today

It is important to note that these things are not love for God themselves, rather they are a means to that end. Spiritual discipline is really self-discipline that has the spiritual goal of growing that love for God.

As you work through the various areas of spiritual discipline you will see how each, in its own way, works towards this goal of loving God. Each study guide comprises a daily reading and reflection, and weekly questions and discussion points for small groups to work through. There are also free, accompanying video teachings for each of the sessions to really help bring each topic alive!

If you would like to find out more about each of these four small group study guides, you can go to the Small Group Central store, or watch the introductory video.

Fresh ideas for… small groups facing a dry spell

This week we received an enquiry from a small group leader who was looking for some fresh, Bible-focused resources for their small group of twelve to make the most of. The leader was finding it challenging to discover fresh content that differs from the regular material made available by others.

So, here at Small Group Central, we put on our thinking caps to provide a whole selection of resources that the group might like to use going forward. We then thought that this could be a challenge that many other small groups might be facing, and so we thought we would share our thoughts:

1.  The Vital series

This series comprises four study guides of four weeks each, focusing on seventeen different spiritual disciplines across the series, including Bible study, witnessing, temptation, silence and giving thanks. As you work through these various areas of discipline, you will see how each, in its own way, works towards this goal of loving God. Each session also comes complete with a free video teaching, which can be found online.

To read more about this series, click here.

2. The Small Group Toolbox series

This series offers six study guides, each containing four sessions, on a variety of relevant topics for Christian small groups today, including titles such as Building Character Through Testing Times, Identity and Hearing God. Each of the six study guides is a workbook-style resource ideal for taking your small group to the next level.

To read more about this series, click here.

3. Every Day with Jesus Extra

You may have heard of the popular Bible reading notes Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes. However, did you know that CWR also create resources for small groups to use alongside these notes? Short icebreakers, key thoughts, discussion points, prayer points and scripture are collated to provide readers with stimulating and ever-changing small group study guides.

To buy your subscription to Every Day with Jesus, you can click here. To download this month’s free Every Day with Jesus Extra, you can click here.

 

Of course there are many, many more resources available for small groups who are looking to shake up their weekly meetings. We offer Bible reading programmes for the whole church, which also work within a small group setting, a number of DVD resources that are ideal to work through as a small group and a huge selection of Cover to Cover study guides, which give a fresh perspective on numerous books and people in the Bible.

So really the possibilities are endless – which one will you try next?