Resources for DGroups and Spiritual Formation
This is in no way an exhaustive list, just tools we find helpful. See below for:
- Teaching Series Links
- Spiritual Formation Resources by Topic
- Curriculum for DGroups
Series of Teachings:
- Practicing the Way: Tools, teachings, and resources to integrate spiritual formation into your church or group.
- Download companion guides for Sabbath, Prayer, Fasting, Solitude, Scripture, Community, Simplicity, Generosity and Hospitality
- GINOSKO: Practice the Perfect: A Wednesday night teaching series on following Jesus.
- Preaching What We Practice: Sunday morning sermon series.
Resources by Topic:
DESIRE FOR GOD
- Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton, Chapter 1, Longing for More
- The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows by James Bryan Smith
- The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality by Ronald Rolheiser
- The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World by Rosaria Butterfield
- Practicing the Way: Community: Includes sermon series, small group and personal practices, book recommendations
- Be the Bridge Podcast with Latasha Morrison, Episode 261: Black History Month: A Holistic and Historical Look into Community Building, Church Planting and Coffee with Author and Entrepreneur John Onwuchekwa
- Practicing the Way: Prayer: A four-week lesson series including the topics, Talking to God, Talking with God, Listening to God and Being with God. The site includes podcasts and a downloadable prayer companion.
- The Divine Hours Liturgy by Phyllis Tickle
- The Common Prayer app: a prayer, song and Scripture for each day.
- My Daily Office app: daily prayers and Bible readings.
- Hallow app: daily prayer of Examen
- Pray as You Go App: daily prayers and meditations
- Reimagining the Examen App: prayer prompts and reflections for evening prayer
- Pause App: a simple way to connect with God during the day
READ & MEDITATE on SCRIPTURE
- Savoring God’s Word, Jan Johnson
- Discovering Lectio Divina: Bring Scripture into Ordinary Life, James Wilhoit and Evan Howard
- Shape the Word: The Power of Scripture in Spiritual Formation, M. Robert Mulholland, Jr.
- Lectio 365: Smartphone app for morning & night prayer and scripture
- Versify: Smartphone app for scripture memorization
SILENCE & SOLITUDE
- John Mark Comer Teachings Podcast, January 2022 Silence and Solitude Episode 1 and Episode 2
- Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton, Chapter 2
- Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast with Ruth Haley Barton, A Leader’s Journey into Silence and Solitude, Episode 2
- When the Soul Listens, Jan Johnson
- Hearing God, Dallas Willard
- Practicing the Way: Fasting (teachings, resources, etc. – particularly Episodes 1 and 2 of the podcast)
- Revival Starts Here: A Short Conversation on Prayer, Fasting, and Revival for Beginners Like Me, Dave Clayton
- The Place of Fasting in the Christian Life, (online article) Thomas A Tarrants,
- John Mark Comer Rule of Life Podcast: Episodes 1-4: Sabbath (Stop (ep1), Rest (ep2), Delight (ep3), Worship(ep4))
- Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton, Chapter 8
- PRACTICING THE WAY SABBATH GUIDE (pdf)
- PRACTICING THE WAY SABBATH MEDITATIONS (pdf)
- Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World, A.J. Swoboda
- Tech-Wise Family, Andy Crouch
- Our Unforming: De-Westernizing Spiritual Formation, Chapter 6: Work/Rest, Cindy S. Lee
CONFESSION & FORGIVENESS
- “Changing Direction” with Trevor Hudson, (22-min video)
- Seeking God, Trevor Hudson, Chapter 2
- Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast with Ruth Haley Barton, Season 15: Lent Week 4 | The Power of Confession
- Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster, Chapter 10: Confession
- Exploring My Strange Bible Podcast, Forgiveness – Gospel of Matthew Part 26
- 4-part Sermon Series on Forgiveness from Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregon
- Robcast Podcast with Rob Bell, Episodes 38-42
- The Cure: What if God Isn’t Who You Think He is and Neither are You, John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, Bill Thrall
- A Generous Gospel: The New Testament Themes Part 4, Exploring My Strange Bible Podcast with Tim Mackie
- Passing the Basket, sermon by Jonathan Storment of the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ in Little Rock, Arkansas
- Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership Podcast with Ruth Haley Barton, Season 9, Episode 4 | Spiritual Transformation and Money
- Becoming a People of Generosity, sermon by John Mark Comer of the Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregon
- The Christine Cain Podcast, Empower & Equip: Making a Difference Isn’t Complicated (S1, Ep 225),
- Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, Steven Garber
- Seeking God, Trevor Hudson, Chapter 6
RULE of LIFE
- Nine-lesson sermon series from Practicing the Way: Unhurried with a Rule of Life
- Rule of Life Workbook (pdf)
Curriculum for DGroups
PV DGroup Leaders: Request a leader guide, pledge forms and/or spiritual biography worksheets by emailing Lynn Cook or Courtney Hirscheider.
STUDY 1: Foundations of Christian Faith
The goal of this portion is to clearly communicate the basics of what we are asking Christians to believe as disciples of Jesus Christ, giving us all a consistent theological foundation from which to begin. Groups will begin with the eight-lesson book, Trust and Follow Jesus by Dr. Bobby Harrington. It can be purchased for $10 in the church office or from Lynn Cook. As the leaders, how you divide up and discuss the topics will be to your discretion.
STUDY 2+: The Practice of Following Jesus
Choose a study from each category below to help your group disciple each other into Christ-likeness and equip each other to share the Gospel with the world. As with Trust and Follow book, we invite you to move at your own pace depending on the makeup of your group, organizing your time and activities around the goals listed on page one of this guide.
Following Jesus in Daily Life Activities
Foundational Discipleship: Sermon on the Mount
Weekly discussion guide by PV Shepherd Steve Burton, Available for free in the PV office.
This guide takes groups through the words of Jesus in His most famous sermon. Real-life-based discussion questions will inspire and encourage participants to put the words of Jesus to practice. Leaders can choose the number of weeks to study the included topics and the pace to move through them. Topics include Not Just Knowledge, Difference Makers, A Higher Standard, Anger, Sexual Relationships, Your Word, Confronting Opposition, Loving Like God, Giving, Prayer, Fasting, Heavenly Nest Egg, Worry, Judging, What’s This About?, Ask For It, The Disciplined Life, Recognizing Character, and Home Depot-More Doing
Working in the Presence of God
224-page Book by Denise Daniels and Shannon Vandewarker
This book discusses the incorporation of spiritual disciplines into the ordinary rhythms of everyday experience. God is already present and active, so by becoming aware of workday rhythms and focusing on where various spiritual practices might be implemented in our jobs, we can be transformed into Christ’s likeness through our work. Practices outlined include: Liturgy of Commute, Workplace as Holy Ground, Surrendering the Calendar, Reading Scripture in Your Workspace, Affirmation of Calling, Gratitude for God’s Blessing/Celebrating Success, Confession, Lamenting, Solitude, Prayer of Examen for Work, and Sabbath: Ceasing from Work.
Habits of the Household
240-page book by Justin Whitmel Earley
Habits of the Household gives you the tools you need to create structure–from mealtimes to bedtimes–that free you to parent toddlers, kids, and teens with purpose. Each chapter ends with practical patterns, prayers, or liturgies that your family can put into practice right away. As you create liberating rhythms around your everyday routines, you will find your family has a greater sense of peace and purpose as your home becomes a place where, above all, you learn how to love.
Liturgy of the Ordinary
184-page book by By Tish Harrison Warren
Framed around one typical day, this book invites readers to discover the holiness of everyday life through small practices and habits that form us. In each chapter, Tish Harrison Warren considers a common daily experience―making the bed, brushing her teeth, and losing her keys. Drawing from the diversity of her life as a campus minister, Anglican priest, friend, wife, and mother, Warren opens up a practical theology of the everyday. Each activity is related to a spiritual practice as well as an aspect of our Sunday worship.
The Jesus Story
This small book is a summary of all four gospels chronologically arranged by pastor Bill Perkins to reflect the life and ministry of Jesus. If you choose to read through the book (5 pages/day) it will take two months to complete. Group discussion from the book will focus on three simple questions: 1) What did Jesus do? 2) What did Jesus Say? 3) What does it mean to me? Each group member will reflect on these three questions and bring their observations, challenges, and commitments to the group discussion. Books are available from Lynn Cook and cost $10 each.
Following Jesus in Building a Relationship with God
Follow Him: Small Group Guide to Following Jesus and Making Disciples in Community
Overview of 10 spiritual practices from the life of Jesus by PV Communications Director Courtney Hirscheider, Available for free in the PV office.
The goal of this study is to provide Christ-centered teachings and practices, coupled with a clear direction for group life and resources to learn more and go deeper in relationship with God and becoming more like Jesus. The 10 chapters are meant to each span two weeks with minimal reading as you focus on practicing the way of Jesus and sharing your experiences with the group. Topics include: Community, Pray, Read and Meditate, Listen, Fast, Rest, Confess and Forgive, Live Generously, Serve and Establish your Rhythm
Practicing the Way
Series of recorded lessons, guided conversations and spiritual exercises created by John Mark Comer
(free download or purchase: practicingtheway.org)
This unique series is designed to integrate the practices of Jesus into your ongoing life. Groups can choose between nine different practices of Jesus that each have a four-week lesson series that goes with them. Practices available now are: Sabbath, Prayer, and Fasting. Soon to be released are: Solitude, Scripture, Community, Simplicity, Hospitality, and Generosity)
192-page book by Ruth Haley Barton, also available in a 6-week DVD study with a discussion guide.
The goal of this book is to help you see deep, fundamental changes in your life with God, knowing Him more intimately and truly living your life as God created you to live it. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a “rule of life” that allows for regular space for the practice of spiritual disciplines, Ruth Haley Barton takes you more deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas for weaving them into everyday life. Each chapter includes exercises to help you begin the practices individually and in a group context. The final chapter puts it all together in a way that will help you arrange your life for spiritual transformation.
Celebration of Discipline
288-page book by Richard Foster
Hailed by many as the best modern book on Christian spirituality, Celebration of Discipline explores the “classic Disciplines,” or central spiritual practices, of the Christian faith. Along the way, Foster shows that it is only by and through these practices that the true path to spiritual growth can be found. Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study offer avenues of personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service help prepare us to make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration bring us nearer to one another and to God.