Thursday, October 18, 2018

Resource: Friends of God - a discipleship experience

Many people have a distorted view of God's character that keeps them from being the disciples Jesus calls them to be.
Fortunately there's an effective way to bring them closer to him. Jesus modelled it through a process that's so familiar it's often dismissed.
That model is friendship.

The Friends of God discipleship experience is a 12 Session experience that explores:
SESSION 1:  Discover friendship with God by exploring the qualities of friendship.
SESSION 2:  Explore what nature teaches about God's character.
SESSION 3:  Experience the heart of God by paying closer attention to his Son, Jesus.
SESSION 4:  Practice communicating with God and others through two-way conversations and prayer stations.
SESSION 5:  Explore how the Bible reveals God's heart through the power of questions.
SESSION 6:  Watch a full-length film that explores how discipleship is about relationship, not perfection and performance.
SESSION 7:  Fun experiences that playfully deepen your connection to Jesus.
SESSION 8:  Identify fruit in your life, and discover new ways to abide in Jesus.
SESSION 9:  Share stories of tough AND tender love from God and others, and experience Jesus' love personally.
SESSION 10:  Explore what makes a friend trustworthy and experience a trust-building experiment.
SESSION 11:  Ask for and receive the power of forgiveness.
SESSION 12:  Discover how friendship with Jesus has grown and explore next steps.

The approach in friends of God is:

  • Bible study that deepens understanding when paired with reflection and story-telling
  • Spiritual discovery that grows through interactive conversation among pairs, trios, and small groups
  • Creative, fun discipleship adventures that launch participants into the community
The resource kit includes:

  • The Discipleship Experience Leader Guide
  • The Discipleship Diary Participant Guide
  • Friends of God Session DVDs
  • Promo and Session Graphics CD
  • Unheard Of - a feature length film
  • Heart of Jesus Sticky Note Pad
  • One Friends of God Glow Pen
  • One Friends of God Go-and-Glow Light
  • Three Jesus-centred practical guidebooks: Help! How Do I Read the Bible?, Help! How Do I Pray?, and Help! How Do I Know God’s Will?

Friends of God is available here 

Movie: An interview with God

Movie:  Interview with God

Covering the war in Afghanistan provided journalist Paul Asher with some of the best stories of his young career. But that endeavor ends up costing him so much more than he ever could have calculated.

Upon returning home, Paul struggles to deal with the after-effects of his experiences, a failing marriage, and his dying faith. Not knowing where to turn, Paul dives deeply into the story of a lifetime—an interview with a mysterious man claiming to be God.

What does an inquisitive reporter ask God? What would you ask?

Sitting down with this mysterious man over the course of three fateful days, Paul finds himself answering as many questions as he asks. While wrestling with what he knows and what he’s unsure of, Paul finds himself at the crossroads we all come to in our lives: Who do we say God is?

The movie stars Academy Award® nominee David Strathairn and Brenton Thwaites, along with Yael Grobglas, Hill Harper, and Charlbi Dean Kriek.

Free Discussion guide

7 things you should know about an interview with God
Christian Post

In Australian cinemas 25 October 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

Book: Scrappy Church

How many times have we heard these statements…
 “We can’t compete with the megachurch in our town!”
“A new church was started two blocks from us. We’ve got plenty of churches without them!”
“The church brought another one of their campuses near us. It’s totally unethical what they are doing.”
“We can’t reach young families. They all go to the big church that has all the children’s and student stuff.”
“We don’t have the money or the people the other churches have.”

Bestselling author Thom S. Rainer (I Am a Church Member, Autopsy of a Deceased Church) has heard comments like these hundreds, if not thousands, of times. They are statements of hopelessness. They are statements of despair. They are statements of defeat.

Church leaders don’t want to feel this way. They desire to break out of the mediocrity of the same, lame, and tame existence of their churches. They want their churches to make a difference.

There is hope. God’s hope. God’s possibilities.

What does a scrappy church look like? Let’s take a look together.

For more information including some free downloads visit

Table of Contents
  • Why you should have hope for your church
  • Preparing to be a scrappy church
  • The outward deluge of scrappy churches
  • Scrappy churches are welcoming churches
  • Scrappy churches close the back door
  • The next scrappy church

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Worship ideas: Christ the King Sunday

Christ the King Sunday is the most common name for the last Sunday of the Church Year, in the Revised Common Lectionary.  Other names for this Sunday include Day of Fulfillment, Doom Sunday, Reign of Christ Sunday, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, and Return of Christ Sunday.   The Church of Wales in addition to Christ the King Sunday, has a season of the four Sundays before Advent, called Kingdom Sundays.   
Christ the King Sunday calls believers to focus on the theme that Christ has dominion over all of creation, with Jesus using His power to make possible freedom and a future for all people.   Christ the King Sunday ideally prepares us for Advent as we wait the coming Messiah.

For more information about the history and meaning of Christ the King Sunday visit
Lutheran Forum

Worship ideas
Calvin Institute of Worship
Christian Resource Institute
David Beswick worship resources
Desperate Preacher
ELCA Pastor's worship order
Lutheran Church of Australia Worship Resources
Reformed Worship ideas
St Paul's Lutheran Church Sydney Worship Order
United Methodist Worship
Worship Ideas
Worship Together -  Contemporary Song Suggestions

Children's Ideas
Kids Sermon
Sunday Children's Focus
Children's Sermon today
Morehouse Education