As we start the new year and start tackling our resolutions, it’s always a good exercise to reflect on the past year. For Lifeway Groups Ministry, 2016 was an incredible year when we produced numerous life-changing Bible studies for small group ministries. We wanted to share some of our favorites with you.
Here are seven of the best Bible studies from 2016 (in no particular order):
Most Christians are either afraid to share the gospel or feel that they don’t know how to do it, or both. But evangelism is simply telling two stories: Jesus’ and yours (how Jesus changed your life forever). This study helps group members identify people and places already in their daily routines, encouraging and empowering them to share the good news of Jesus Christ. This refreshing look at evangelism from one of the nation’s most prominent pastors and evangelists will help Christians—new and old alike—discover the joy of evangelism as the good news of Jesus naturally overflows into their daily lives.
This group Bible study explores the beauty and power of God’s unfolding story in Scripture, weaving the teaching around three key, interlocking themes: face, space, and grace. Face focuses on God’s presence as the central theme of Scripture. Space points to God’s creating a place for us to walk with Him and live for Him in the world. Grace refers to God’s outward focus as He gives humanity a mission in the world. Discover the presence of God at the heart of His story and understand why we were created, where we are heading, and how to live out the gospel in the world right now.
How do we begin to walk and work with God, especially in dangerous places? Based on the documentary The Insanity of God, this Bible study presents missionary Nik Ripken sharing true stories of people who are suffering for the name of Jesus. Open your heart, your mind, and your eyes to the realities of walking with Jesus through persecution. Engage with Scripture and see what it means to be a true follower of Jesus, not just someone who believes certain truths. You can play a significant role in God’s divine purpose. Inspire your group to come alongside God and partner wisely in His work, wherever it may lead you.
The United States is the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. So why don’t we feel rich? More important, how much is enough? The answer to this question is found in God’s Word. In this study, Ron Blue presents financial principles that are affirmed by the authority of Scripture and tested by the marketplace. When we apply these biblical truths, our finances will be ordered, our decisions will be simplified, and our experiences will invite contentment in all areas of our lives.
Early Christian tradition suggests that John’s exclusive purpose for writing his Gospel was to proclaim Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. He wanted his readers to know Jesus—from His words, from the words of others, and from His miracles. This small group study begins with an examination of the miracles recorded in the Gospel of John. It then covers what Jesus said about Himself and finally focuses on witnesses who affirmed who Jesus was and is. Knowing Jesus will help you grow in your faith, excel in good works, and know Jesus more intimately.
Although Ephesians is one of the New Testament’s shortest books in terms of word count, it is perhaps the most applicable to today’s culture. This epistle also provides Paul’s most direct address about the life of a disciple of Jesus. Paul conveyed his pastoral heart for the Ephesian believers by focusing on who they were in Christ. Specifically he addressed issues related to their new life, the community of believers, the pursuits of unity and holiness, and life’s challenges. Therefore, the Book of Ephesians and this study offer practical answers to contemporary believers’ basic questions about the Christian life and our identity in Christ.
Most Christians want to make real, noticeable progress in their walk with Christ. We long to forgive, to have a pure heart, and to find peace, but we just don’t know how to get there. It’s time to get unstuck and build momentum toward a more godly life. The understanding and strength we need to pursue holiness are available through the path Christ laid out for us in the Beatitudes. Find out what it really means to be poor in spirit, to be meek, and to mourn, and discover how those qualities will help you live a life in which God’s blessings are abundantly clear and present.