Resources for shaping discipleship


Recent works suitable for small group study

Turning attenders into disciples is a process, which most often involves conversation in a small group setting. If you’re looking for resources to facilitate those conversations, here are a couple of recent releases by Great Plains authors that are worth checking out.

The Wesleyan Way
First, is “The Wesleyan Way,” a small group study authored by Bishop Scott Jones and released last October. This eight-session study uses Scripture, a study book authored by the Bishop and compelling DVD testimonies to explore what it means to be a United Methodist Christian. The aim is to engage head, hand and heart in a holistic exploration of the Christian faith. The study is not a catechism, but rather an invitation to raise questions, disagree, and find the “extreme center” of the Wesleyan way.

Resources include a participants’ book (which also may be used for individual study, a leader guide, a DVD and a website. Both the student and leader’s books are available as ebooks. The study is formatted for eight two-hour sessions, each of which includes a Wesleyan hymn (in both traditional and contemporary language) and a Bible study with discussion. Sunday school classes may wish to adapt the study by taking two weeks for each session.

For more information and to order materials go to

Making Sense of the Bible
Another notable resource by a Great Plains author is Adam Hamilton’s “Making Sense of the Bible,” published by Harper Collins in March. Written out of a conviction that many of the divisions in the modern church rise out of different understandings of how we interpret Scripture, Hamilton, the senior pastor of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., explores the nature and history of both the Old and New Testaments. He then takes on some of the Bible’s most challenging passages relating to science, creation, suffering, the role of women and homosexuality.

This book offers much material for dialogue. It contains 32 chapters, making it a possible resource for a nine-month study (with time off for holidays and other interruptions). It is available both as an ebook and an audio book. There is currently no accompanying study  guide, but a saavy leader will not have trouble engaging a conversation with a group.

Let’s Go Fishing
If your interest is in the organization of The United Methodist Church, along with a brief discussion of history and doctrine, you may wish to order “Let’s Go Fishing,” a colorful 61-page handbook of The United Methodist Church. The booklet is free from United Methodist Communications and is supported through your giving to the World Service Fund. The content will help you get a sense of  worldwide United Methodism and open your eyes to global outreach. This publication is especially well-suited for new member classes and leader training in the local church. You may order one or multiple copies from  Look for “The United Methodist Handbook.”

For more information contact:
Evelyn Fisher, director of Congregational Development