Archives For Bible Study

ILife Transformed coverI Corinthians 2:12-6:2 is a powerful section of scripture that lays out how believing the gospel motivates us to proclaim the gospel. Easily my favorite passage on living missionally for Christ.

Jeff Lark (Cru staff in the Red River Region) developed this great study on II Corinthians. The study follows the model of the fallen condition focus which is excellent at pointing students to their need for Christ (e.g. – “How do you fall short of Godʼs ideal? How does this passage expose idols and corruption in your own heart?”). After exposing your fallen condition, the study asks questions like: “How, from this passage, does Christ change you? How would believing the gospel in a deeper way overcome your stubborn sin?”

This is really where you get to experience Christ in the passage. Only Christ can change you and your group. Just trying harder wonʼt cut it. All of us desperately need Christʼs forgiveness, power, and promises to live the Christian life. And, again, you donʼt want to only lead your group to information. But, as you drink of the living water, you want to lead them to the Source. – Jeff Lark

Life Transformed mapThis study on II Corinthians has a:

Both versions have a Field Guide. The Field Guide takes you through the passage over the course of 5 days prior to discussing it with the group. This is great material for students to use in their quiet time. The scripture for each section are printed out within the study so students can mark it up.

Life Transformed Field GuideThe leader guide has the Field Guide woven throughout to emphasize the leader’s need to study the passage during the week to prepare for leading a group discussion. The student workbook has the Field Guide at the back of the book as optional material for participants to go through on their own during the week to prepare for their group meeting. Leaders need to mention this to the students so that they know it is back there.

We printed the studies out for our students (ends up being a little less than $1 at FedEx Office with the Cru corporate discount).

Instructions on printing:

  • Print two-sided on regular sized paper. Blank pages have been added to provide a front cover and a back cover. We used cardstock for the front and back cover, and our books were bound with top and bottom staples (if you provide your own cardstock to FedEx it’s MUCH cheaper).

Thanks to Samantha Barnes (Cru staff on my team) who made some minor updates to Jeff Lark’s original to make it available to share with everyone!

Great quote from Brian McCollister, Cru director at Ohio University:

 If you’re not growing the number of small group leaders:

    • You either have a problem on the front end – involving more freshmen
    • Or on the back end – of identifying and developing leaders


I think the converse holds true:

If you’re not growing the number of freshmen involved, you are not raising up enough small group leaders (we count “involved” as # of freshmen in Bible studies).


Either way, the focus remains: I think the primary win for the spring is growing the number of small group leaders who will lead in the fall (here are some thoughts on how we plan to do that).



Let’s say we want to involve 80 freshmen in the fall. We need to work backward from there:

  • If an average study has 6 students in it. . . we need 14 successful freshmen studies
  • If each study has 2 co-leaders, at the very least we need to have 28 students leading freshmen studies
  • So our goal for the spring should be to raise up 28 freshman Bible study leaders


It’s been said: “Good falls begin in the spring.”

Would love to hear: What is your team doing this spring in order to have a good fall?

I started this blog because, as Russ Martin said in Tithing your Time Online: “By spending five minutes to upload the presentation from your last small group leader training you could save someone hours”.

It’s one of the primary reasons I read so many blogs – to quickly glean from others and use their thoughts for Cru talks, Bible studies, and staff coaching. I feel that it multiplies my time (requiring a lot less prep/admin time so I can spend more time with staff and students).

So hopefully this will help you save some time. Here’s a few things I’m using in my Bible study the coming weeks:

“Repentance is THE way we make progress in the Christian life. Indeed, pervasive, all-of-life-repentance is the best sign that we are growing deeply and rapidly into the character of Jesus.”

  • I’m also using this question from Tim Norman in Bible Study today: “Why do you think it’s important to read the Bible?” followed by his Devil’s Advocate questions and study of 2 Timothy 3:16–17 he lays out in his post (he just started blogging – you should definitely subscribe! And not just cause he’s my boss).
  • For the next five weeks in our Bible study, we will be reading through a chapter a week from Fight Clubs. I’ll have them read through the chapter during the week and then discuss and apply during Bible study. The “Bible” part of our Bible Study discussion will come from digging deeper into the various passages in each chapter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like this e-book is free anymore. You can preview the intro and 1st chapter here. Or buy it here.

What we fight for: “All else that is good and beautiful flows from him, but our thoughts don’t naturally drift to Christ. This is precisely why we need to fight.”

Why accountability groups fail in this fight: “We need to remove accountability [groups] from the center and replace it with the Gospel. We need to orbit around Jesus, not rules or confession. Instead of groups gathered around accountability, we must gather around Jesus. Only then will we find something truly worth fighting for.”

What are you using right now for BIble Study and Discipleship?

Midweek Ministry Thoughts

February 9, 2011 — 1 Comment

Student Staff – I posted this a while back on CruPress Green but never linked to it on my blog. So check it out: Student Staff – THE best idea I’ve ever seen in empowering students to lead.

How many times have you heard this from a student: I want to go deep in Bible study?

I almost ditched Cru my freshman year because I thought Cru and its Bible Studies weren’t deep enough. Deep for me was studying prophecies and Revelation. Was I a self-righteous punk? For sure. Am I typical of many Christian students? Probably.

Great post from Trevin Wax on what “going deep” should look like:

  • It’s not learning new facts
  • It’s not coming up with a new list of to-dos

Going deep is:

  • Immersing ourselves in the truth that Jesus Christ bled and died to save helpless sinners like you and me.
  • Seeing the depth of our sin and the depth of God’s grace.

Not only should we implement this in our Bible Studies, I think it would serve us to communicate this vision to our students (lest, like freshman Tim, they think we’re not “deep enough”)

Great thoughts for those of you who lead others (especially in staff meetings):

“Next time you walk into a meeting, consider, How do I want people to feel when the meeting is over? Begin with the end in mind.”

Definitely a good reminder. Mental note to self: do not end staff meetings with to-do’s. End with vision. Even better, end with “THIS is the most important thing you should be doing this week”. Then end with vision on why we must do THIS. You can read the full article from Michael Hyatt – 5 Ways to Energize your Team

Google Translate is a cool free app that was released yesterday that will surely greatly benefit missionaries (and of course, tourists) around the world. You can write or speak a sentence into your iPhone/iPad and it will translate it instantly into one of 50 languages (giving the written and spoken translation). More info here.

I used the Gospel-Centered Life Bible study this year with my Senior guys Bible Study and it’s phenomenal.  Almost zero prep.  Incredible heart-probing, Christ centered content.

I just skimmed thru it again this morning during my QT and came across great material to use with students re: being missional. I plan on using this for our student Leadership Retreat to kick off the year.

It’s from Ch. 7 – The Gospel Propels us Outward.

“If the gospel is renewing you internally, it will also be propelling you externally.”

There’s a Bible passage to work thru (Gal 5:13-15), an article and great discussion questions to think thru at the end like:

  1. Identify a missional opportunity in your life in which you are not motivated to do what you “should” do. Here are some categories to jump-start your thinking: showing hospitality to neighbors; actively praying for and engaging with co-workers; sharing the gospel with a family member; serving someone in poverty; giving generously;
  2. What heart issues hinder you from rightly motivated action in this situation?
  3. Repentance: What sin do you see in yourself that you need to repent of?   Faith: What specific gospel promises or truths are you not really believing?

Here’s a link where you can purchase it from World Harvest Mission (it’s written by a couple of former Cru staff – Bob Thune and Will Walker).  You download the file from them – it’s $7 for one copy, $40 for the license to print 20 studies.