Lent Study


As we journey through this Lent, we carry with us all kinds of thoughts and emotions because of the past year we have lived through. A global pandemic and the repeated periods of 'lockdown' in the U.K. have made us stop and re-evaluate the journey through life that we are on; our priorities, our work habits, our families, our communities, our churches and our relationship with God, our future...

We hope this resource will be helpful as we use Scripture to guide us through this lenten season towards the cross of Christ and beyond to empty tomb of Easter morning.

You can use this resource individually, with one or two invited friends or in your church's Small Groups.

Week 1 (beginning 15/2/21) - PPE of Endurance

In this first study, Nigel Manges (Regional Minister - Ministry) introduces this Lent Course and reflects on James chapter 1 to help us consider how we are called to persevere, even through the toughest of circumstances.

Questions for discussion
  1. Why do you think Endurance is so critical to finishing strongly?
  2. On a scale 1(low)-10 (high) rate your endurance in the following categories
    1. Physical
    2. Spiritual
    3. Work
    4. Relationships
    5. Family
  3. Are you satisfied with the rating you gave yourself? If not, why not?
  4. In the areas you gave yourself the most dissatisfaction, what can you do to increase your endurance?
  5. What gets in the way of choosing joy as our first response in times of trial and how can we enable Joy to be the basis for our journey with Jesus?
  6. To finish the race we need to fix our eyes on Jesus. What do you think it means in practical terms to ‘fix your eyes on Jesus’ ?

Week 2 (beginning 22/2/21) - Sharing With Others

Watch the video from Week 1 again...

This week we're going to decide how to share the lessons learnt in last week's study with others who are not yet Christians.

PRAY

  • Pray and ask God to put on your heart the name of someone who feels like giving up at the moment.
  • Ask God to inspire you about how you should respond; maybe praying for them every day this week, maybe a phone call, maybe an encouraging note/email, maybe sending them a small gift...

SHARE

  • If you feel able, share with others in your small group about the person who God has laid on your heart. You might choose not to name them, but you could share a little about them.
  • Pray together for those who you've shared about and determine to ask how they're doing when you meet again next week.

CONSIDER

In the coming years there is very likely to be a significant number of people of all ages and backgrounds facing mental health challenges. Many will find endurance, persevering and 'carrying on' extremely difficult.

What could your church do to bring hope, welcome, community and belonging to those in your area who are facing mental health challenges? Take some time to consider the resources produced for churches by Renew Wellbeing, a Christian organisation who help churches serve those in their communities with mental health challenges. Click here to find out more.

NB - If you'd like to get more info about Renew Wellbeing, please email their regional co-ordinator, Ben Horton - click here.

 

Week 3 (beginning 1/3/21) – Lockdown Faith

In this study, Carl Smethurst (Regional Minister - Mission) considers how Hebrews 11 encourages us to ‘keep on keeping on’, even – especially - when we’re facing tough challenges…

Please watch the video and then answer the following questions,

Questions for discussion

  1. Hebrews 11 shares some inspiration stories of people of faith. Who are the characters in Scripture whose stories have encouraged you by demonstrating perseverance in adversity? Look up one of two of the stories and read them again.
  2. Who has had a positive influence on your faith in more recent times through their perseverance in adversity? Who do you know whose story of faith does your soul good? Why?
  3. It is normal for all Christians to doubt their faith from time to time. It is good to be able to share those doubts with others who will understand and pray with us and for us. If you feel able, share some occasions in your life when you doubted your faith. What helped? What hindered?
  4. Pray for each other that you will run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus… so that we will not grow weary and lose heart.

Week 4 (beginning 8/3/21) - Sharing With Others

Watch the video from Week 3 again...

This week we're going to decide how to share the lessons learnt in last week's study with others who are not yet Christians.

PRAY

Pray for those who you know stared journeys of faith with Jesus but who got discouraged and would no longer call themselves Christians.

Pray for opportunities to make contact with them this week – to let them know that you still care about them and their lives even though they aren’t following Jesus at present.

SHARE

Sharing stories is powerful. Since the very beginning of civilisation humans have been influenced by hearing the stories of others. One of the most effective methods of evangelism is sharing your faith story – your testimony.

If someone asked you why you are a Christian, how would you respond? Share your story of faith with those in your small group today in a way that one of your non-Christian friends would understand…

CONSIDER

  1. Consider the many ways stories are shared in the world today (i.e. person-to-person, on social media etc.)
  2. How can you use all the methods available to you today to share your story of faith with others?
  3. This week find three different ways to share your story of faith with others.

 

If you would like to find out more about sharing your faith through social media, please take a look at this webinar by our Digital Missioner, Hannah Fleming-Hill - https://vimeo.com/481399816

We hope this Lent Study has been blessing to you! If you'd like to get in contact with us you can email Nigel here or Carl here.

We really appreciate your support for Nigel & Carl and the other staff who serve the South West Baptist Association family. If you'd like to make a donation to support our ongoing work, please click here.

Thank you!