A note from the editor: This study pack was originally designed for the Men's Group Study class, but is cross-listed with the Campus Ministry Group.
While the involvement of men in the church is obvious, what is often overlooked are the personal struggles many men go through. Issues of depression, forgiveness, and grief all affect men along their faith journey. There are also questions that men can work to answer together to move outside of their comfort zone and toward real discovery: Is God in the workplace? Will Jesus make me rich? What do I need to know before visiting someone in the hospital? This study pack will work for many groups, but is perfect for a group of men.
Is God in the Workplace? Session 1 reminds participants that God is ever present, even in the most secular of workplaces. It explores the relationship between work and vocation and the need for appropriate rest for all workers. Session 2 provides examples of living out our spirituality in small ways at work while respecting religious diversity.
Understanding Depression. Participants will learn that chronic depression is a medical condition that is widespread, treatable, and not a result of weakness, lack of faith, or sin. They will also be encouraged to think about their theology of suffering and how that understanding might help them to help someone with serious depression.
Forgiveness. The first session considers definitions of forgiveness and its complexity. The second session is a more practical examination of how we live or don't live forgiveness in our lives together.
Christian Pilgrimage. In this one-session study participants will learn about Christian pilgrimage and how to take a pilgrimage without having to leave one's community. The Leader's Guide helps the facilitator plan for a pilgrimage during the session.
Why We Pay Taxes. In this study, participants will be encouraged to examine some pertinent New Testament passages about taxation, explore selected issues regarding what can or should be taxed, and discuss how tax revenue should be used. There is no single biblical teaching or theological precept that offers clear answers, but this session will surely help clarify the issues.
Reality TV: Love It, Hate It, Got to Have It. This one-session study examines why we are drawn to reality television, lists some good and questionable aspects of reality programs, and describes the variety of programs being produced. Participants will discuss the positives and negatives of this genre of television, clarify a Christian response, and possibly design their own reality show.
Grieving Well. This one-session study invites participants to talk about suffering and where God is in suffering. They will explore helpful responses to suffering and how to help others who grieve.
Visiting Someone in the Hospital. Through engaging Bible passages, role-playing hospital visitation scenarios, creating prayers to use when praying with and for the sick and his or her family, and receiving helpful tips for what one should do or say when visiting an ill loved one, participants will look at the practice of hospital visitation as well as home or nursing home visitation, and learn ways for sharing their burdens thoughtfully, sensitively, and faithfully.
Prosperity Gospel: Will Jesus Make You Rich? "Prosperity preaching" is a popular name for the preaching of the Word of Faith movement that contends God wants believers to be rich and enjoy good physical health. This one-session study traces the history of this movement and helps participants understand the central beliefs of the prosperity gospel.