Historically, the NC Conference Media Center has loaned resources for a small-group leader to use. This usually included a DVD, leader guide, and one participant book. While that is still the case for many of our small-group studies, we now offer the option for the members of your small group to borrow participant books for the studies listed below.
Some of these are older studies that we purchased many copies of when they were new and are not borrowed as often anymore. Some of these extra participant books were donated to us from local churches or conference committees, for which we are grateful and happy to pass along to you.
Most of the studies listed below have 10+ participant books sitting on our shelves. See each description for an exact number of copies in our collection. Availability may vary. Contact the Media Center to request to borrow these resources through the mail.
Great Topics of the Christian Faith
These studies provide excellent content around stewardship, service, spiritual disciplines, sacraments, and what it means to be a Christian.
Earn. Save. Give. Wesley’s Simple Rules for Money by James A. Harnish. John Wesley believed money was important as a way of expressing and living out Christian faith. To Wesley, the task was simple: earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can. Pastor and author James A. Harnish presents Wesley’s concepts and beliefs in plain, useful language, suitable for individuals to grapple with and groups to discuss and act upon. 12 participant books.
Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being. This curriculum from United Methodist publisher Abingdon Press provides the text and tools you need to address the topics of saving, earning, giving, spending, and debt, along with helpful strategies for achieving a sustainable financial life. This six-part study is based on Wesleyan values and helps you reach personal financial goals as well as address life concerns. 13 participant books.
Make a Difference: Following Your Passion and Finding Your Place to Serve by James A. Harnish. This six-week study draws upon biblical wisdom to provide practical guidance to help disciples connect their passion with the world’s great need. Real stories of how real people found their place to serve will inspire and encourage you to do the same. The video features the NC Conference’s own Rev. Lisa Yebuah. 12 participant books.
Five Means of Grace: Experience God’s Love the Wesleyan Way by Elaine A. Heath. This six-week study guides readers through the five means of grace that John Wesley called “instituted,” meaning these are spiritual practices in which Jesus himself participated and which he encouraged his followers to do. Through this study, participants will consider how each of the five means of grace help us as communities of faith to pray more deeply and live more missionally as followers of Jesus Christ. 11 participant books.
This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion by Gayle C. Felton. This book is a study guide for the official United Methodist position on Holy Communion that was adopted by the 2004 General Conference. The official document is included in the book in a running sidebar, with commentary study helps in a second column on each page. 18 participant books.
Beginnings: An Introduction to the Christian Faith by Rob Weber. This 9-12 week small-group study published by Abingdon Press is about basic Christian beliefs. It is designed to begin where participants are in their spiritual walk and especially targets seekers and new church members. 11 participant books.
DVD Studies by Adam Hamilton
Rev. Adam Hamilton is pastor of the largest United Methodist Church and a prolific author. We have all of his studies in the Media Center, and he consistently ranks as the most borrowed author from our collection. The studies listed below are a few years old, but the content remains informative and relevant.
Moses: In the Footsteps of the Reluctant Prophet by Adam Hamilton. Hamilton travels from Egypt to Mt. Sinai, the Nile, the Red Sea, and the wilderness exploring the sites of Moses’ life. As Hamilton shares historical information, archaeological data, and biblical text, you’ll gain a better understanding of Moses’ significance in your life today, and you’ll discover how you, too, can turn your own reluctance into boldness. 15 participant books.
Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times by Adam Hamilton. Hamilton explores the worries and fears most of us experience. Your small group can learn to identify fears and discover practical steps for overcoming them…all in the light of Scripture and a faith that promises again and again that we can live with courage and hope. 15 participant books.
Simon Peter: Flawed but Faithful Disciple by Adam Hamilton. Peter was just an ordinary guy who heard and followed God’s extraordinary call. Discover how you, too, have special gifts, talents, and abilities that God can use to make a difference today. 12 participant books.
Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say by Adam Hamilton. True or false: 1. Everything happens for a reason. 2. God helps those who help themselves. 3. God won’t give you more than you can handle. 4. God said it, I believe it, that settles it. 5. Love the sinner, hate the sin. All true? Not so fast. We’ve heard these phrases all of our lives, but in this study, you’ll learn that although they capture some element of truth, when compared to the wisdom found in Scripture, they’re really just common Christian clichés. 12 participant books.
The Walk: Five Essential Practices of the Christian Life by Adam Hamilton. Discover five essential spiritual practices rooted in Jesus’ own walk with God. You explore these practices—each of which is intended to be a part of our daily walk with Christ—its New Testament foundation, and its potential effect on our personal lives and our lives together as the church. 10 participant books.
John: The Gospel of Light and Life by Adam Hamilton. The Gospel of John is filled with rich images and profound truths, but John notes that his aim in writing the gospel is that readers will not only believe in Jesus Christ but that they “may have life in his name.” Follow the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus through the Gospel of John and understand the context of some of the best-known verses in the New Testament. 10 participant books.
Seasonal Studies for Lent & Advent
These studies were popular in Lent and Advent in previous years. If your small group hasn’t studied them yet, here’s your chance.
What Makes A Hero? The Death-Defying Ministry of Jesus by Matt Rawle. Looking at pop culture heroes and others through the lens of faith, Matt Rawle shows how Jesus turned the concept of hero on its head. Rawle enters the Gospel story to tell quite a different victory story—one obtained through humility, obedience to the cross, and an empty tomb. 11 participant books.
Restored: Finding Redemption in Our Mess by Tom Berlin. Sometimes our lives are in such disarray we can’t envision a way through to redemption. But when we look at the mess through the eyes of Christ, we not only find redemption, we can clearly see spiritual restoration. Berlin encourages us to reflect and meditate through our own brokenness, showing us that it is only when we focus on the cross as a place to surrender control that we can leave our mess and find true redemption. 10 participant books.
Walking in the Wilderness: Seeking God during Lent by Beth A. Richardson. The wilderness is a familiar place for those who follow Jesus. We spend 40 days in the wilderness during Lent–days in which God calls us to self-examination, repentance, and making room for the Holy One in our lives. Our task during Lent is to clear away the clutter from our hearts so we can be fully present to God and our neighbors. This is a book study that does not use a DVD. 6 participant books.
Sent: Delivering the Gift of Hope at Christmas by Jorge Acevedo. God sent Christ at Christmas. In turn, Christ sends us into the world to be His hands and feet, head and heart. Acevedo leads us on a 5-week Advent journey to discover how, where, and why we are sent. Joining him on the journey are four young clergy, including Jacob Armstrong, Rachel Billups, Justin LaRosa, and Lanecia Rouse, who challenge us through story, art, and Bible study. 9 participant books.
All I Want for Christmas: Opening the Gifts of God’s Grace by James W. Moore. Sometimes we concentrate so much on the gifts we want to give and to receive that we forget about the special gifts of Christmas. The truth is we need the miracle of God’s grace to see them, feel them, hear them, wrap our arms around them, and celebrate them. This five-week Advent study helps us think about what we really want for Christmas by reminding us of the amazing, life-changing gifts Christmas has in store for us. 8 participant books.
The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem by Adam Hamilton. Take your group on a journey with Adam Hamilton as he travels on video from Nazareth to Bethlehem in this fascinating look at the birth of Jesus Christ. Hamilton travels to the Holy Land and retraces the actual path of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. 10 participant books.
Studies with Reproducible Participant Books or Discussion Questions
Some of our studies include the ability to reproduce a short participant book for each member of your group. The leader would receive the book and then make a copy for each group member to keep. Some of these studies do not even offer participant books, but the DVD includes discussion questions for the leader to share with the group.
The Mayberry Bible Study by Stephen Skelton. When the NC Conference Media Center purchased Bible studies by Stephen Skelton, we also purchased the rights for our small groups to make copies of the study guides for their group members. Skelton has many different studies based on classic television series and movies, including The Andy Griffith Show, Gilligan’s Island, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Lucy Show, Bonanza, The Van Dyke Show, Super Man, Angel and the Badman, A Christmas Carol, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Skelton also explores Christian themes in the Harry Potter and Twilight series.
Skelton also wrote several short book studies that are reproducible. Some of these can be sent to your email in a PDF. They include holiday-related studies on Saint Valentine, Saint Nicholas, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the founding of the United States, and the first Thanksgiving. Skelton examines several Christmas-related classic texts in his studies on The Gift of the Magi, The Night Before Christmas, Charles’ Dickens The Life of Our Lord, and Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. For Easter, Skelton produced a commentary on An Easter Disciple, a review of Christ in art and film, and a series of apologetics on the resurrection and the Gospels. Other fun books from Skelton include commentary on The Wizard of Oz, cowboy versions of Proverbs and the Gospel of Matthew, and Paul Harvey-type stories of mothers and fathers of well-known Christians.
Sweet Singer: A Musical about Charles Wesley with Eight Study Sessions by S.T. Kimbrough. This musical drama tells the story behind many of Wesley’s greatest hymns: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Love Divine, All Love Excelling,” “And can it be that I should gain,” and many more, which were born out of crisis, conflict, violence, oppression, opposition, and great faith, and which are still timely today. The DVD may be viewed in full or in eight sessions outlined in the reproducible study guide. Dr. Kimbrough lives in Durham, NC and is open to participating in virtual group meetings using this resource.
From Christ to Constantine: The Trial & Testimony of the Early Church. This series of six half-hour programs, produced in consultation with an international team of scholars, takes you to the actual locations to show what the early church was like, how it spread, and the persecution it endured. The Teacher’s Guide includes reproducible student worksheets.
How to Share Your Faith & Keep Your Friends by Woody Davis. This DVD study allows your church to participate in a seminar offered in the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. It includes six weeks of interactive faith-sharing training for your church and reproducible participant notes.
DreamThinkBeDo. DreamThinkBeDo is an engaging catalyst for conversation among young adults searching for what’s next for followers of Jesus. An overview of progressive Christianity for young adults, DreamThinkBeDo features the insights of over twenty-five theologians and teachers at the top of their game. Use the DVDs and downloadable participant guides as is – or take advantage of the flexible format to customize the material for gatherings ranging from small groups to retreats to enhancing worship.
Vital Conversations on Race, Culture, and Justice. This series from The General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church is available online, but the NC Conference Media Center has a DVD copy of series one and two that includes the leader guide with discussion questions. We actually have 19 copies of it if you have multiple groups at your church that would like to do the study at the same time. The series features thought leaders, pastors, theologians, activists, authors, and scholars who share their stories, insights, and expertise on issues related to faith, culture, and fighting oppression in the church and world today.
The NC Conference Media Center also keeps a list of small-group studies that are available online for free. These studies often include discussion questions or PDFs that can be downloaded and copied for your group members. View our recommendations in the Online Resources genre collection.
Request These Resources
These resources can be borrowed for free by anyone involved with a United Methodist Church in the North Carolina Conference. We will mail them to your home! All you need to do is fill out the Resource Request Form.