As we look forward to 2021, let’s take a look back at some of the video-based studies that were added to the Media Center’s collection this year. Even if your group continues to meet online, there are options for you here.
For Online Small Groups
Many of the videos for the studies posted here are available to view online with an Amplify subscription, or a digital version of the individual session videos can be purchased through Cokesbury. Amplify even has a new feature where groups can meet and chat about the video right on their website while they are watching it.
If these are not options for your group, some of our groups are playing the DVDs on a TV and holding the webcam up to it! We’re all getting creative in 2020.
Another option would be to engage your group in a webinar series. Most webinars run 30 minutes to an hour, but your group members could watch the video for free online before the meeting and then meet to discuss and create an action plan. Some excellent webinar content has been created this year as in-person events have moved online. See the bottom of the post for recommendations.
And finally, as many of you know, you do not need a video to go along with your study. You could use only the book and the leader guide from any of the studies listed here, or you could choose to read and discuss a book that does not even have a video. Check out our recommendations for books in our collection that were published in 2020.
We all hope to meet in-person again in 2021 even if it is outdoors when the weather is nice, and you bring a laptop and speakers to show the video. Refer to this post when planning what video-based studies your small group may want to do throughout 2021.
Study the Bible
Sermon on the Mount: A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven by Amy-Jill Levine. In this six-week study based on Matthew 5–7, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine explores the major topics in the most popular sermon ever delivered, providing historical and theological context and using a solid knowledge of Hebrew Scriptures and moral teachings.
Proverbs: Pathways to Wisdom by Dominick S. Hernández. This four-session study explores the biblical book’s well-known verses and prevalent themes in a manner that offers various interpretations, opening the way for us to see how they apply to our modern world. You’ll learn about the authorship, genre, and historical setting for each of these verses, which will broaden your understanding and bring more meaning to familiar passages.
Hebrews: Grace and Gratitude by David A. deSilva. This six-session study helps us discover a bold perspective on the meaning and significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection in light of the Old Testament, allowing us to hear afresh God’s call to a life of faithfulness. Author and New Testament scholar David deSilva helps us to see the connection between God’s grace in our lives and the gratitude we can express for our salvation when we answer the call to invest ourselves in God’s mission in the world.
Acts: Catching Up with the Spirit by Matthew L. Skinner. In this six-session study, author and biblical scholar Matthew Skinner explores six key themes that illustrate the ways in which reading Acts is capable of igniting our imagination about the character of the Christian gospel, the work of God’s people (the church), and the challenges of living faithfully in a complex and changing world.
Justice or Just Us? The Biblical Call to Confront Racism by Rob Fuquay, Nicole Caldwell-Gross, and Jevon Caldwell-Gross. Confronting racism is not just a social or political matter, but a theological one. It is the Bible that calls us to pursue justice, and the Bible that calls us to oppose racism. United Methodist Pastors Rob Fuquay, Nicole Caldwell-Gross, and Jevon Caldwell-Gross help you acknowledge the reality of racism in our world today, as well as our Christian responsibility to oppose it as individuals and together as the church.
Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets: 5 Questions to Help You Determine Your Next Move by Andy Stanley. In this six-session study, Andy Stanley gives you five key questions to ask when you have a decision to make and you’re not sure what to do. Private decisions have public implications. Your private decisions probably won’t stay private, and personal decisions will impact some other persons.
You Are Never Alone: Trust in the Miracle of God’s Presence and Power by Max Lucado. In this six-session study, Max Lucado looks at the miracles of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of John. Today, take courage that you are stronger than you think because God is nearer than you know. This is the message of the miracles . . . that with God you are never alone.
Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It by Bob Goff. In this five-session study, bestselling author Bob Goff provides a wildly inspiring yet utterly practical blueprint for helping participants find and read their greatest God-given dreams. Goff shares stories from the Bible that show how God called certain individuals to follow him—regardless of their lack of “qualifications”—and how those people changed the world when they dared to follow God’s dreams for their lives. In the same way, God is calling us to step into the version of our lives that he intended for us before others told us it was impossible and once again dream big.
The Wesley Prayer Challenge: 21 Days to a Closer Walk with Christ by Chris Folmsbee. The Wesley Covenant Prayer has been used in Methodist services around the world on the first Sunday of the year since John Wesley introduced it in 1755. Wesley expected that people would pray this prayer as a way of remembering, renewing, and surrendering themselves in complete trust to God. In this three-session study, author Chris Folmsbee invites readers to consider words from the Wesley Covenant Prayer each day for three weeks, while reflecting on their meaning in the context of the larger piece. A Scripture, a prayer, and a challenge for daily life are also included each day.
Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being from Abingdon Press and Wespath. Saving Grace 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. Read more about this resource on our website.
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 Song,” “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. This DVD is 90 minutes long and may be viewed in full or in eight sessions outlined in the study guide. The reproducible study guide is also provided. Dr. Kimbrough lives in Durham and is open to participating in virtual group meetings using this resource.
For Women’s Groups
Lose Control: The Way to Find Your Soul: A Bible Study of 1 Samuel by Mary Shannon Hoffpauir. Often, we think “God is in control” but we live like we are. It takes spilling a hot, burning mess to make us realize what little control we have and how dependent on God we truly are. Learn to live in total dependence on God through this six-week study of 1 Samuel.
Renewed: Finding Hope When You Don’t Like Your Story: Lessons from Naomi in the Book of Ruth by Heather M. Dixon. In the Book of Ruth, Naomi was forced to chart a new path even as she mourned the loss of her husband and two sons. It was a hard story…a story she didn’t choose or like. Using Naomi’s story, this four-week woman’s Bible study, teaches women to flourish through a willingness to trust that God can transform them and trade their heartache for hope.
Surrendered: Letting Go & Living Like Jesus: A Study of Jesus in the Wilderness by Barb Roose. This six-week study especially for women explores Jesus in the wilderness and gives six practical principles that will equip you to let God lead you to victory and peace, despite your unchanging and challenging circumstances. Learn how to surrender like Jesus and experience God’s power and peace in your life as never before.
When God Doesn’t Fix It: Learning to Walk in God’s Plans Instead of Our Own by Laura Story. In this five-session curriculum, Laura examines the twists and turns that took place not only in her own life but also in the lives of many of the heroes of the faith. She reveals how God used crises in the lives of people such as Abraham, Sarah, David, and Paul to bring them closer to him and set them on the path he wanted them to take. She also shows how God used each of these individuals in spite of their flaws and brokenness.
Elijah: Spiritual Stamina in Every Season by Melissa Spoelstra. In this six-week study, you’ll learn the spiritual stamina secrets that helped this great prophet hold on and persevere in faith, including practical habits related to making decisions, caring for the soul, accepting circumstances, mentoring, and finishing well—Elijah’s ultimate legacy. As you study his life through a combination of study of Scripture with personal reflection, application, and prayer, you will grow in faith and develop spiritual stamina that will help you not only to survive but to thrive in every season.
Additional DVD Studies
In the Genre Collections section of our online catalog, you will find a complete list of all of our DVD studies organized by general topic.
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.
Recorded webinars offer a video option for groups that are meeting online. Your group members could watch the video for free online before the meeting and then meet to discuss the videos and decide on actions to take individually or as a group.
NC Conference Creation Care. The North Carolina Conference Creation Care Team hosted this series of webinars in September 2020. Topics include zero waste, energy usage, environmental justice, and more.
Mental Health and Care: Coping with Stress during This Season and Beyond. This free series from Amplify Media includes therapeutic and pastoral experts who discuss the practical and spiritual disciplines needed for surviving this season. It is hosted by the NC Conference’s own Rev. Justin Coleman.
Detecting Disinformation. The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church hosted this series with an Emmy-award winning journalist who is married to a United Methodist clergywoman. The videos will show you how easy it is for someone to create and spread information that is not true and how easy it can be for you to detect the validity of the information you see online.
Center for Leadership Excellence. The NC Conference Center for Leadership Excellence has hosted several excellent webinars throughout 2020 that provide for our current spiritual needs. Topics include grief, prayer, bible study, Methodist history, resiliency, parenting, conflict, and more.
Vital Conversations. The General Commission on Religion and Race offers the excellent Vital Conversations video series. There are dozens of videos to spark conversation about the church, faith, and social issues. Each video includes a discussion guide to use during your online meeting.
More Online Resources
A complete list of our recommendations for online Christian resources can be found on our Online Resources page.