Small Group Study and Discussion Resources

Noteworthy Books, DVD Based Studies &
(Updated August 1, 2016)
Table of Contents
Overview of Available Resources for Small Groups;
Making Small Groups Work;
Using the MPC Library to Find Materials for Your Group
Part 1. Bible Study Materials of Special Merit
Part 2. DVD Based Studies for Best-Selling Christian Books
Part 3. Examples of Other Books Studied by MPC’s Small
Part 4. DVD Based Studies for Discussions of Important
Appendix I: MPC’s Commentary Section
Appendix II: Teaching Aids & Supplementary Resources
Updated: August 1, 2016
Noteworthy Books, DVD Based Studies & Guides
(As of August 1, 2016)
This guide has been prepared by the Foundation Committee of the McLean
Presbyterian Church, and approved by the Session, to assist members who are
responsible for coordinating Christian Education in a small group setting. The
primary audience is, of course, Home Fellowship Groups, but many of the materials
included are also appropriate for Men’s groups, Women’s groups, Bible Study
classes, book clubs, and even Sunday Morning Christian Education classes. Some of
the materials have also been used by couples or families. Over twenty Church
Officers, Staff members and small group leaders contributed recommendations for
the items listed.
In assembling this guide, the Committee had two major goals. The first is to better
acquaint group leaders with resources currently available in the MPC Library. In
addition, we are attempting to offer potential solutions to the most frequently
expressed challenge about small group membership – unrealistic study preparation
time for both leaders and participants.
Small group leaders and participants are encouraged to visit the MPC Library
to review or discuss these materials, as well as share their comments and
suggestions about how we might further assist these important teaching and
care ministries.
Overview of Available Resources for Small Groups:
D. A. Carson states quite emphatically that for a preacher or Bible teacher “the
dominant need is to understand meanings (in the Bible) accurately. . . .The issue at
stake is that of sheer faithfulness to the biblical message rather than smuggling
one’s own ideas into the interpretation of the authoritative text.”
Strongly sharing this belief, MPC’s Session and Staff have made a commitment to
provide an extensive collection of Bible commentaries, reference works, and
teaching aids in the Church Library to assist small group leaders in carrying out
their significant role in the continuing Christian Education process.
Over the years that role has changed significantly. When the MPC Library opened
in 1992, with the exception of a few Bible Study guides, very few resources had been
developed specifically for small groups by the leading Christian publishing
companies. As a result, leaders were called upon to independently develop
presentations for their groups. Obviously this placed a tremendous burden on
group leaders in terms of “prep time”, and that, in turn, tended to discourage the
growth of this vital aspect of the local church. However, in recent years this
weakness has been largely eliminated, and today’s catalogues from the major
distributors of Christian materials are filled with useful teaching aids for group
Much of the credit for this important development should be given to Dr. Tim
Keller, Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. Initially,
extensive Bible study resources were developed at Redeemer for local use.
Subsequently, all of these valuable guides were made available to other church
groups via the internet. It is safe to say that at one time study guides from
Redeemer constituted the largest single resource used by MPC’s home fellowship
Currently, Dr. Keller has joined with a group of other reformed pastors in preparing
the God’s Word for You Bible Study books and guides. This series will cover books
of both the Old and New Testaments. Another prominent PCA pastor, Sinclair
Ferguson, serves as Editor of the Let’s Study Series that provides excellent support
for groups studying books of the New Testament. Kathleen Nielson, the featured
speaker at MPC’s 2014 Women’s Retreat, should be commended for her fine work in
assisting small group leaders through the well received Living World guides. Also
worthy of special mention is Nancy Guthrie’s expertly researched materials on the
Old Testament, entitled, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament. (Nancy Guthrie was the
featured speaker at the Women’s Retreat in Glen Allen, Virginia in February 2016.)
Dr. Keller also played a key role in the expansion of another form of support for
small groups, DVD based resources designed to aid in discussions of best-selling
Christian books. The impressive list of prominent evangelical authors who recently
prepared multi-session DVD curriculums associated with their books includes: D. A.
Carson, John Ortberg, Eric Mataxus, Philip Yancey, Wayne Grudem, Max Lucado,
Paul Miller, David Tripp, Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
The wide scale production of DVD based resources designed to supplement the
discussion of important subjects was the next key development in small group
support materials. Leaders in this effort include: John Piper (Desiring God
Ministries); R. C. Sproul (Ligonier Ministries); Andy Stanley (North Point
Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia); Ravi Zacharias (RZIM); and, of course,
Tim Keller at Redeemer.
Also worth noting are specialized materials that group leaders can effectively use to
supplement discussions of Bible studies. For example, P&R Publishing has
produced an outstanding series of pamphlets entitled, Basics of the Faith. This
series covers a wide range of important theological topics from a reformed
perspective. Several of these pamphlets were written by MPC’s former Senior
Pastor, Steve Smallman.
Making Small Groups Work:
Henry Cloud and John Townsend , the highly respected authors of numerous bestselling books, including the Boundaries series, are both strong advocates of the
potential of small groups in the Christian Education process as well as care
ministry. They have produced an excellent resource designed to train small group
leaders, entitled, Making Your Small Group Work. Its six sections include: How
Small Groups Help People Grow; What Happens in a Good Group; Starting a Small
Group; The Responsibilities of Group Facilitators; The Responsibilities of Group
Members; and, How to Deal with Problems in Groups. An associated DVD has four
60 minute sessions designed to train leaders in small group foundational values
and practices as well as developing activities and discussions.
Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, has also
prepared a useful DVD package designed to help organize a small group,
Community – Starting Well in Your Small Group. This DVD includes eight sessions
and has an accompanying conversation guide.
Both resources are available in the MPC Library.
Leaders of small groups involved in Bible studies will want to familiarize
themselves with The Complete Bible Discussion Guide by Mack Thomas. This two
volume set has been a valuable resource for HFG leaders at MPC for over twenty
years. It contains group discussion questions for every book in the Bible. Volume 1
is devoted to the Old Testament; Volume 2 is for the New Testament. The material
is designed to be compatible with all Bible translations. Permission is specifically
granted by the publisher to copy pages for group discussion purposes. HFG leaders
who have used The Bible Discussion Guide have called it “a real time saver” in prep
Using the MPC Library to Find Materials for Your Group:
• DVD kits, books and other specialized resources mentioned in this guide are
featured in the Small Groups Section of the Main Library. This recently
expanded section is located directly behind the circulation desk.
• Since the MPC Library catalogs materials according to the Dewey Decimal
System, the Commentary section is arranged in the order of the Books of the
Bible, i. e., from Genesis (222.11) to Revelation (228).
• Group leaders may make special arrangements with the Librarian on duty to
check out items for their groups on a long term basis, rather than the
standard two-week loan period. However, they will be asked to give an
approximate date of when they plan to return the borrowed materials to the
• Leaders who “sign out” materials are requested to ensure that members of
their groups return items borrowed from the Library in a timely manner.
• Questions about the potential use of Library resources may be referred to
either Linda or Ed Crump (703-956-9954) or [email protected]).
Part 1. Bible Study Materials of Special Merit for Small
The following lists include several highly recommended resources that are
designed primarily to meet the needs of small groups involved in Bible Studies.
Bible Study Guides:
God’s Word for You Series. Keller, Timothy, et al. As of August 2016, ten books
have been released in this promising series designed for small groups. Dr. Keller is
the author of four of them - Galatians for You; Judges for You; Romans for You (1-7);
and, Romans for You (8-15). Tim Chester wrote 1 Samuel for You, and Titus for You.
David Helm is the author of Daniel for You; Ephesians for You was written by
Richard Coekin; James for You is by Sam Allberry; and Juan Sanchez recently
completed 1 Peter for You. These books, along with the accompanying study guides
for group leaders and participants, contain real world applications in a way that is
both readable and relevant. Each guide is designed to cover six small group
sessions. The books average approximately 200 pages. Dr. Keller’s four books in the
series [Galatians; Judges; Romans (1-7); & Romans (8-15)] are also available in CD
Let’s Study Series. Ferguson, Sinclair, series editor. Each book in this very
reasonably priced series focuses on one book in the New Testament and includes a
group study guide. As Dr. Ferguson points out in his introduction, these books are
intended to ease the frustrations many have with group discussions by providing
exposition of Scripture that is written in the “language of a friend” to facilitate
understanding as the foundation of “enriching discussion and thoughtful, practical
application”. Eighteen books in the series have been released:
1 Corinthians;
1 & 2 Thessalonians;
1 Timothy;
Philemon (with Colossians);
1 Peter;
2 Peter;
The Letters of John;
Jude (with 2 Peter);
Longman, Tremper. Old Testament Essentials – Creation, Conquest, Exile &
Return. Dr. Longman clearly recognizes that the Old Testament can be difficult for
Christians to interpret. This study, designed for small group use, surveys key texts,
and includes connections to New Testament themes. There are seventeen sessions;
each includes a Bible study, a reading, “Anticipating the New Testament”, and a life
application section. 214 pages. (8 copies available in the MPC Library.)
Nielson, Kathleen. Living World Bible Studies. Cindy Cochrum, Director of
Women’s Bible Studies at College Church in Wheaton, IL, endorsed this series in
the following manner: “What a wonderful gift to today’s church! It is rare to find a
Bible study that is both approachable to those who are new to studying God’s Word
and challenging to those more ‘seasoned’ in Scripture.” Note: These guides are
spiral bound, and very reasonably priced.
Examination copies are available in the MPC library for the following subjects:
Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs
Colossians and Philemon
1 & 2 Thessalonians.
Redeemer Small Group Materials. Since Redeemer’s Bible Studies and Training
Materials are available only by electronic file, the MPC Library maintains a print
copy of each study for small group leaders to preview. To see the entire list of
Redeemer’s studies go to and click on Store/Studies and
Wiersbe, Warren. The Bible Exposition Commentary. This four volume set
contains material from the forty-five guides of the popular “Be Series” that cover
every book of the Bible. Individual guides from the well written series may be
purchased quite inexpensively if a group decides to use them for study purposes.
Selected DVD Based Bible Studies:
Brownback, Lydia. A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to
Everything. Kathleen Nielson endorses the book in this manner: “From the wisdom
of Proverbs, Lydia Brownback draws wise and ever so practical applications for
women.” The book (224 pages) includes a study guide; the companion DVD has ten
20 minute sessions.
Carson, D. A. The Gospel of Luke From the Outside In. This DVD package
includes two DVDs with twelve individual sessions featuring Dr. Carson, plus a
group member book. Each of the DVD sessions runs approximately 10 minutes.
Ferguson, Sinclair. Lessons from the Upper Room. From Ligonier Ministries. In
this teaching series, Dr. Ferguson carefully walks through John 13 – 17 to paint a
vivid picture of the final hours between Jesus and the disciples. Twelve 23 minute
lessons on two DVDs. Also in CD format. Study Guide available. (Released in 2013.)
Guthrie, Nancy. Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament . Nancy Guthrie has
developed a popular Bible studies series that is designed to facilitate study of the
Old Testament. Each of the five parts contains a well researched book plus a ten
session accompanying DVD set. The sessions last approximately 40 minutes; there
are 2 DVDs in each set. The tools needed to put on the course, including discussion
guide helps, may be obtained as free downloads. The series includes:
(1) The Promised One – Seeing Jesus in the Book of Genesis.
(2) The Lamb of God – Seeing Jesus in Exodus; Leviticus; Numbers; and
(3) The Son of David – Seeing Jesus in the Historical Books.
(4) The Wisdom of God – Seeing Jesus in the Psalms & Wisdom Books.
(5) The Word of the Lord –Seeing Jesus in The Prophets.
Michael Horton reviewed the series in the following positive terms: “While there
are good books telling pastors how to preach Christ from all the Scriptures, there
are very few Bible studies for laypeople – especially for women – along these lines.
Guthrie does an amazing job of helping us to fit the pieces of the biblical puzzle
together with Christ at the center.”
Note: Nancy Guthrie was the featured Speaker at the 2016 Retreat, sponsored by the
Board of Women, in Glen Allen, VA. She is a member of Cornerstone Presbyterian
Church (PCA) in Nashville.
Moore, Beth.
(1) Daniel. 6 DVDs, Leader’s Guide & Book. This set emphasizes that just as the
prophet Daniel found unbelievable pressure to compromise his faith in a hostile
culture and was constantly confronted by temptation and threats, today’s believers
face similar trials. While the kit contains twelve sessions, this study of Daniel is
designed so that it may be divided into two separate parts. The first portion, from
Daniel chapters 1-6, deals with Daniel’s life. The second portion, chapters 7-12,
explores prophesies from the time of Daniel to the second coming of Christ.
(2) Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman. This is an in-depth study for women,
highlighting the theme of trusting God’s providence for difficult times. The kit
includes six DVDs with 10 teaching sessions; a leader’s guide and participant
Note: Any doctrinal differences from the PCA’s position can be easily handled by an
experienced group leader.
Yancey, Philip.. The Bible Jesus Read. Contains eight small group discussions
that explore five crucial segments of the Old Testament (Job; Deuteronomy;
Psalms; Ecclesiastes; and the Prophets). Package contains DVD; participant’s
guide & book.
Part 2. DVD Based Studies for Best-Selling Christian
Most of the DVDs listed below emphasize key points that are contained in the
books with the same titles. However, the majority of these sets “stand on their own”.
As a result, a small group member who does not read the book would, in most cases,
still benefit from viewing the DVD and hearing the group’s subsequent discussion.
Alcorn, Randy. Heaven. Originally published in 2004, this best-selling book (476
pages) was highly recommended for study by MPC members by Dr. Butch
Hardman. In Dr. Alcorn’s words, “God has put eternity in our hearts. This group
discussion (material) will help bring eternity to light in a way that will surprise you,
spark your imagination, and change how you will live today.” A seven session DVD
- taught by Randy Alcorn , a small group discussion guide, and a “50 day
devotional” book have been produced to facilitate presenting heaven to small
groups the way Scripture describes it. (Note: It is not mandatory for a group to do
all the devotionals to present a worthwhile curriculum.)
Carson, D. A. The God Who Is There – Finding Your Place in God’s Story. In
what is described as “a basic introduction to faith,” Dr. Carson takes the participant
through the “big story” of Scripture to “help you know what you believe and why
you believe it”. Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, calls it
“a unique and important ministry tool . . . that gives Christians a grounding in basic
biblical beliefs and behavior.” Set includes the book, DVD (4 discs), and companion
leader’s guide.
Cloud, Henry, &/or Townsend, John.
(1) Boundaries. A nine session DVD, based on their best-selling book. Cloud &
Townsend stress the setting and maintaining of clear, Bible-based personal
boundaries to achieve a balanced life. Dave Dravecky, the former Major League
pitching star who has spoken at MPC, states: “The contents of this book have had a
life-changing effect on my wife and me. Boundaries does not offer temporary relief
but points a person to God and His ways for the ultimate cure!” DVD, participant’s
guide & book (304 pages).
(2) Boundaries with Kids. The award-winning authors offer ten life-changing
principles to parenting that are designed to bring control to family life by helping
children establish healthy boundaries Set includes DVD (8 sessions – ranging from
36 to 43 minutes each), leader’s guide; participant’s guide; and book (224 pages).
(3) Boundaries in Marriage. In this important guide for married couples, the
leading Christian counselors recommend boundaries even in marriage. These
include respect for a spouse’s “territory” as well as how to avoid intruders to the
marriage. Set includes DVD; participant’s guide; and book (256 pages).
(4) Beyond Boundaries. John Townsend, the author of this book, demonstrates
how to move from the pain of the past to re-enter a life of committed relationships
that honors God. The six session study includes a DVD (90 minutes total),
participant’s guide, and book.
Gibbs, Joe. Game Plan for Life. Joe Gibbs is a former Redskins Head Coach, 3time Super Bowl winner & Football Hall of Fame member, as well as a 3-time
NASCAR champion. Coach Gibbs originally developed this book (260 pages) in
2009 to aid men of all ages as they face important issues in their lives. Its 14
chapters deal with such subjects as finances; health; relationships; vocation; The
Bible; God; creation, sin and addiction; salvation; purpose; and, heaven. Os
Guinness, Josh McDowell, Ravi Zacharias, Charles Colson and Randy Alcorn are
among the prominent Christian contributors; Tony Dungy wrote the foreword.
Game Plan for Life has been very well received, particularly by men’s study groups.
Two related small group leader’s kits (Volumes 1 & 2), each with six lesson DVDs
and member guides, have now been produced. They are designed for groups of 5 –
10 men.
Notes: 1) Since some of the chapters may be referred to as “broadly evangelical”, it
is understandable that a few of the lessons are not as valuable as the others. In those
cases, a group leader may easily skip them without adversely impacting the flow of
the DVD’s content. 2) Registered readers of Game Plan for Life can receive followup email messages from Coach Gibbs on a regular basis.
Grudem, Wayne. Christian Beliefs. Twenty sessions dealing with core doctrines
of our faith, including the Trinity, sin, the atonement, the resurrection, election,
what it means to become a Christian, justification and sanctification. This study is
designed for “both new and seasoned Christians”. 6 DVDs, approximately 16 hours,
plus study guide.
Note: Dr. Grudem’s 135 page book with the same title contains 20 brief chapters,
and is an effective supplement. A small group could also use the book as a standalone reference source for its studies of Christian doctrine.
Jones, Timothy Paul. How We Got The Bible. This book was published in 2015
and recommended for small group use by the staff of the PCA Bookstore. The
associated DVD features six sessions.
Keller, Timothy.
(1) The Meaning of Marriage. Based on the best-selling book that they coauthored, Tim and Kathy Keller share a biblically based portrait of matrimony that
has been described as “refreshingly frank, realistic and hopeful.” Kit includes the
book; a six session DVD; & guide.
2) Prodigal God: Finding Your Place at the Table. This study is based on what
has been called Jesus’ “best known and least understood” parable - the prodigal son.
Session titles include: The Parable; The People Around Jesus; The Two Lost Sons;
The Elder Brother; The True Elder Brother; and, The Feast of the Father. Book, six
session DVD, discussion guide, and CD set are available.
(3). The Reason for God: Conversations on Faith and Life. Based on his
bestselling book, Dr. Keller presents his conversations with a group sharing their
beliefs and questions in six 20 minute sessions. A discussion guide for the DVD has
been developed. The titles of the six discussions are: 1.Isn’t the Bible a Myth?; 2.
How Can You Say There Is Only One Way to God?; 3. What Gives You the Right to
Tell Me How to Lead My Life?; 4. Why Does God Allow Suffering?; 5. Why Is the
Church Responsible for So Much Injustice?; 6. How Can God Be Full of Love and
Wrath at the Same Time?
Leman, Kevin. Planet Middle School . Published in 2015, Planet Middle School
immediately became one of the most enthusiastically received books by MPC
Library patrons who are the parents of adolescents. As Dr. Leman says in his
Introduction, “They’re up, they’re down, they’re floating in the stratosphere. But you
can make these weird years the best and most fun of all.” 302 pages of well written,
often humorous, stories, anecdotes, and practical advice and wisdom about dealing
with that sometimes “alien world” of the Middle School years – from a Christian
perspective by an internationally known and respected psychologist who is also a
parent of five children. Several groups of parents, teachers and school
administrators have successfully used this book as the basis of profitable “book
review” style discussions and the exchanging of valuable experiences.
Lewis, C. S.
(1) The C. S. Lewis Study Program of Mere Christianity. This resource, intended
for small groups, was produced by the C.S. Lewis Institute. The presentation, led by
Dr. Christopher Mitchell, a highly respected C. S. Lewis scholar, is a four part DVD
study guide. The program explores C.S. Lewis’ most influential work. A study guide
is provided
(2) Discussing Mere Christianity. This eight session DVD study is hosted by Eric
Metaxas. Authors and scholars interviewed include Philip Yancey, Alister McGrath,
Kathy Keller and Douglas Gresham. During the study the meaning, history and
contemporary application of this Christian classic are explored. A Study Guide is
available to support Discussing Mere Christianity.
Note: A potential supplement to a group study of Mere Christianity includes:
Listening to selected portions of the excellent audio CD, C. S. Lewis at War; the
Dramatic Story Behind Mere Christianity (produced by Radio Theatre).
Lucado, Max:
(1) Grace – More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine. This set is
designed to answer such major questions as: Do we really understand grace?; Have
we been shaped by grace?; Have we been softened by grace?; and, Have we been
changed by grace? It contains seven sessions of Scripture study plus conversation
starters and discussion questions for use with small groups. The set includes: the
book, a seven session DVD, leader’s guide and student guide. The DVD sessions
vary in length from six to eleven minutes.
(2) Outlive Your Life – You Were Made to Make a Difference. This book (240
pages) was published in 2010. In it Max Lucado stresses that we are created by a
great God to do great works, and that he invites us to live out our lives in a way that
the world will be glad we do. The associated DVD kit, designed for small groups,
instructs us to Discover How You Can Make a Difference. Also available are an
ACD version, and a participant’s guide.
Note: In the introduction to a study of this book and/or DVD, it is important for the
group leader to review the relationship between faith and good works, emphasizing
that while they may be distinguished, they may never be separated. R. C. Sproul’s
chapter on “Faith and Works” in Essentials of the Christian Faith (page 191)
provides particularly helpful discussion points for such an introduction.
Metaxas, Eric. Bonhoeffer. This DVD, filmed in Germany, is associated with the
author’s best-selling biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The four session DVD
outlines major themes in the pastor’s writings, and their impact and inspiration
during World War II as well as today. The sessions are entitled: What Is the
Church?; Living in Christian Community; Religionless Christianity; and, Come and
Die. A study guide is available. The DVD could be used as an effective supplement
to a “book club” type discussion of the inspiring biography or viewed on its own.
Notes: 1. An abridged version of the best-selling book is now available for a group
interested in going the “book club” route, but concerned about time limitations of
group members. 2. A potential supplement to either type of study might include
viewing the movie, Bonhoeffer, Agent of Grace.
Miller, Paul. Prayer Life: Learning to Pray in a Distracting World. This DVD
series provides a step-by-step guide of how to begin a private life of prayer in
fellowship with our heavenly Father. This set deals with such important questions
as: How do we stay focused when we are distracted with so much to do?; How do we
pray longer than five minutes?; How do we pray when our own lives are so “messed
up”?; How do we ask again when we’ve asked before, and it hasn’t happened? Four
DVDs with 11 sessions; book; leader and participants’ guides available.
Note: Paul Miller is the son of the late Jack Miller, the founder of World Harvest
Mission, and Rose Marie Miller, author of From Fear to Freedom, who were closely
associated with MPC back in the days when Steve Smallman was our Senior Pastor.
He is credited with designing and writing the original Sonship course when he was
on the staff of World Harvest.
Morley, Patrick. A Man’s Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines – A Man in the
Mirror Bible Study. The issues facing men today require solutions beyond just
regular church attendance. It takes discipline and determination to keep the faith
strong, and to give men the tools they need to reflect Christ in all aspects of their
lives. This series includes twelve sessions on four discs. Disc 1: A Man & The Bible;
A Man & Creation; A Man and Prayer; Disc 2: A Man and Worship; A Man and the
Sabbath; A Man and Fellowship; Disc 3: A Man and Counsel; A Man and Fasting; A
Man and Stewardship; Disc 4: A Man and Service; A Man and Spiritual Warfare; A
Man and Evangelism. The set includes the book, four DVDs, and a CD that allows
access to study questions.
Ortberg, John. DVDs and study guides have been prepared to accompany study of
several of John Ortberg’s most popular books by small groups. Kits now available
in the MPC Library include:
(1) All the Places to Go. Rarely does God command us to “stay”; instead, He opens
doors and invites us to walk through. In this book Ortberg urges us to recognize
and embrace divinely inspired opportunities. Book (204 pages); six DVD sessions;
& participant’s guide available.
(2) God Is Closer Than You Think. Book; six DVD sessions; leader’s guide &
participant’s guides available.
(3) If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat. In this bestselling classic, John Ortberg encourages us to leave our “comfort zone”, to “get out
of the boat”, and to more fully experience the power of God in our lives. Book (224
pages); six DVD sessions; CD set; & participant’s guide available.
(4) The Life You’ve Always Wanted – Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People.
In a “humorous and upbeat” manner, Ortberg encourages us to mature in Christ
and transform our lives. Book; six DVD sessions; & participant’s guide available.
(5) The Me I Want to Be – Becoming God’s Best Version of You. Book; five DVD
sessions; & participant’s guide available.
Note: Teen Edition also available, with book; DVD & guide.
(6) Soul Keeping – Caring for the Most Important Part of You. Book (208 pages);
six DVD sessions; & guide.
(7) When the Game is Over, It All Goes Back Into the Box. Because our
possessions, money and power will not last forever, Ortberg challenges us to choose
God’s riches through Jesus Christ. Book; six DVD sessions (totaling 120 minutes);
and guide. CD version also available.
(8) Who Is This Man? – The Unpredictable Impact of the Inescapable Jesus.
Book; five DVD sessions; & guide available.
Piper, John.
(1) Desiring God. This book, originally published in 2003, has become a classic.
The DVD features ten 30 minute discussions for group study
(2) Don’t Waste Your Life. In this thought provoking book, Dr. Piper challenges us
not to waste our lives. The wasted life, he tells us, is one that lacks the passion to
display God’s supreme excellence in all spheres of life. “God told us to pray and
think and dream and plan and work not to be made much of, but to make much of
Him in every part of our lives.” The set includes three DVDs. Disc 1 includes ten 15minute teaching sessions and is designed for a guided group study. Discs 2-3
contain four new, hour-long messages by Dr. Piper primarily designed for a
workshop or conference. Set includes the book; DVD set; & study guide. 6 copies of
the book were donated to the Library for HFG use.(3) Let the Nations Be Glad . This classic book provides a sound theological
foundation for the Biblical mandate for missions. Al Mohler, President of Southern
Baptist Theological Seminary, calls it, “The most important book for missions for
this generation.” The study guide for the DVD has eight sessions that correspond to
the book; on the DVD there are six 30 minute messages.
(4) Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ . This DVD, with accompanying leader and
study guide, explores the “meaning and significance of learning to see Christ as
well as delighting in him and the truth of the gospel.” Sessions include:. What
Does It Mean to See and Savor Christ?; Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ in the
Gospel; The Importance of Seeing and Savoring;. The Diverse Excellencies of Jesus
Christ; Jesus Christ: Sovereign and Submissive; and, Is Following Jesus Safe or
Dangerous? Eight sessions - two DVD discs; book & study guide. Ten copies of both
the book and the study guide were donated to the Library for HFG use.
Sproul, R. C.
(1) Unseen Realities – Heaven, Hell, Angels & Demons. R. C. Sproul completed
this relatively brief book (157 pages) in 2011. It contains sixteen chapters that are
divided into four parts (Heaven, Hell, Angels & Satan). Parts 3 & 4 were
incorporated into a DVD presentation, entitled Angels & Demons, that is designed
for small group use. The single disc DVD contains eight 23 minute messages by Dr.
Sproul. The messages are: The Heavenly Choir; The Heavenly Host; Earthly
Enforcers; Angels as Ministers; Angels as Messengers; Angel Worship; The
Adversary; and, The Angel of “Light”. Book; DVD; CD (Parts 3 & 4 only); & Study
Guide available.
(2) What is Reformed Theology? This book (236 pages) provides a solid review of
the doctrines of grace, the primacy of Scripture, the covenants, and justification.
There is an associated DVD package that contains twelve 23 minute discussions on
three DVDs. Subjects include: Scripture Alone; Faith Alone; Covenant; Total
Depravity; Unconditional Election; Limited Atonement; Irresistible Grace; and
Perseverance of the Saints. A CD version of the DVD package is also available.
Note: The DVD set was produced in 1997, so, while the content is excellent, it is
rather dated in terms of production quality.
Tripp, Paul David & Lane, Timothy. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands –
How to Help Others Change. Based on their best-selling book, this twelve session
DVD “seminar” outlines biblical, Christ centered principles to equip participants
for personal ministry to others. Most of the sessions run approximately twenty-five
minutes. Kit includes: book; two DVDs; & participant’s guide.
Tripp, Paul David. What Did You Expect? Redeming the Realities of Marriage.
A video recording of a live conference, This DVD set includes ten 25 minute
sessions on three DVDs. Also includes a CD Data Disc for the group leader to print
out a reproducible Discussion Guide and Leader’s Guide. The associated book was
released in 2010; the conference that serves as the basis for the DVD set was held in
2012. Donated to the Library by a HFG that recommended it for married couples.
Tripp, Tedd. Shepherding a Child’s Heart . This book is considered a classic on
parenting. The DVD is a twelve part series. Book; DVD; leader’s guide; and parent’s
guide are available.
Yancey, Philip :
(1) The Bible Jesus Read. Eight small group discussions explore five crucial
segments of the Old Testament (Job; Deuteronomy; Psalms; Ecclesiastes; and the
Prophets). Kit contains: book; DVD, & participant’s guide.
(2) The Jesus I Never Knew. Book & six session DVD on the life of Christ. Leader’s
guide provided. Total time is 115 minutes.
(3) The Question that Never Goes Away. Dr. Yancey first explores that most
difficult of questions, “Where is God when bad things happen?” He then encourages
us to find faith when it’s most severely tested. A short (only 128 pages) but powerful
book. DVD and participant’s guide available.
(4) Vanishing Grace. Dr. Yancey asks: “If the gospel is good news, why has it been
getting such bad press lately, and what can Christians do by the way we live to
reverse this trend?” Book, DVD and study guides available.
Zacharias, Ravi. Jesus, Among Other Gods. The noted apologetics scholar
answers those who believe that all religions are equally true. He compares Christ to
the founders of other religions, revealing Jesus’ supremacy with the goal of
equipping participants to share these truths with doubters. Book; DVD, & leader’s
guide available.
Part 3. Examples of Other Books Studied by MPC’s Small
This summary is offered as a potential starting point for group leaders seeking to
find books that their members would both enjoy reading and find meaningful in
their continuing Christian education. However, rather than present a summary of
titles that the Library Staff thinks small group members would find beneficial, we
have included ones that other small group members have told us that their groups
studied and gave generally “high marks”. The list has been developed over a period
of several years with suggestions coming from many Library patrons.
Bridges, Jerry.
(1) The Discipline of Grace: God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness.
This best-selling book emphasizes that “Grace is every bit as important for growing
as a Christian as it is for becoming a Christian.” A thirteen section study guide is
now available to aid with the study of this classic work.
(2) The Pursuit of Holiness. Dr. Bridges discusses why holiness is so difficult for
us to attain. He believes that the underlying reason is that we are not exactly sure
what holiness is. His exploration of the subject includes how God has equipped us
to lead a holy life, how reason and emotion influence our will, and how habits and
personal discipline play a part in holy living. 192 pages. Study guide available.
(3) Respectable Sins. This best-selling book exposes the dangers of so-called
“acceptable” transgressions, such as jealousy and greed, and urges us to
thoughtfully examine our lives and turn away from subtle behaviors that can
destroy our Christian work. Book and eight session study guide are available.
Cloud, Henry. Changes that Heal. Dr. Cloud is a highly respected clinical
psychologist and leadership consultant. In this best-selling book (254 pages) he
outlines a four-step program for healing and spiritual growth. Josh McDowell states
that “next to the Bible (it) has affected my life more than any other book that I have
read.” Book includes a valuable ten-page Study Guide. Workbook available.
Foster, Richard and Smith, James Bryan, editors. Devotional Classics: Selected
Readings for Individuals & Groups. Each reading is accompanied by an
introduction and meditation by Richard Foster. In addition, the readings feature a
linked biblical passage, discussion questions, and individual and group exercises. 4
copies donated by a HFG that previously studied this book.
Horton, Michael. Pilgrim Theology - A Concise Tour of Christian Doctrine.
Based, in part, on his highly regarded work, The Christian Faith. Discussion Guide
aids individuals working through the book by defining terms and providing thought
provoking questions. Links are provided to Horton’s The Christian Faith.
James, Carolyn Custis.
(1) Lost Women of the Bible: Finding Strength & Significance Through Their
Stories. Jerry Bridges asserts that this book builds a biblical basis for the
important role of women in the body of Christ and should encourage women and
instruct men on this vital subject. Suggested scripture passages as well as
discussion questions are included with each chapter. Multiple copies were donated
to the Library by the Board of Women..
(2) When Life and Beliefs Collide: How Knowing God Makes a Difference. J.I.
Packer comments that, “This outstanding book offers the best demonstration that
everyone needs theology, the best expository account of Mary and Martha, and the
best trajectory of women’s ministry in modern North America that I have yet read.”
Discussion questions are included for each chapter. 6 copies were donated by the
Board of Women.
Little, Paul. Know What You Believe. Although it is a relatively small book (only
120 pages), this best selling classic has proved helpful to many seeking to better
understand the basics of the Christian faith. A study guide is included. 6 copies are
available in the MPC Library.
Lucado, Max. Ten Men of the Bible. A vivid reminder that the men depicted in the
Bible were not perfect. In this ten session study guide, Lucado examines ten of them
to illustrate the good or bad that resulted from the decisions that they made.
Discussion questions included for each session.
MacArthur, John. The following four books, each with study guides, explore what
it means to be successful in the Lord’s eyes. Small groups that have used these
books in their studies have provided very positive feedback.
(1) Parables. John MacArthur explains each of the parables of Jesus. 288 pages.
Accompanying workbook available.
(2) Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped Women of the Bible and
What He Wants to Do with You. Some of the women studied in this book are
familiar figures, Eve, Mary, Martha, Sarah, Anna, and Rahab. However, others have
names that are never even mentioned. 224 pages.
(3) Twelve Ordinary Men: The Lives of the Apostles. MacArthur reacquaints us
with Christ’s first followers, and reminds us that they were not heroic figures or
trailblazers before Jesus called them. This book illustrates how God delights in
using imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will, and helps us explore His
plans for our lives. 224 pages.
(4) Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in The
Bible and What He Wants to Do with You. MacArthur provides insights into the
lives of biblical models who often faltered or failed along the way. Characters
studied include Joseph, Miriam, Samson, Esther, and Mark. 272 pages.
Metaxas, Eric. Miracles. This best selling book (332 pages) was published in 2014,
and has been described as “the definitive book on miracles”. It examines what
miracles are, why they happen, and how they can change our lives. Topics include:
believing in miracles; miracles and science; Biblical miracles; the resurrection; the
miracle stories; and, how miracles can change your life. The book also features a
wide range of real stories of the miraculous.
Packer, J. I. Knowing God . Dr. Packer’s classic work stresses the difference
between knowing God and knowing about God. Rated “one of the top 50 books
shaping evangelicals.” A study guide is now available to assist HFGs in their
review. Multiple copies of the book are available in the MPC Library.
Smith, Winston. Marriage Matters – Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary
Moments. Highly recommended by the MPC Care Team. Respected counselor
Winston Smith is a faculty member of the Christian Counseling & Educational
Foundation (CCEF). Tremper Longman says of Marriage Matters, “Winston Smith
combines serious reflection on the Bible with very practical insights on marriage.”
Intended for married couples as well as those contemplating marriage. The book
(304 pages) is divided into two sections: “God is in the Ordinary Moments” and
“Extraordinary Love in the Details of Marriage”. Fifteen chapters; each includes
three parts: “What You”ll Learn from (the) Chapter”; discussion points; and, a
summary entitled, “Think About It”. 304 pages; facilitator’s guide; and study guide
Sproul, R. C. Essentia ls of the Christian Faith. This classic work contains 102
brief (2 or 3 pages) discussions of major Christian doctrines. These biblical
concepts are explained in theologically sound terms, applicable Biblical passages
are cited, and a brief summary of the doctrine is provided. Reviewing several key
chapters from this book has the potential to provide readers with an easy, but
highly effective method of increasing the group’s understanding of the reformed
faith with minimum prep time.
Vaughn, Ellen. Radical Gratitude: Discovering Joy Through Everyday
Thankfulness. Mrs. Vaughn, a former MPC member, says that “…counting our
blessings and conjuring an attitude to-whom-it-may-concern is not enough. What
do we do when cancer strikes or when loved ones die?” That, she says, is where
“gratitude gets radical”. Ellen has also written a guide that she entitled “A Casual
Companion Guide for Discussion and Reflection…” The 29 page guide can be
accessed free of charge on her website (
Note: Several years ago Mrs. Vaughn taught a well received class here at MPC that
was based on her book. There are 6 copies of Radical Gratitude available. A copy of
her guide is also available in the Library for review.
Veith, Gene. God at Work – Your Christian Vocation in All of Life. As is typical
of Gene Veith’s work, this book is extremely well written and an absolute joy to
read. Although originally published in 2002, the biblical principle on which it is
based, “doing everything for God’s glory”, is hardly an “outdated” one. The book is
divided into eleven chapters that average approximately 15 pages each, making it
an “easy read” for HFG members with limited available time for outside study.
Several copies of the book were donated to the MPC Library by a HFG that highly
recommended it.
Whelchel, Hugh . How Then Should We Work? Rediscovering the Biblical
Doctrine of Work. Published in 2012. As Art Lindsley points out in the forward,
Hugh Whelchel has written a book, “that provides an opportunity for discerning
people to get a deeper, panoramic, broader perspective, not only on work, but on all
of life.” Hugh has also prepared a discussion guide which is available to be
downloaded at
Note: Hugh Whelchel is a Ruling Elder at MPC. He is the Executive Director of the
Institute for Work, Faith and Economics. Previously he served as the Executive
Director of the Washington, DC Area campus of the Reformed Theological
4. DVD Based Studies for Group Discussions of
Important Subjects:
Unlike the DVDs listed in Part 2, the titles in this section are not associated with
books. As a result, while the kits may have study guides or workbooks, in most cases
the amount of “prep time” required for leaders and students alike is significantly
Christian History Collection. DVDs have replaced the original VHS tapes in the
following five popular teaching/study kits:
The Apostles’ Creed (Abridged Version);
History of Christianity;
Jesus – the New Way;
Overview of the Reformation;
Trial and Testimony of the Early Church.
All sets include discussion guides.
Note: Several years ago videos from the Christian History Collection were used in
well received Sunday Morning Adult Education courses at MPC.
Colson, Charles. Politics and the Christian Faith: Why Christians Must Live
Out Their Faith, Promote Freedom, and Be Good Citizens. This four session
DVD was released in 2008. During the presentation, developed primarily for small
groups, Charles Colson and his guests discuss the proper relationship between
politics and religion. Colson stays clear of endorsing a particular political party or
movement. However, he does focus on difficult questions involving politics. For
example, he asks: Is America a Christian nation?; Should Christians become
involved in politics?; What is America’s church and state problem?; and, Can
politics save America? Obviously there are no simple answers to such questions,
and, to his credit, he takes the time to explore their complexities. This set has the
potential to help us understand how, as Evangelicals, we should be involved in
public life, but do so without becoming “political” within our worship services. The
four sessions run a total of 1 hour and 12 minutes. A discussion guide is included.
Notes: 1. For discussion purposes, a HFG leader may wish to consider sharing the
article on this subject by Dr. Hutchinson that appeared in Ligonier’s Table Talk
magazine. 2. During his distinguished service as Founder of Prison Fellowship
Ministries, Charles Colson maintained a close relationship with MPC. In 1990 he
spoke at the dedication ceremony of our current church facility at 1020 Balls Hill
Crown Ministries. Discovering God’s Way of Handling Money. Based on the
belief that The Bible is “a blueprint for managing your finances”, Crown Ministries
produced this two volume DVD set for group use. (As is frequently pointed out, The
Bible contains over 2350 verses that address this subject.) Each disc contains four
segments. Discussions include: Debt; Honesty; Giving; Work; Serving & Investing;
and Teaching Children. A Course Workbook and Leader’s Guide may be ordered
from Crown Ministries. The set was produced in 2006. It was donated to the MPC
Library by a small group that had studied Crown Ministries’ principles with positive
feedback from those who attended.
Hume, Brit, moderator. Doing the Right Thing: A Six-Part Exploration of
Ethics. Hosted by Chuck Colson, Ben Stein, T.M Moore and others in 2012, the six
DVD sessions and accompanying study guide “encourage participants to examine
themselves and how ethical and character issues relate to their lives at home,
school, and the workplace.”
Jones, Timothy Paul. How We Got the Bible. This six-session DVD series
provides a thorough discussion of the origin, trustworthiness and history of the
Keller, Timothy. Gospel in Life: Grace Changes Everything. This DVD
supported study is an intensive eight-session course on the gospel and “how it is
lived out in all of life – first in your heart, then in your community, and then out into
the world.” In each of the eight sessions, Dr. Keller presents a ten-minute teaching
segment on the gospel. The study guide includes home study opportunities on the
scripture passages as well as discussion questions pertinent for each session. A
study guide is available.
Ligionier Ministries. The following is a partial list of teaching resources on
reformed theology from Ligonier Ministries featured in the MPC Library. Ligonier
was founded by Dr. R. C. Sproul, a teaching elder in the PCA. Since Ligonier tends
to market some older materials that previously were in VHS format, when available,
the release date of these DVDs has been included in the write-ups on this list.
(1) 2015 National Conference - Worldview & Culture Conference Series. After
Darkness, Light. This five DVD package includes twenty 30 to 50 minute messages
by several leading Reformed scholars. A partial list of the speakers includes:
Sinclair Ferguson (“Christ’s Message to the Church” & “The Least of These”);
Steven Lawson (“A Puny God” & “The Daring Mission of William Tynsdale”);
Alistair Begg (“No Place for Truth”); Robert Godfrey (“I Will Build My Church” &
“It’s Just a Book”); Kevin DeYoung (“Do Not Love the World”); and, R. C. Sproul
(“Holy, Holy, Holy”). A highly educational resource for a group that simply lacks
“prep time”.
(2) Ferguson, Sinclair. Lessons from the Upper Room. In this teaching series, Dr.
Ferguson carefully walks through John 13 – 17 to paint a vivid picture of the final
hours between Jesus and the disciples. Twelve 23 minute lessons on two DVDs.
Also available in ACD format. Study guide provided. (Released in 2013)
(3) Godfrey, W. Robert. A Survey of Church History. Volume 4 of his study of
the Reformation, Dr. Godfrey examines the history of the Reformed church in the
English speaking world. He discusses the Puritans from England to New England,
as well as such notable figures as John and Charles Wesley, George Whitefield, and
Jonathan Edwards, all of whom played major roles in the First Great Awakening. .
Two DVDs with twelve 23 minute messages. Study guide provided. ACD version
also available. (Released in 2014)
(4) Jones, Peter. Only Two Religions. Dr. Jones surveys the religious landscape in
modern culture, drawing the inevitable conclusion that in the final analysis what
initially seems to be a diverse range of views ultimately boils down to just two – the
Christian faith or a common worldview radically opposed to it. Simply put, do we
worship the Creator or the creation? Twelve 23 minute lessons on two DVDs. Also
available in ACD format. Study guide provided. (Released in 2014)
(5) Reeves, Michael. The English Reformation and the Puritans. In this twelve
part series, Dr. Reeves surveys the history of the English Reformation, and the work
of the Puritans in rediscovering the gospel of grace and the doctrine of justification
by faith alone. Two DVDs & study guide. ACD version is also available. (Released
in 2014)
(6) Sproul, R.C. The Promise Keeper: The God of the Covenants. In this series of
fourteen 23 minute messages on two DVDs, Dr. Sproul demonstrates that God has
fulfilled his promised plan of redemption in and through His people. Topics include:
The Covenant of Redemption; The Meaning of Covenant; Creation Covenant (3
parts); Noahic Covenant; Abrahamic Covenant (2 parts); Mosaic Covenant (2
parts); Davidic Covenant; The New Covenant (2 parts); and, The Christ of the
Covenants. Study guide available; additional copies may be downloaded from the
(7) Waters, Guy. The Life and Theology of Paul. A twelve part series in which Dr.
Waters, Professor of New Testament at RTS in Jackson, identifies the key moments
in Paul’s life and the essentials of his God centered theology. Each session runs 23
minutes. two DVDs & study guide. ACD version also available. (Released in 2014)
Moore, Beth. Loving Well. Previously used by the Board of Women at a Women’s
Retreat. While designed primarily for a conference setting, it has been adapted for
small group use. Includes two DVDs & leader’s guide.
Note: Any doctrinal differences from the PCA’s position can be easily handled by an
experienced group leader.
Piper, John.
(1) The Blazing Center – The Soul-Satisfying Supremacy of God in All Things.
In this DVD set Dr. Piper explains: Why is God passionate about His glory?; Why
does our happiness depend on God’s pursuit of his glory?; Why does God command
us to pursue our happiness?; Why is it a sin to abandon God and pursue our
happiness in lesser things?; Why is our love for God revealed in our delight in Him,
and not in our labors for him?; Why does joy in God overflow into love to meet the
needs of others?; and, Why is joy in God the only force that can sustain us in
periods of prolonged suffering? Materials are presented in eight 30-minute sessions
on three DVDs.
(2) TULIP – The Pursuit of God’s Glory in Salvation. This DVD set from
Crossway was prepared by John Piper for small group use. It provides a guided
study of the so called “five points of Calvinism”. Three DVDs contain sixteen
sessions of approximately thirty minutes each.
Pratt, Richard.
(1) He Gave Us Prophets. In this DVD set Dr. Pratt discusses eight topics that
give us crucial insights into Old Testament prophecy. Four DVD discs; 5 hours 37
minutes total length; average running time per lesson is 42 messages. Study guides
can be accessed at:
(2) Third Millenium Ministries Seminary Curriculum. Dr. Richard Pratt has
developed a multi-media seminary curriculum to train Christian leaders around the
world. These lessons, written from a reformed perspective, are also designed for
use by groups or individuals. Each study is presented on a DVD, and study guides
are available on the web at When he was our Senior
Pastor, Dr. Hutchinson was so impressed with the quality of these studies that he
personally ordered the materials for small group use through the Library. Topics
The Apostles’ Creed
Building Your Theology
Building Systematic Theology
Kingdom, Covenants & Canon of the Old Testament
The Gospels
We Believe in Jesus
The Book of Acts
Building Biblical Theology
The Heart of Paul’s Theology
Primeval History
Paul’s Prison Epistles
Father Abraham
Making Biblical Decisions
Rainey, Dennis. Stepping Up – A Call to Courageous Manhood . A ten session
DVD series designed to prepare men to master their life purpose while coping with
the daily challenges of home, work and community. Kit includes a leader’s guide,
workbook, and three DVDs. The DVD sessions run approximately 25-35 minutes
each. Donated to the MPC Library by a Men’s Bible Study Group that highly
recommended it.
Stanley, Andy. Several excellent kits, most with associated DVDs and/or study
guides, have been developed by Andy Stanley, originally for use by members of the
North Point Community Church in Atlanta. Each of them addresses common issues
and challenges in Christian life in a winsome yet thought provoking manner. The
studies are generally designed for 6-8 sessions; each
DVD message lasts approximately fifteen minutes and includes several stimulating
discussion questions.
A DVD “curriculum sampler” containing the first session from several studies is
available for small group leaders wishing to preview the packages.
Note: Any doctrinal differences from the PCA’s position can be easily handled by an
experienced group leader. Additional copies of the guides are available through
CBD (1-800-247-4784).
North Point HFG resources now available in the MPC Library include:
The Best Question Ever – Learning to Foolproof Your Life. 6 sessions; DVD, guide
& book.
Discovering God’s Will – How to Know When You Are Heading in the Right
Direction. 8 sessions; DVD & study guide.
Enemies of the Heart – Breaking free from the four emotions that control you.
Book (224 pages) for 6 sessions; discussion questions included.
Faith, Hope & Luck – Discover What You Can Expect from God. 5 sessions; DVD
& study guide.
Five Things that God Uses to Grow Your Faith. 6 sessions, DVD & guide.
Follow – Discover What Being a Follower of Jesus Truly Means. 8 sessions; DVD
& participant’s guide..
Go Fish – Because of What’s on the Line DVD - 6 sessions.
Guardrails – Avoiding Regrets in Your Life. 6 sessions; DVD & study guide.
How to Be Rich – It’s Not What You Have, It’s What You Do With What You
Have. 4 sessions; Book (176 pages), DVD.
The Principle of the Path – How to get from where you are to where you want to
be. 10 sessions; book with discussion questions included.
Staying in Love – Falling in Love is Easy, Staying in Love Requires a Plan
4 sessions; DVD & study guide.
Taking Responsibility for Your Life – Because Nobody Else Will. 4 sessions;
DVD & study guide.
Time of Your Life – Making the Most of It. 5 sessions – DVD.
Twisting the Truth – Learning to Discern in a Culture of Deception. 6 sessions;
DVD & study guide.
When Work & Family Collide – Keeping your job from cheating your family Book
- 4 sessions; discussion questions included.
Why in the World (in Christ, did God become one of us)? DVD & participant’s
You’ll Be Glad You Did – At Some Point We All Look Back and Wonder, What If?
4 sessions – DVD.
Your Move – Four Questions to Ask When You Don’t Know What to Do. 4
sessions; DVD & study guide..
Stott, John. The Bible & the Christian Life. In this six session DVD, John Stott,
the former Rector of All Souls Church in London, teaches about the
authenticity, interpretation and use of Scripture. He approaches the subject from
the reformed view of Christ’s rule of the Church through Scripture alone. The set
was released in 2006 when Dr. Stott was 85 years old. The previous year Time
Magazine had listed him as one of the “100 Most Influential Persons in the World”.
The six sessions are: 1) The Authenticity of the Bible; 2) The Nature of the Bible:
Double Authorship; 3) The Interpretation of the Bible; 4) The Problem of Culture; 5)
Developing a Christian Mind; and, 6) Making an Impact on Society. Approximately
5 hours. Leader’s guide included.
Yancey, Philip: Prayer – Does It Make Any Difference? Explores difficult
questions about prayer. 90 minute DVD, six sessions. Participant’s guide available.
Zacharias, Ravi. (RZIM). Foundations of Apologetics. Definitely not for a group
that discusses study materials casually, Foundations of Apologetics is described as
a “rigorous curriculum”. The series is designed to introduce a comprehensive range
of apologetic arguments and strategies. It features Ravi Zacharias, Michael
Ramsden, Alister McGrath, Stuart McAllister and other members of the RZIM
“team of apologists”. Topics include: The Existence of God; Establishing a
Worldview; The Trustworthiness of the Scriptures; and, God, Evil and Suffering.
Contains twelve DVDs that may be studied individually. Guides and workbooks
Appendix I: MPC’s Commentary Section
Since MPC is an evangelical church, the majority of commentaries in our Library come
from a similar perspective. In addition, as a church in the Reformed tradition that
belongs to the Presbyterian Church in America, a special effort has been made to
acquire commentaries prepared by Elders associated with the PCA. However, since the
Library is also designed to service the needs of its Pastors and Ministry staff as well as
RTS Seminary Students, it is necessary to include some technical, noteworthy and
scholarly works of a critical perspective that is other than our own. Patrons should, of
course, treat such critical commentaries with discernment.
Most of the commentaries in the MPC Library have been discussed in the following
respected surveys: Carson, D. A., New Testament Commentary Survey; Evans, John, A
Guide to Biblical Commentaries & Reference Works; Longman, Tremper, Old Testament
Commentary Survey; and, Thomas, Derek, The Essential Commentaries for a Preacher’s
When selecting a commentary for either individual or group study, it is important to
remember that such works are addressed to specialized audiences. For example, one
written with the needs of the layperson in mind and designed to assist in ascertaining
the broad scope of a text would, in most cases, not interest a group of seminary
students. As a result, the Holman Commentaries Series, that some scholars tend to
discount as “elementary”, has proven to be a valuable aid in the opinion of many small
group leaders called upon to prepare lessons for new Christians. For that reason, the
MPC Library contains a very wide range of materials - from brief overviews to scholarly
The following lists feature some of the major commentaries available for check out in
the MPC Library:
Old Testament Commentary Series:
Apollos Old Testament Commentary (AOTC)
Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Wisdom & Psalms
Bible Speaks Today (BST)
Boice, James: Commentaries
Calvin’s Commentaries
Communicator’s Commentary
Evangelical Press Study Commentary
Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Edition
Focus on the Bible
God’s Word for You Series
Holman Old Testament Commentary
New American Commentary (NAC)
New International Commentary on the Old Testament (NICOT)
New International Version Application Commentary (NIVAC)
Preaching the Word Commentary Series
Presbyterian & Reformed: The Gospel According to the Old Testament (P&R)
Quick Notes – Simplified Bible Commentary Series
Reformed Expository Commentary Series (P&R)
Tyndale Old Testament Commentary (TOTC)
Wiersbe, Warren: Bible Exposition Commentary
Word Biblical Commentary (WBC)
Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
New Testament Commentary Series:
Bible Speaks Today (BST)
Boice, James: Commentaries
Calvin’s Commentaries
Communicator’s Commentary
Evangelical Press Study Commentary
Expositor’s Bible Commentary – Revised Edition
Focus on the Bible
God’s Word for You Series
Holman New Testament Commentary
Let’s Study Series
MacArthur New Testament Commentary
New American Commentary (NAC)
New International Commentary on the New Testament (NICNT)
New International Version Application Commentary (NIVAC)
New Testament Commentary (Hendriksen & Kistemaker)
Preaching the Word Commentary Series
Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC)
Presbyterian & Reformed: The Gospel According to the New Testament (P&R)
Quick Notes – Simplified Bible Commentary Series
Reformed Expository Commentary Series (REC)
St. Andrews Expositional Commentary
Tyndale New Testament Commentary (TNTC)
Wiersbe, Warren: Bible Exposition Commentary
Word Biblical Commentary (WBC)
Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary
Individual Commentaries: MPC’s Library also contains many outstanding
“individual” commentaries, i.e., ones that are not part of a series. Some leading
examples include: Young, Edward. The Book of Isaiah; McComiskey, Thomas. The
Minor Prophets; Ferguson, Sinclair. The Pundit’s Folly (Ecclesiastes); Carson, D. A. The
Sermon on the Mount; and, Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn. Studies in the Sermon on the Mount;
Studies in the Book of Acts, and, Expositions on Ephesians.
Other Reference Works::Other available reference works that may prove helpful to a
group leader include: Bible dictionaries, concordances, study Bibles, handbooks,
encyclopedias, and atlases, as well as Bible theology books such as The New Dictionary
of Theology.
Appendix II. Teaching Aids & Supplementary Resources
New leaders of small groups will want to become familiar with the resources
mentioned in this Appendix. The teaching aids will prove helpful in organizing a
group and reducing “prep time”. The supplementary resources list includes several
items that can profitably “fill” a week or two between studies of major subjects, a
challenge that every small group will face at one time or another.
Teaching Aids:
Cloud, Henry & Townsend, John. Making Small Groups Work: What Every
Small Group Leader Needs to Know. Designed to teach leaders how to lead the
kinds of groups that realize their full potential. The six sections include: How Small
Groups Help People Grow; What Happens in a Good Group; Starting a Small Group;
The Responsibilities of Group Facilitators; The Responsibilities of Group Members;
and, How to Deal with Problems in Groups. An associated DVD has four 60 minute
sessions designed to train leaders in small group foundational values and practices
as well as developing activities and discussions.
Sermon Series – Discussion Guides & Bibliographies: For a HFG presently using
the sermon series discussion guides (found here:
or tracking along with the sermon series by studying the same book of the Bible or
topic, the Library staff prepares short bibliographies of related materials that are
available in the MPC Libraries.
Note: For a family and/or HFG wishing to discuss a recent sermon topic with
children, a separate bibliography is prepared for each sermon series that lists
related materials featured in the Children’s Library.
Stanley, Andy. Community. Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Point Community
Church in Atlanta, prepared this useful DVD package designed to help organize a
small group. The DVD includes eight sessions and has an accompanying
conversation guide.
Thomas, Mack. The Complete Bible Discussion Guide. This two volume set has
been a valuable resource for small group leaders at MPC for over twenty years. It
contains group discussion questions for every book in the Bible. Volume 1 is
devoted to the Old Testament; Volume 2 is for the New Testament. The material is
designed to be compatible with all Bible translations. Permission is specifically
granted by the publisher to copy pages for discussion purposes. Small group
leaders who have used The Bible Discussion Guide have called it “a real time saver”
in prep time.
Supplementary Resources:
The Bible on DVD - ESV. Complete Old and New Testaments, narrated by David
Heath. This DVD set is arranged so that the user may play a single chapter or book
at a time. The set allows a group to avoid “awkward” readings by its members –
particularly as we attempt to pronounce some of the more challenging names in the
Old Testament! Another feature of the two disc set is “The Ultimate Q & A Bible
Bible Study Guides: Sample guides from several leading Bible Study series not
included in Part One of this guide are available for examination by small group
members. Other series represented include:
LifeGuide Bible Series;
LifeChange Bible Series;
John Stott Bible Studies; .
The Women of Character Bible Series (Donated by the Board of Women)
Presbyterian and Reformed Publishers. Basics of the Faith series. In this series
P&R has published a wide range of pamphlets on important theological topics from
a reformed perspective. Examples include: What is a Reformed Church?; How
Children Come to Faith; Why God Gave Us the Bible; The Atonement; Justification
by Faith Alone; The Trinity; and, Election and Predestination. Each pamphlet is
approximately 30 pages and is written by a leading pastor or seminary professor.
Authors include Steve Smallman, Brian Chapell, Philip Ryken, Sean Lucas, Derek
Thomas, Michael Milton, Eric Alexander, J.V. Fesko, Gene Veith, and Ligon Duncan.
If a HFG wishes to review important Biblical concepts from a reformed perspective,
these guides from
P & R provide more detailed explanations than found, for example, in Wayne
Grudem’s Christian Beliefs, Paul Little’s Know What You Believe, or R. C. Sproul’s
Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, mentioned previously in this guide. A
sample set of the P & R pamphlets is available for examination in the MPC Library’s
Small Group section.
Suchet, David. DVD Documentaries.
(1) In the Footsteps of St. Paul. This DVD is narrated by the gifted actor, David
Suchet (Agatha Christie’s Poirot in the PBS mystery series). Suchet, a devout
Christian, retraces the steps of St. Paul to spread the Christian faith, and helps the
viewer gain an even greater understanding of the scope of Paul’s thirty year effort
during which he traveled 10,000 miles by foot. Suchet’s closing remarks are
particularly effective. 108 total minutes (in two parts). Excellent photography. A
potential teaching supplement, e.g., for a group that has been studying one of the
Pauline Epistles. 12 page viewer’s guide and map included.
(2) In the Footsteps of St. Peter. A second DVD documentary hosted by David
Suchet. Mr. Suchet has been described as “a charming guide who makes the trip
from Peter’s humble Galilean birthplace to Jerusalem intimate yet informative”. A
group that has been studying 1 Peter or 2 Peter might want to consider using it as a
potential teaching supplement. Approximately 135 minutes (in two parts).
Zacharias, Ravi. These DVDs may be useful when a group is seeking to “fill” a
week or two between studies of major series:
(1) Yes, Your Question. This DVD set is a compilation of highlights from five of the
many visits by Ravi Zacharias and his team to college campuses. It features the
answers to 42 probing questions about fundamentals of the Christian faith by
students at the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan, Columbia, Arizona
State and Clemson. Answers provided by Zacharias and his fellow scholars will
provide stimulating teaching with minimum “prep time” for the members in a
group. The set contains six DVDs (2 are devoted to Columbia). Each DVD runs
approximately 45 minutes, and can be easily divided to meet the time limitations of
a group. A list of the questions covered on each disc is provided. (Note:
Unfortunately, despite its stimulating content, this set was not particularly well
edited and has some technical difficulties, making it necessary for the group leader
to “preview” it before presenting it to a class.)
(2) The Death of Truth & the Decline of Culture. Very thought provoking. Ravi
Zacharias and Dennis Prager, a syndicated, politically conservative, radio talk show
host, who is Jewish,argue that the once neutral view of governance and culture has
evolved into a hostile posture towards “guideposts given by our Creator”. Popular
comedian Jeff Foxworthy, a devout Christian, effectively serves as the moderator.
Recorded before a live audience at Perimeter Presbyterian Church (PCA) in
Atlanta, and introduced by Randy Pope, their Senior Pastor. For discussion
purposes, the two-disc DVD set can be easily divided by a group leader.
(3) Is Tolerance Intolerant? Features Ravi Zacharias and Michael Ramsden at
UCLA. A “Q & A” session follows their presentation about the impact of the
incredible diversity of cultures, lifestyles and faiths that exists in our country today.
A two-disc DVD set.
(4) The War Within: How a Godless Culture Threatens America . A two-disc DVD
set. Features Ravi Zacharias’ presentation on this timely subject at the United States
Naval Academy, followed by a “Q & A” session with the audience.