Lenten Study on Spiritual Disciplines
Text: Growing Generous Souls by Betsy Schwarzentraub
Growing Generous Souls can offer an excellent small-group study and themes for the six weeks of Lent. This Lenten study focuses on five basic spiritual disciplines while encouraging six core attitudes in our Christian journey of faith. It can fit various formats depending upon the leader and setting. Here is a suggested plan for the six sessions:
Week One Subject – Harried Doers, or Growing Souls?
Reading Assignment – Chapters 1 and 4
Topics – Moving from compulsive doing to being. Understanding ourselves primarily as souls vs. as consumers.
Optional Reading – Chapter 5 (Growing as becoming. Helping ourselves grow spiritually as families.)
Week Two Subject – Spiritual Disciplines and Being Present to God
Reading Assignment – Chapters 1 and 2
Topics – Claiming our identity. Integrity. Being with God. Seeing ourselves as stewards of the gospel.
Optional Reading – Chapter 6 (Seasons of the soul. Living more authentically.)
Week Three Subject – Reading the Scriptures and Putting God First
Reading Assignment – Chapter 11 and chapter 3 pp. 59-66
Topics – Bible study. Devotional reading of Scripture. First Fruits Living. Putting God first in our lives.
Optional Reading – Chapter 12 (Koinonia ministry. Diakonia service. Five basics of authentic Christian community.)
Week Four Subject – Gratitude and Prayer
Reading Assignment – Chapter 7 and Chapter 3 pp. 66-70
Topics – Gratitude as the foundation for Christian living. Prayer.
Optional Reading – Chapter 13 (Purposely connecting to our wider community. A renewed sense of mission.)
Week Five Subject – Meditation and Discovering Contentment
Reading Assignment – Chapter 9 and Chapter 3 pp. 70-73
Topics – Meditation. An Ethic of Enough. Practicing simpler living (Four principles and three inner attitudes)
Optional Reading – Chapters 8 and 10 (Needs vs. wants. The “lure of more.” Scarcity thinking. Money as a spiritual issue.)
Week Six Subject – Contemplation and Generous-Hearted Living
Reading Assignment – Chapter 14 and Chapter 3 pp. 73-75
Topics – Contemplation. Ten dimensions of generous-hearted living. Stewards of the Earth. Forgiving ourselves and others.