Courtesy of our friends at the Theology of Work project, here are some of the internet’s best small group resources on topics around work and calling. If you’re looking for a place to start with your small group, here’s a great place to begin. For more information, visit the Theology of Work website.
Choose A Workplace Topic to Discuss
These 1-hour topical studies are free to use with any group. Each comes with scripture, commentary, and thought-provoking questions.
- Conflict at Work
- Bad Boss?
- Leading Up
- Giving and Receiving Feedback
- Work-Life Balance
- Sabbath and Work
Find A Study That Matches Your Group Identity
These targeted small group curriculums have been written for specific populations. Use them in similar groups, or adapt them for different groups.
- for lawyers – 9 case studies with discussion questions and biblical reflections
- for prisoners – 7 Bible studies for men leaving prison or addition, 7 Bible studies for women leaving prison, addiction, or prostitution
- for children – 12 lessons for children, each with large group presentation, small group activity, and parent take-home-sheet
Discuss Videos About Work in Common Industries
In the Jesus and Your Job video teaching series, New Testament scholar Sean McDonough explains the link between modern occupations and Jesus’ ministry. Each week he is joined by a panel of Christian professionals who answer the question: Where is Jesus in your job?
- Good News about Work (Psalm 104)
- Bad News about Work (Genesis 3-4, Psalm 90, Ecclesiastes)
- Engineering (Hebrews)
- Crafts and the Trades (Mark 6:106)
- Art (Luke 12:27)
- Management (Luke 16:1-13)
- Finance (Matthew 25:14-30)
- Education (Luke 24:13-32)
Follow the Career of a Bible Character
These short reflections on Bible characters can be read and discussed in a half-hour meeting.
Find more ideas about the work of Bible characters in the book Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture. Each chapter is a the story of a different person and his or her work.
You could also structure a multi-week study around one Bible character. See for example the book The Accidental Executive: Lessons on Business, Faith, and Calling from the Life of Joseph.
Dig Into the Bible, Book by Book
Choose a TOW Bible Study and buy copies for your group.
The Bible and Your Work Study Series: Biblical Book Studies
The Bible and Your Work Study Series: Topical Studies
Read and discuss the TOW Bible Commentary on any book of the Bible, one passage at a time.
Genesis / Exodus / Leviticus / Numbers / Deuteronomy / Joshua / Judges / Ruth / 1 Samuel / 2 Samuel / 1 Kings / 2 Kings / 1 Chronicles / 2 Chronicles / Ezra / Nehemiah / Esther / Job / Psalms / Proverbs / Ecclesiastes / Song of Songs / Isaiah / Jeremiah / Lamentations / Ezekiel / Daniel / Hosea / Joel / Amos / Obadiah / Jonah / Micah / Nahum / Habakkuk / Zephaniah / Haggai / Zechariah / Malachi
Matthew / Mark / Luke / John / Acts / Romans / 1 Corinthians / 2 Corinthians / Galatians / Ephesians / Philippians / Colossians / 1 Thessalonians / 2 Thessalonians / 1 Timothy / 2 Timothy / Titus / Philemon / Hebrews / James / 1 Peter / 2 Peter / 1 John / 2 John / 3 John / Jude / Revelation
Start With The Basics: Faith and Work
Here are some ideas on introducing your group to the basic principles of faith-work-integration.
Discuss a book on faith and work:
- Every Good Endeavour: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Tim Keller and Katherine Leary Alsdorf
- Where’s God on Monday? by Alistair Mackenzie and Wayne Kirkland
- Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work by Tom Nelson
Watch an introductory video series about work:
- Transforming Work from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity
- Redeeming Work from Christianity Today
- For the Life of the World – film series on faith and culture
- Reframe – 10 week video course on following Christ in the modern era
God’s Story of Work for Kids
Both children and adults need to work, whether that work is paid (like a paper route) or unpaid (like folding the laundry). But for many adults and children, work has become a dirty word. Work means things that we don’t want to do. We may even think God doesn’t care about our work, only about praying or reading the Bible. But a look at the Bible reveals the opposite. God Himself is a worker. He has designed us for work. And God values our work deeply. Work is a good thing! When children and their parents learn about God’s plan for work, their daily activities take on a new meaning and holiness.
This 12 lesson curriculum is a free resource designed to teach children to see work through God’s perspective.
For each lesson the curriculum includes
- Large group lesson
- Small group activities
- Parents take-home sheet to work through the lesson together during the week
Feel free to use this material in your Sunday school program, in your church youth group, or in your own home.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1: GOD IS A WORKER
- Kids Lesson 1: God Is a Worker
- Kids Lesson 1: God Is a Worker (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 1: God Is a Worker (Parent’s Sheet)
2: A PARTNER, NOT A ROBOT
- Kids Lesson 2: A Partner, Not a Robot
- Kids Lesson 2: A Partner, Not a Robot (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 2: A Partner, Not a Robot (Parent’s Sheet)
3: WHAT WORK IS GOD UP TO?
- Kids Lesson 3: What Work is God up to?
- Kids Lesson 3: What Work is God up to? (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 3: What Work is God up to? (Parent’s Sheet)
4: MASTERPIECES ARE NOT FOR THE CLOSET
- Kids Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet
- Kids Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 4: Masterpieces Are Not for the Closet (Parent’s Sheet)
5: FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
- Kids Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This
- Kids Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 5: For Such a Time as This (Parent’s Sheet)
6: I’VE GOD WORK TO DO
- Kids Lesson 6: I’ve Got Work to Do!
- Kids Lesson 6: I’ve Got Work to Do! (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 6: I’ve Got Work to Do! (Parent’s Sheet)
7: 3 INGREDIENTS FOR WORKING WITH GOD
- Kids Lesson 7: 3 Ingredients for Working with God
- Kids Lesson 7: 3 Ingredients for Working with God (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 7: 3 Ingredients for Working with God (Parent’s Sheet)
8: WORK THAT MATTERS
- Kids Lesson 8: Work That Matters
- Kids Lesson 8: Work That Matters (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 8: Work that Matters (Parent’s Sheet)
9: GOD IN OUR MONDAY TO SUNDAY
- Kids Lesson 9: God in Our Monday to Sunday
- Kids Lesson 9: God in Our Monday to Sunday (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 9: God in Our Monday to Sunday (Parent’s Sheet)
10: SALT AND LIGHT
- Kids Lesson 10: Salt and Light
- Kids Lesson 10: Salt and Light (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 10: Salt and Light (Parent’s Sheet)
11: TURNING UP THE WATTAGE
- Kids Lesson 11: Turning Up the Wattage
- Kids Lesson 11: Turning Up the Wattage (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 11: Turning Up the Wattage (Parent’s Sheet)
12: WORK REWARDS
- Kids Lesson 12: Work Rewards
- Kids Lesson 12: Work Rewards (Small Group Activity)
- Kids Lesson 12: Work Rewards (Parent’s Sheet)
For more information and resources, visit the Theology of Work website.
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This post was published July 12, 2017
Laura Bernero is our blog curator, overseeing both internal content and contributions from our amazing network of writers. She loves all things creative communications, acting on the belief that we all resonate with great narrative and connect to one another through story. In addition to her role at DIFW, she manages media storytelling campaigns at SE2, a Denver-based communications agency. She was 5280 Fellow in the inaugural 2016-17 class and can’t wait to see the program continue to empower leaders throughout Denver in their unique gifts and callings.