Theology of Work: Free Small Group Resources

by Laura Bernero

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.

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?

  1. Good News about Work (Psalm 104)
  2. Bad News about Work (Genesis 3-4, Psalm 90, Ecclesiastes)
  3. Engineering (Hebrews)
  4. Crafts and the Trades (Mark 6:106)
  5. Art (Luke 12:27)
  6. Management (Luke 16:1-13)
  7. Finance (Matthew 25:14-30)
  8. 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.

Abraham / Isaac / Jacob / Joseph / 

Shiphra and Puah / Moses / Deborah / Ruth / 

Boaz / Rahab / David / Solomon / 

Abigail / Elisha / Huldah / Nehemiah / 

Esther / Job / Jonah / 

Mary and Elizabeth / Paul / Lydia /  Priscilla /

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 

Genesis 1-11 Study / Genesis 12-33 Study / Genesis 34-50 Study /

Exodus Study / Ruth Study / Proverbs Study / Ecclesiastes & Song of Songs Study /

Matthew Study / Luke Study / Acts Study /

1 Corinthians Study / 2 Corinthians Study / Philippians Study / James Study / Revelation Study

The Bible and Your Work Study Series: Topical Studies 

Ethics at Work / Rest and Work / Calling and Work /

Economics and Society / Truth and Deception / Provision and Wealth /

Women and Work in the Old Testament / Women and Work in the New Testament

Read and discuss the TOW Bible Commentary on any book of the Bible, one passage at a time.

Old Testament 

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

New Testament 

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:

Watch an introductory video series about work:

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

2: A PARTNER, NOT A ROBOT

3: WHAT WORK IS GOD UP TO?

4: MASTERPIECES ARE NOT FOR THE CLOSET

5: FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

6: I’VE GOD WORK TO DO

7: 3 INGREDIENTS FOR WORKING WITH GOD

8: WORK THAT MATTERS

9: GOD IN OUR MONDAY TO SUNDAY

10: SALT AND LIGHT

11: TURNING UP THE WATTAGE

12: WORK REWARDS

For more information and resources, visit the  Theology of Work website.

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Laura Bernero

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.