Suggested Lenten Studies

Presbytery of Coastal Carolina’s Resource Center provides…


To borrow these resources, contact or 910-862-8300, ext. 209.

Illuminating Lent by Donald K. McKim – Illuminating Lent deepens faith and enhances knowledge through the exploration of the Lord’s Prayer. Each of the six sessions examines a part of the prayer, its theological understandings, and what it means for Reformed Christians in practical ways during Lent. Leader’s guide and participant book.

Session 1: Introducing Lent

Session 2: Upward: What We Do for God – Glorify God

Session 3: Inward: What God Does In Us- Communion with God

Session 4: Downward: What God Gives to Us

Session 5: Forward: Where God Leads Us – Discipleship

Session 6: Onward: What God Will Do – Resurrection Hope

Who Is This Man?, by John Ortberg – In this 5-session, DVD-based study, Ortberg shows how Jesus’ influence has swept over history, bringing his inspiration to the fields of art, science, government, medicine, and education. And how his vision for us to lead lives of dignity, compassion, forgiveness, and hope continues to inspire and challenge humanity today. The study guide features video notes, group discussion questions, informative quotes, and ideas for personal application.

Session Titles:

  1. The Man Who Won’t Go Away
  2. A Revolution of Humanity
  3. The Power of Forgiveness
  4. Why It’s a Small World After All
  5. Three Days That Changed the World

The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus, by Adam Hamilton – Join Adam Hamilton in the Holy Land as he explores the life and ministry of Jesus in this DVD study of six sessions plus epilogue. Using videos shot on location, Hamilton takes you to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized and the wilderness where he was tempted. Leader’s guide is included.

1- Baptism and Temptation

2- The Healing Ministry

3 – Proclaiming the Kingdom

4 – Calming the Storm

5 – Sinners, Outcasts, and the Poor

6 – The Final Week

This study has a separate children’s and youth study component.


What Wondrous Love Is – Six DVD sessions each approximately 7 minutes long. Every chapter features the reading of a passage of scripture, commentary by the scholars, and a Swanson work of art based on that passage. . The folk hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This?” which serves as the accompanying musical theme, is sung by award-winning Celtic vocalist Connie Dover.                                        

 Embracing Forgiveness – DVD based – In five lively, engaging presentations, Episcopal priest, author, and spiritual director Barbara Cawthorne Crafton shares stories and insights on forgiveness, what it is (and isn’t!), its potential for healing and restoration, why it’s so badly needed (both personally and corporately), and, how employing simple, concrete practices can more fully integrate forgiveness into our lives. Moving, challenging, and extremely helpful, this video/workbook combination provides any small group with the tools to learn to forgive! Barbara combines a passion for the arts with a life of faith. Her books, articles, and radio scripts have won many awards, including numerous Polly Bond Awards from Episcopal Communicators and the coveted Gabriel Award for religious broadcasting. Session titles: 1: Seventy Times Seven: Really? 2: You Have Heard it Said, 3: Chipping Away, 4: How to Start, 5: Why Forgive? To watch a sample YouTube video session, CLICK HERE. To view a sample session of this study, CLICK HERE.

Forgiveness: A Lenten Study by Marjorie Thompson, author of the best-selling book Soul Feast, takes a close look at our understanding of forgiveness in this encouraging study. In six brief chapters, Thompson addresses such questions as the following:

  • Is forgiveness a Christian duty under all circumstances? Or are there situations when Christians do not need to forgive?
  • Is forgiveness a matter between individuals, or is it meaningful only in the context of communities?
  • Is forgiving the best route to healing for the injured?
  • How do we get past emotional barriers to real forgiveness?

Using biblical examples and real-life situations, Thompson illustrates each chapter’s theme in an informative and engaging way. A study guide is also included that is appropriate for either individual reflection or group discussion. With clarity, insight, and sensitivity, this book is the perfect resource for examining both our ability to forgive and our own need for forgiveness.

 Enough: God’s Blessings in Abundance – As part of the Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding series this six-session study through the parables and other biblical materials participants explore dimensions of what it means to have enough.

Session 1 – We Don’t Have Enough

Session 2 – Becoming Unbound from Fears of Not Enough

Session 3 – Enough to Make a Difference

Session 4 – Enough for Transformational Giving

Session 5 – Enough is Good for the Body

Session 6 – How Much is Enough to Leave Our Children?

  • Blessings of the Cross – 7 session study invites you to explore God’s hope and presence presented in the Lectionary scripture readings for Lent and Easter.  Key Bible readings call us to praise God as we contemplate God’s redemption and new creation through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through the readings, we hear the call to celebrate the blessings of new life offered through Jesus Christ.

On Ma Journey – a Lenten study based on African American Spirituals

  • Lenten Journey: Beyond Questions – by Eric Burtness. Book. This book is a guide to exploring questions Jesus asks throughout the Gospels. They are transformative questions that challenge us. It is designed for a 40-day journey on your own or with a friend, small group or congregation.

– What are you looking for?

– Where is your faith?

– Who do you say that I am?

– What do you want me to do for you?

– Do you love me?

– How will you believe what I say?

– Whom are you looking for?

  • Knowing God’s Triune Story by Michael Lindvall – Book. This study unlocks the Trinity from the church’s abstractions by interpreting it as a shorthand symbol for the long narrative of God. Lindvall examines how the three persons of the Trinity form the unity of God’s embrace of humanity. This is a 40 daily readings with small group guide – 2010 Moderator’s Lenten Bible Study
  • Alive to God in Jesus Christ: 40 Daily Readings with small-group guide by Joseph Small This book in the iBelieve series provides a disciplined study of Christian doctrine of the incarnation. Five session plans for small-group Lenten study are provided in the back of the book.
  • Bread & Broth: A Lenten Bible Study, by Cynthia E. Cowan. Serve a different kind of soup and bread each week as you study the lives of Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Elisha, John the Baptist and Jesus in this six-part study.
  • Unbinding Your Heart: 40 Days of Prayer & Faith Sharing, by Martha Grace Reece. A six-week version of the book Unbinding the Gospel. It provides a scripture and prayer exercise each day, a chapter to study each week, and a weekly worship w/ sermon, music and prayers.

The Jesus Creed Challenge by Scot McKnight – This spiritual formation package includes the book The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others with companion guide; 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed extends what is explored in the book; seven DVD-based lessons on loving God and loving others.

Countering Pharaoh’s Production-Consumption Society Today, one of the new DVD-based adult studies from Living the Questions. Described as a study for progressive Christians, this program has five sessions, 10 to 20 minutes each, and can be conducted over four to five sessions. Included is over an hour of video on DVD and a CD with printable written materials.

Hosted by Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggeman, each session begins with warm-up question video    clip like “Can you be a born again Christian and a progressive Christian at the same time?’” or “How are we to understand the role violence plays in the Scriptures?” Session themes are: The Way Out; The Decalogue; Countering Caesar; An Act of Imagination; and On Not Doing God Any Favors.

  • In the Dust of the Rabbi: Becoming a Disciple – by Ray Vander Lann – this 5 session study has a book and accompanying DVD that will investigate the world of the disciples in its cultural context and attempt to apply the message of the Bible in today’s world. Sessions: 1. When the Rabbi Says “Come” 2. When the Rabbi says “Go” 3. The Presence of God: A Counter-Cultural Community
  1. Living Stones   5. The Very Words of God
  • God is Closer Than You Think –       Six-session DVD study with book by John Ortberg.. The package has book, study guide, PowerPoint, & video presentations. Find God where you least expect to; listen to God’s voice; Identify which pathway of relationship you’re uniquely designed to travel; align yourself with the flow of the Holy Spirit; Draw closer to God even when God seems absent.
  • Seven Words to the Cross by J. Ellsworth Kalas is a 7-session Lenten study for adults which focuses on our response to the cross. Each lesson includes a scripture reference, a brief reflection, questions for discussion, prayer and focus for next week.
  • The Common People Heard Him Gadly by James W. Moore is a 7-session Lenten study for adults. In this study, the focus is on what it was about Jesus that attracted the masses to him? Just what was it about Jesus that touched people so deeply and so dramatically? Each lesson has scripture reference, brief reflection, questions for discussion, prayer, and focus for next session.

A Trail of Tears: Bible study for Lent, Bob Bankhead. Seven lessons (with texts from the three Synoptic Gospels) that trace the events of Jesus’ final journey into Jerusalem and toward crucifixion.

Journey To Jerusalem: Celebrating and Teaching the Life of Jesus, Boyd Lien. Book. This can be an intergenerational study using the learning center concept that can be adapted to each church’s needs. It can be done as Sunday school for six weeks, Vacation Bible School or mid-week programs.

From Palm Sunday to Easter, N. Raymond Day. This Lenten study has six lessons that reflect on some of the persons involved in Holy Week. The persons are Jesus, Judas, the high priests, Pilate, Herod, and Peter.

We Are An Easter People, Adrienne and John Carr. Book. A five-week Lenten study designed to help discover what it means to be “Easter People” – those who have discovered anew the power of God in their lives. Leader’s guide & participants book.

Meet the Risen Lord: Scriptures for the Church Season by, Kurt R. Schuermann Adult Study for Lent, ’99

  • DVD – The Four Acts of Prayer with Walter Wangerin, Jr. – Wangerin uses stories to explore these four vital elements of the complete circle of praying: We speak, God Listens, God Speaks, We Listen.