Small Group Leaders: 4 ways to keep your lesson prep from strangling your devotions

It's something every small group leader faces at one time or another: prepping your bible study during your personal quiet time. That works for a while, and you are proud of yourself for "double-dipping," but eventually you start to turn dry. Your mind is engaged, but your heart feels distant. Here are 4 things you can do to to keep from growing spiritually cold while still keeping up with your preparation.

 1. Pray while you study

You are bringing the word of God to people who need to hear it. You are not studying to fill their heads, but to change their lives.

Small Group or Church? Jason Helopoulos Responds

I was working on a blog post dealing with the nature of the church and the small group Bible study, but then Jason Helopoulos beat me to the punch. Here is a section from this great article:

Someone recently commented to me that pastors are the only ones who really enjoy Sunday mornings as the high point in the week. I hope not! This individual insisted that other Christians look forward to their small groups more than corporate worship. She said it is more exciting for the congregant to be in a small group where they can ask questions, pray for others, discuss their own views, and get to know one another more intimately. I understand this sentiment and appreciate the desire to connect with others, but in all humility I would say to this well-intentioned individual, “You don’t understand the distinct privilege corporate worship is. We are communing with the saints before the holy throne of a majestic God.”

He hit this topic from a slightly different angle, but I’d like to take the chance to interact a little bit. I would like to come out right now and make one thing very clear:

Resources for the Study of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith

I am about to start a study of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith with a friend of mine. So I thought I would put together a list of optional resources. Of course there are many other resources out there, but these are the ones I've found most useful.

The Text

Right now I am primarily using the 1689 Android App put out by Puritan Soft. The proof texts are hyper-linked to a screen that will show you all of the proof texts for that particular paragraph in the ESV. It also has a nice "checklist" TOC that allows you to mark those sections you have read through.

3 Simple Questions to Change the Way You Understand the Old Testament

The Old Testament is full of things that seem foreign and quite strange when looked at from the glow of our smartphones. It can be really hard to read the OT and know how it is supposed to inform your daily walk with God. These three simple questions will help you see how the OT continues to speak today. 
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD's table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.(Malachi 1:6-8 ESV)

Question 1: How has Jesus completed this?

This passage focuses on priests, sacrifices, and altars; all things that seem pretty foreign to you and me. Don't let your eyes glaze over! God put those