“Starting Friday” Current and Recent Studies
Current Study Series:
The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life by Rev. Erwin McManus
Imagine doing everything you were meant to do. Then, with a full heart, taking your final breath. That is a life fully lived. And that is the bold invitation of The Last Arrow.
When the king of Israel met with the ailing prophet Elisha, he was told to grab some arrows and strike the ground before him. He did so three times, then stopped even though more arrows were left. History records the dire results of his partial effort. Often, we also have arrows in our hands, blaming God for our partial victories when it is we who gave up too soon.
To all of us who long for more, but settle for less, and give up too soon, Erwin Raphael McManus drives an arrow into the ground and declares, “Never settle. It’s all or nothing. Save nothing for the next life!”
Yes, this is costly. You will face great risks. And there can be no back-up plan. Everything is required, including your last arrow. Yet it is the only way to pursue life’s deepest joys and greatest battles–with a full heart and an empty quiver.
Past Study Series:
Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at its Best by Rev. Eugene H. Peterson
In Jeremiah 12:5 God says to the prophet, “If you’re worn out in this footrace with men, what makes you think you can race against horses?” We all long to live life at its best―to fuse freedom and spontaneity with purpose and meaning. Why then do we often find our lives so humdrum, so unadventuresome, so routine? Or else so frantic, so full of activity, but still devoid of fulfillment? How do we learn to risk, to trust, to pursue wholeness and excellence―to run with the horses instead of shuffling along with the crowd? In a series of profound reflections on the life of Jeremiah the prophet, Eugene Peterson explores the heart of what it means to be fully and genuinely human. In his signature pastoral style, he invites readers to grasp the biblical truth that each person’s story of faith is completely original. Peterson’s writing is filled with humor and self-reflection, insight and wisdom, helping to set a course for others in the quest for life at its best. This special commemorative edition includes a new preface taken from Eric Peterson’s homily at his father’s memorial service, as well as a six-session Bible study guide for individuals or groups.
Sticky Faith by Dr. Kara E. Powell and Dr. Chap Clark
Nearly every Christian parent in America would give anything to find a viable resource for developing within their kids a deep, dynamic faith that “sticks” long term. Sticky Faith delivers. Research shows that almost half of graduating high school seniors struggle deeply with their faith. Recognizing the ramifications of that statistic, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) conducted the “College Transition Project” in an effort to identify the relationships and best practices that can set young people on a trajectory of lifelong faith and service. Based on FYI findings, this easy-to-read guide presents both a compelling rationale and a powerful strategy to show parents how to actively encourage their children’s spiritual growth so that it will stick to them into adulthood and empower them to develop a living, lasting faith. Written by authors known for the integrity of their research and the intensity of their passion for young people, Sticky Faith is geared to spark a movement that empowers adults to develop robust and long-term faith in kids of all ages.
Don’t Waste Your Life by Rev. John Piper
The American dream beckons people to spend their lives on trivial diversions, slipping through life caught up with seeking success, comfort, and pleasure above all else. But God designed people for far more than this.
In this best-selling book, John Piper makes a passionate plea to the next generation to avoid the dangers of a wasted life, calling us to take risks and make sacrifices that matter for eternity — with a single, soul-satisfying passion for the glory of God that seeks to make much of him in every sphere of our lives.
Gospel-Centered Life by Robert H. Thune
Lots of Christians talk about the gospel, but how many really understand the gospel and know how to apply it to their lives? Featuring nine self-contained lessons with discussion questions, articles, practical exercises, and comprehensive leader s notes in the back, The Gospel-Centered Life helps participants understand how the gospel shapes every aspect of life.
- Pastors and leaders who want to spur gospel renewal in their churches and ministries.
- Church-planters who want to form gospel DNA in the churches they start.
- Students and campus ministers who are looking to live out the gospel on campus.
- Christians who want to be more deeply formed around the gospel.
- Small group leaders who are looking for content that works with diverse groups of people.
- Missionaries who are looking for simple material to disciple new Christians.
Act Like Men by James MacDonald
Men are so busy doing so many different things; when not working, their free time is often full of the trivial or sinful. But what society and church so desperately need are men who embrace all that God created them to be, who long to follow God without limits and meet the needs of those around them without hesitation.
To get there, we need what Pastor James MacDonald calls “radical surgery”—a deep, probing exploration and reparation of all that it means to be a man.
In his definitive, bold voice, MacDonald calls men to be watchful, firm in their faith, strong, and loving. This isn’t a call for bravado and bluster. It’s a call for men to mix tender and tough, to be humble, to follow Jesus. It is a call to be leaders, men of God, husbands who are present and caring and strong. It is straight talk—no posturing or posing or beating around the bush—inviting men to redemption and restoration in their manhood.
How God Makes Men by Patrick Morley
God’s plan is made up of strikingly relevant, time-tested lessons written down and preserved for us in the Bible. It pulsates with stories about men who released and sustained the passion of their faith. They became the men God created them to be.
Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur
Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to be perfect to do God’s work. Look no further than the twelve disciples whose many weaknesses are forever preserved throughout the pages of the New Testament. Jesus chose ordinary men – fisherman, tax collectors, political zealots – and turned their weakness into strength, producing greatness from utter uselessness. MacArthur draws principles from Christ’s careful, hands-on training of the original twelve disciples for today’s modern disciple – you.
People of the Nativity series:
The people involved in the Nativity story are familiar to us, but what can we learn from them? This five-session course will look at those in the genealogy of Jesus, as well as the more familiar characters of Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, and the angels. Through these people we will learn about the human condition and God’s character. We’ll also learn how doubts can turn to faith, the importance of humility and obedience, and how to gain an eternal perspective.
- Session One: The Genealogy of Jesus
- Session Two: Joseph
- Session Three: Mary
- Session Four: The Shepherds
- Session Five: The Angels
We have a lot to learn from one another and not just from book studies. Occasionally, FMMF Charlotte will take a break from a formal curriculum to instead learn from one another. We do this by telling personal testimonies in order to share our walk to or in faith. No one has the same path, but we can all learn from the outcomes!
Generally speaking, FMMF Charlotte uses this Leadership Ministries template for preparing a personal testimony.
The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses by Chris Bruno:
This book highlights 16 key Bible verses that stand as “turning points” in the biblical storyline—enabling us to see God’s incredible plan to redeem his people and glorify his name from Genesis to Revelation. Whether it’s exploring the creation of humanity, the establishment of the covenants, or the coming of the Messiah, this book will help Christians see how God’s Word tells a single story about his sovereignty, glory, and grace
The Resolution for Men series:
The Resolution for Men challenge men of all ages to become as bold and intentional about embracing their responsibilities as leaders of their homes, marriages, and children.
Written by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, screenwriters of Courageous and authors of New York Times No. 1 best seller The Love Dare (more than five million copies sold), The Resolution for Men strategically inspires men to reconcile with their past, re-engage in the present by taking full responsibility for their wives and children, and then move forward with a bold and clear resolution for the future.
God’s Model for Fatherhood series:
How am I measuring up as a father? It’s a question all of us have asked ourselves, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. This series looks at six attributes as the guideposts for an informative 6-week curriculum.
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel:
Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God?
Now a major motion picture, Case for Christ, Strobel retraces his own spiritual journey from atheism and former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune to faith. Strobel cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. He challenges them with questions like, how reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?
LEAD for God’s Sake! by Todd Gongwer:
As the lives of a coach, a CEO, and a janitor intersect in this modern-day parable, you will be led on a journey deep into the heart of leadership, where the answers to some of the most important questions in life can be found. Whether you’re leading in business, sports, or simply in your own family, this inspiring story will guide you toward the first–and most important–step in becoming the leader you were meant to be. LEAD…for God’s Sake! truly is much more than a simple statement. It’s a call!
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis:
In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianityprovides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.