Biblical Themes

Life with God is a 1-3 year discipleship journey that creates relationally-capable Christians. Each year is divided into two semester-length studies (12 sessions long), which most naturally fit into a weekly or biweekly schedule.

Thematic Overview

  • The Genesis of Relationship
    Biblical Text: Genesis (Creation)
    Theme: The Nature of Relationship
  • The History of the Heart
    Biblical Text: Genesis (Patriarchs)
    Theme: Dependence on God
  • From Bondage to Freedom
    Biblical Text: Exodus
    Theme: Spiritual Trials
  • A Call to Desire and Discern
    Biblical Text: 1 & 2 Samuel
    Theme: Understanding Desire
  • Abiding with Jesus
    Biblical Text: The Gospel of John
    Theme: Learning to Abide
  • Bearing the Fruit of Love
    Biblical Text: The Acts of the Apostles
    Theme: Discovering Vocation

First Year Foundations

The most basic Life with God experience takes one year to complete. The Foundations Series is composed of two studies, The Genesis of Relationship and The History of the Heart; these studies teach and reinforce life-long relational habits. The first year is approachable, safe, deep, and discerning. There are no prerequisites toLife with God. Any adult interested in depth or growth in relationship with God is welcome, regardless of their age, educational background, relational history, or how long they have been a Christian. We have paced the first year to ease the transition into intimacy with God and the small group.

The first year of Life with God explores the foundational concept that God always and continually initiates relationship with us. It explores the ways in which God reconciles and invites us into loving relationship with Him.

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The Genesis of Relationship

Foundations, Semester One

Biblical Text: Genesis (Creation)
Theme: The Nature of Relationship

In order to understand and partake in our relationship with God, we need to start at the beginning. Examining the first four chapters of the book of Genesis, this study looks at the essence of who we were created to be and how God designed us to function in relationship to Him. Then following the creation narrative, it explores what happened when sin entered the world and delves into the relational consequences that resulted.

Practical Activities: Throughout the semester, participants are introduced to practices that engage them in relationship with God and others in the Body of Christ. They learn the weekly rhythm of Life with God’s three core components. The Scripture and Teaching Podcasts strengthen their ability to listen to God and others, while the Interactive Projects encourage honest self-reflection and engagement with God in the midst of daily life.

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The History of the Heart

Foundations, Semester Two

Biblical Text: Genesis (Patriarchs)
Theme: Dependence on God

How does God establish a trusting relationship with relationally broken people? We explore this question in the lives of Israel’s Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Scripture demonstrates that learning to live by faith is an ongoing journey—one that unravels and reforms the habits of our hearts. We have much in common with the spiritual poverty of the Patriarchs, particularly their tendency to operate independently from God. Over time, God will expose our habits of autonomy and invite us to trust Him by surrendering to His timing, will, and methods.

Practical Activities: Participants in The History of the Heart create a Life Map, a visual display of their life’s most significant events. Life Maps are helpful guides for understanding God’s activity over the course of one’s life, and they also help participants evaluate when they have depended on God and when they have circumvented their relationship with Him. Life with God groups deepen their intimacy with each other by sharing a snapshot from their Life Map, an opportunity to give and receive grace and reconciliation over the events of their past.

Extended Journeys

There are additional studies for participants who are ready to extend their Life with God journey. Years two and three delve into specific aspects of Christian maturity: desire, abiding in Christ, traversing spiritual dryness and difficulty, and understanding one’s vocation. We believe these studies are essential training for believers who are now operating at a deep level of relational understanding. They comprehensively prepare Christians for a life of wisdom and service.

Participants may join the second and third year elective studies in the recommended order, or any order they choose. Each study examines an essential aspect of our Christian maturity.

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From Bondage to Freedom

Now Available

Biblical Text: Exodus
Theme: Understanding Spiritual Trials

During a pivotal moment in their history, God delivered the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt and led them on a journey to the land that He had promised them. The story of the Exodus is referenced repeatedly throughout Scripture as an illustration of God’s faithfulness to fulfill His relationship with His people. This study examines that flight to freedom for examples of how God works to free our hearts from places of bondage and how He develops deeper levels of trust in Him over the seasons of our lives.

Practical Activities: Participants will commit to taking a half-hour undistracted walk with God each week. By engaging our bodies while focusing on our relationship with God, we become more sensitive to and aware of God’s communications to us. Group interaction will focus on sharing times of personal heart-testing and growing in our ability to respond lovingly to others.

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A Call to Desire and Discern

Now Available

Biblical Text: 1 & 2 Samuel
Theme: Understanding Desire

How do our desires influence our relationship with God? Scripture has much to teach us about the subject of desire. Throughout this study of 1 & 2 Samuel, David’s relationship with God becomes the backdrop for an exploration of the subject of desire and an introduction to the practice of discernment. David’s story serves as an example for the benefit of aligning our hearts after God’s heart and also as a warning to the potential consequences of following desires that lead us away from God’s will.

Practical Activities: In addition to the established Life with God components which encourage participants to bring their desires into conversation with God, each group member is invited to spend four hours in an Extended Time with God exploring personal unmet desires. The group grows together in sensitivity to God’s leading as they practice a form of community discernment with one another.

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Daily Abiding with Jesus

Now Available

Biblical Text: The Gospel of John
Theme: Learning to Abide

In the Gospel of John, chapter 15, Jesus instructs His disciples with these words, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” Daily Abiding in Jesus presents a simple way of understanding the art of abiding, then invites participants to journey with Jesus on a daily basis through scenes of His life taken from the book of John.

Practical Activities: This study moves participants from a weekly to a daily rhythm of engaging with the Lord through Scripture and interactive prayer. We suspend the Teaching Podcast in this study, urging participants to personally seek the teaching voice of Jesus and His Spirit for application of the Scriptures to their lives. The weekly time in community helps to encourage and guide group members along the way.

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Bearing the Fruit of Love

Now Available

Biblical Text: The Acts of the Apostles
Theme: Discovering Vocation

Love cannot continue to deepen unless it is given away. The disciples of the first century were so captivated by their relationship with Jesus that they willingly sacrificed to show His love in a needy world. During this semester, we explore how the first disciples lived out their Christian vocation in the book of Acts. Following their example, we discern how we are called to serve each other in the church, and love our neighbors and enemies outside of the Body of Christ.

Practical Activities: Participants will craft a Rule of Life, a rhythm of weekly, monthly, and yearly practices that reflect their vocation and help them respond to God’s activity in their lives. Additionally, Life with God small groups will work together to discern and develop each other’s vocational calls through a group service project.