Article

What Can You Do in Forty Days? The Lenten Journey and Adults

by Carol F. Krau

Lent is a time for reflection, self-examination, repentance, and deepening one's relationship with God. During this season of the church year, the focus generally shifts from Jesus' public ministry to his final journey to Jerusalem. Lent prepares us for the passion and death of Jesus and anticipates his resurrection.

 

Lent provides a perfect opportunity for engaging adults in your congregation in some form of learning and formation. Here are a few ideas for adult small groups:

  • Organize a study for adults who are new to the Christian faith. Help participants learn the events of Holy Week and discuss the significance of Jesus' death and resurrection in the Christian faith.
  • Invite adults to the daily practice of a spiritual discipline, such as prayer and Bible study. For adults who want to also participate in group reflection on their practice, you can begin a Companions in Christ group or use one of the five units of the series. For adults who prefer an individual plan, provide journals for noting insights and reflections, copies of Alive Now, or another devotional resource.
  • Offer a small-group study of the weekly lectionary readings for the Sundays in Lent. Cokesbury publishes an annual Lenten study in the Scriptures for the Church Seasons series; this year's study is Come to the Cross This small group could meet prior to worship to prepare for participation in worship or after worship to reflect in more depth on the Scripture passages and the pastor's message.
  • Plan a series of conversations about Christian discipleship and your congregation. Invite participants to focus on what it means to follow Jesus as individuals and as a congregation. Charting the Course (Discipleship Resources), Traveling Together (Alban Institute), and Deepening Your Effectiveness (Discipleship Resources) are resources that could assist you in planning these conversations

Categories: Worship, Worship Planning, Lectionary Calendar, Civil Observances, Lent, General Planning for Lent and Easter