To understand the cross it sometimes helps to stand under it for while. The weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday give you, your family, study group, school and church an opportunity like no other in the Christian calendar.
Unique in the Christian year Lent is an opportunity do something that Jesus did and spend time apart from the world and alone with the Father-God. A similar time of close communion with the Father-God is essential for Christians and Christian communities who earnestly seek to know their purpose and calling in the world today.
What the time of Lent can do for you and the people you lead?
As a family, group, church or school leader you can use the time of Lent to bring each member into a deeper, personal relationship with God. Searching as a group will help bring the group closer to each other, and closer to understanding God’s call on them individually and collectively.
Lent gives your group the focus to make more effective use of the time and work you invest in them. Leading into Holy Week and the events of Passiontide, the themes of Lent help you bring together the key Old Testament prophecies with the crucial events of Jesus’ life, crucifixion, death and resurrection.
A well resourced and prepared Lent can help deepen your group’s awareness of God’s presence in their lives and help them toward the discovery of his calling and purpose for them as a group and as individuals.
How can you make the most of Lent with your family, group, church or school?
Complete Lent study courses save you having to search for materials, resources and references giving you the time to devote to leading your group. However, you might want to tailor your time together in Lent to match your group's ages, interests, and time available.
If you need to build your Lent time around your group, then something more adaptable and flexible than a complete Lent study course might be right for you.
How is a Lent resources pack different from a complete Lent study course?
Lent resources provide you with the raw materials to create a study or worship experience tailored to your group. Often there’s a collection of Bible texts, meditations and prayers for you to weave into a time of worship for a school or small group.
Age specific Lent resources give you the material to engage children, young adult or mixed age groups. If your group engages particularly well with creative activities, look for the resource packs and books that feature art and craft based learning. If they do best in front the TV then Lent courses with a DVD resource will offer an engaging focus and thought provoking discussion starters.
In church and school, Lent may have to fit into an pre-planned worship schedule. Lent resources packs might be the best option here allowing leaders and leadership teams to build an experience appropriate to those involved. Lent resources usually include ideas for music, songs and other ways to enhance corporate involvement.
What’s best for you in Lent resources?
The key to a worthwhile Lent experience is finding the resources that will engage those taking part. Many of the most effective resources are themed around a subject, person, event or activity. Some use traditional starting points such as the ‘stations of the cross’. Others find a starting point outside the Bible narrative and explore the way in.
These newer approaches include ‘Not a Tame Lion’: a Lent course based on the writings of C S Lewis, and ‘Finding a Voice’: a Lent course based on the film ‘The King’s Speech’. For children’s Lent resources, look at ‘Play and Pray through Lent’ by Kay Warrington, and ‘Love Life Live Lent’ in the ‘Be Good Neighbours’ series.
Resources presenting you with collections of just stories, prayers, poems, activities or meditations allow you mix-and-match from a number of sources and create a unique experience perfectly suited to you and your group.
What's Lent really all about? - It's about you!
Jesus spent time alone with his Father-God because he needed it – it was all about him. If Jesus needed time apart from the world then so do his followers. The most important person to consider at Lent is you and your relationship with God so don’t forget your own personal spiritual growth – give yourself a personal devotional Lent course.
Quick Guide to
Eden.co.uk - quick guide: Lent Courses
Lent Resources: what are they?
- Collections of materials, meditations, ideas and activities for inclusion in group study, church services and school assemblies during Lent and Easter.
- Designed for age specific, interest related or activity based groups.
- Focused on understanding the events of Jesus' death and resurrection, their place in God's great unfolding plan and their meaning for the you and the world today.
Lent Resources: why should you want them?
- To help your group, class, church or school better understand what the Bible says about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
- To help you lead others in understanding Jesus' wilderness experience and make the most of your available preparation and contact time.
- To help deepen the relationship of your group with each other and with God, and explore his corporate and individual purpose for their lives.
Over to You
What about you?
At Eden.co.uk you can find a truly interactive Christian community helping you find all you need to live, learn and grow your faith.
The forty days of Lent celebrate Jesus time of fasting and prayer alone in the Judean hills. Solitude is difficult to find in today's busy world, yet scientists and psychologists think it's essential for our healthy mental, emotional and spiritual development.
- How do you find solitude in your daily life, how do you differentiate solitude from loneliness?
- Do you think we should build more time for solitude into our formal church worship, hoe do you include solitude without embarrassing people who aren't used to times of quiet and introspection?
Tell us. Post your ideas, views and tips - beautiful, bizarre and brilliant at Eden.co.uk
February 7th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison