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Essential Resource Discussion


With all the books and church resources out there, it can be difficult to determine which ones are reliable and which ones are not. The following resources are considered to be reliable resources to grow any believer. It is very important to understand that all of the books that are NOT the Bible are NOT INFALLIBLE! Westwood does not necessarily agree with every word from every author listed below. Therefore, as you read and study these resources, always compare their conclusions and interpretations with the Word of God, which IS INFALLIBLE!


The following resources are considered to be excellent resources to grow any believer, especially those either considering or beginning to lead a Small Group. These resources will give a strong Biblical foundation for several areas and really grow you in knowledge with the goal to grow your passion for the glory of God and His Word.


A Danger to Avoid

A dangerous tendency in the church today is to spend more time in books ABOUT the Bible instead of in the Bible itself. Do not fall into this trap! God does not promise to bless any time in any book except His Own, the Bible! However, there is a healthy time to read books about the Bible. The appropriate way to think about Bible resources is to see them as a tool to help you understand a particular topic or book of the Bible that you have already studied yourself, but would like a deeper understanding. One way of thinking about how and when to use outside resources is to see it as if you are approaching someone you respect Biblically and theologically and asking their opinion of what you are studying or seeking them to guide you in your studies.



Method to Work Through

The resources below should be done in order listed below. These are arranged specifically. The first three give you a good overview of the Bible as a whole and a methodology for how to study the Bible (with no aides or commentaries!). Once the foundation is established, it moves to personal growth and knowledge of God Himself. Then, it moves from the inside out, meaning from our own hearts to disciple making and then to missions. If you are a Small Group Leader, your assigned mentor/coach will check on your progress and certainly engage them regularly with questions and thoughts.


There is no set timeframe to complete these resources, but a reasonable target is to complete all within 18 months. Do not feel pressured to complete by 18 months as every situation is different and some have more time available to dedicate to these resources than others. If you are working with a mentor/coach, work out a reasonable schedule with them and let them hold you accountable to achieve it. The whole intent is to provide highly reliable resources for those seeking to grow deeper in their walk that will provide a broad foundation of Biblical understanding. The time frames in each section below are for those targeting the 18 month completion.


Keeping a Missions Mindset 

As you walk through these resources, always have this question in your mind:



Establishing a Biblical Foundation 

These first three assignments are video/audio series with study guides. Each one is a series of four (4) video/audios, 1 hour in length each. Either print the study guide or download the free pdf to a tablet. The guide is in the “Materials” tab. Make notes! Listen to multiple times if necessary! Learn as if you are going to re-teach! The goal should be to complete these within the first 3 months.


Old Testament Survey:



New Testament Survey:



How to Study the Bible:




Learning About God:

The next two books are geared to teach us about God, His attributes, His character, and how we should respond. These books are intense and full of theology and doctrine, and as a side note, all real theology and doctrine is practical, therefore making these books very practical! These books have a study guide to go along with them. It is not necessary to complete the study guide, but it will enhance your learning and understanding. The goal should be completed within the next 6 months.


Knowing God by J.I Packer


Desiring God by John Piper


Disciple Making:

The next two books begin to turn the focus outward, meaning disciple making. The first discusses the process of disciple making in general by looking at the life of Christ as an example. It has study questions at the end of each chapter. The second discusses disciple making in the context of a small group. The goal should be completed within the next 6 months.


Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman


How People Change by Paul Tripp




The last book (non-reference book) focuses on taking the Gospel “to all nations”. This book gives the Biblical foundation for missions, how to go about missions with the right heart, and clearly shows how every believer is COMMANDED to be engaged in missions. It has an accompanying study guide as well. The goal should be completed within the next 3 months..


Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper



The last book on the list, Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem, is recommended to have as a reference for future study. This book takes a look at several topics and shows the consistent picture throughout Scripture. Dr. Grudem teaches through this book and his teachings, along with his study guides and notes, can be found (for free) on his website in the years 2005 – 2007.


Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem