With what set of studies should we begin? To make this decision, pray about it and see what comes to you. Keep in mind two things:

what your probable attendees are like

that solitude & silence are the basic disciplines and—ideally—should be the first study, but that won’t work for everyone.

Consider carefully what the people who are likely to attend are like. What are their interests? More people will be drawn to the Prayer & Listening study, so you might want to start there. Then you might want to ask the group to choose the next study.

Are your likely attendees introverts or extroverts? (Where do they get their energy—from being alone or being with people?) If you have some extroverts, don’t follow one introvertish study topic with another. This sends a message that spirituality is only for people who sit quietly in corners -- Jesus was not that! If you think you’ll do more than two studies, move back and forth between disciplines that are easier for introverts and extroverts. Here how I would describe that.




Solitude & Silence

Community & Submission

Simplicity & Fasting

Prayer & Listening

Worship & Celebration








Study & Meditation



Also, if you’re group is not very transparent, hold Reflection and Confession for later—although these topics are very important and the study makes an excellent personal retreat.

If you figure out the order you want to do them in, don't be afraid to change if so led.