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HopeKeepers Lesson Examples

So you have started your group (or will be soon) and now you're wondering how to plan your lessons. We've got some tips and an example of one leader's lesson.

Are you a leader? Send us your lesson plan! We'd love to share it with others!

Lesson Plan Ideas
  • Pass out a devotional or two from Rest Ministries website (you are allowed to photocopy them, just keep the author/copyright information on it too.) Have people read a paragraph out loud and discuss it. Have they ever felt this way? How did they cope with these feelings? Would they have done something differently had they read this first? If they had written this, what verse would they have chosen? What do they think of the way the writer responded to the circumstances or feelings that s/he encountered.
  • Go through a Bible study and discuss the various subjects by chapter.
  • Pass a "bowl" or hat of questions. Here are a few to get you thinking:
    • If you could write the front page headline of the paper tomorrow, what would it say?
    • What was your favorite toy as a child and why?
    • What is something that you feel your illness has prevented you from participating in that frustrates you?
    • Take suggestions from others on related things that you may be able to participate in now.
    • If you could hire a housekeeper, a cook, or a gardener, which would it be and why?
    • Finish this sentence: If I could go to heaven and have God answer one question and then come back to earth, what would that question be?
  • Make up a list of random words to pass around. Have people share the first thing that pops into their head when they read it: Prayer, Mystery, Frustration, Joy, Emotions, Tears, Silly, Common sense
  • Ask people to share 1 thing that they have learned in the last six months. What is one thing that they would like to learn in the next six months (could be a character trait, a hobby, anything!)
  • When needing to motivate one another, go around the room and share... One thing that I have let my illness prevent me from doing/being/saying, etc. is ________________ and from now on I am going to:_________________.
  • Share prayer requests. Discuss the "prayer of Jabez" in 1 Chronicles and discuss ways that God can "expand our territories" when we are ill.
Rest Ministries, Copyright 2003
Lesson Plan Example


Here is one lesson outline from a HopeKeeper leader who led a group for over 4 years. Feel free to send us your lesson outlines so that we can share with other leaders.

Hi, Dear Christian Friend:

OK, about my HopeKeepers(R) Group here in Crestline, CA. The most important thing I an tell you is to keep your group focused on Jesus and not their illness. They will need to discuss their illness from time to time but I make it very clear that is not what we are here for.

We are HopeKeepers (my emphasis) and we will not focus only of the negatives of our various chronic conditions. There are plenty of groups out there for that. I co-lead a group for Fibromyalgia/Chronic pain, and you are righ-- sometimes it is so depressing I don't even want to go. Fact is most the Christian ladies are now in my HopeKeepers(R) and we have canceled FMS meetings until further notice and just publish a Newsletter everyother month.

1) I hold HopeKeepers(R) meetings in my home from 12:30-2:30 PM on Wednesdays.

2 ) Our meetings run approximately 8 weeks and we take two to three weeks off and start again. Our weird mountain weather can affect how long meetings go on. :>) Lots of snow cancellations lately and thus we will run more than eight weeks this session.

3) We do use the materials available through Rest Ministries. We have gone through the Bible Study "When Chronic Illness Enters Your Life," about three times now because we keep getting new folks and no one minds going over the wonderful material again.

4) Our church subscribes to the monthly Rest Ministries Magazine HopeKeepers for us. This is full of wonderful resources and encouraging information for us all.

5) We have 17 ladies on our membership list. Six of them have been, marked in red (Do not attend meetings). These ladies cannot come due to working or just too sick. The reason we have them on our membership list is so our gals can send them notes each week. We really stress the note writing and phoning among our group. We also keep our membership list and prayer sheets in our quiet time material so we can pray for each other daily.

6) I made up lined Prayer Sheets we pass out as ladies arrive and put their name tags on. I have the ladies put every ones name on the sheet leaving plenty of space for notes. We take notes on each other as we fellowship and thus get to know each others needs. Many of us have memory problems and this tool really helps.

7) Format of a typical meeting:

12 Noon ~ My "well-partner" arrives and helps me get coffee and tea water, etc., ready and lay out handouts and if need be, helps me set up chairs. After the meeting I leave with two of the ladies to go for Warm Water Exercise and Allison cleans up for me and puts things away so when I get home house is neat. (Rest Ministries recommends a "Well" buddy, if possible, since we also have a chronic illness ourselves.)

12:30 ~ 1:15 Ladies arrive. We have refreshments (usually drinks and nibbles) and fellowship until 1:15 PM. We are using the Prayer sheets during this time. This is only time illness is discussed, if need be as part of prayer request. Our focus is on Jesus and not our illness. (I do research on the Internet for gals on their illness if they ask and give them the information in an envelope to read at home).

1:15 ~ 2 PM We have a short prayer and begin our Bible Study time. Still taking notes on prayer sheet as ladies answer the personal questions.

2 PM ~ 2:30 Some of my ladies leave to meet their children's buses. Others stay and fellowship some more until 2:30 when I must leave for swim (Twinges in the Hinges) class. 8) I should warn you out of eleven active members, we feel we have a good turnout if five show up. I mail a devotional from Rest Ministries to those that miss and a note of encouragement. They are getting real good about calling if they are going to miss, so I find I must shower and dress early before the phone starts ringing. I take their pray requests and needs to share with those who are able to attend. Most just need me to take 1/2 hour or so to just talk to them. :>)

9) I have created a HopeKeepers(R) group in my address book and send them regular emails of fun and often inspiring things I get sent or run into on the net. Laughter is our best medicine, a part from time with Christ.

10) One of the gals brought some books to share that have helped her. This is good to do during fellowship time. What helps you get through those difficult days? I have gals bring in praise tapes, one brought a Picture Bible for those days it is just impossible to concentrate on deep Bible reading. (I ran out and bought one. It is really full of great information and so easy to digest on a day when you are just unable to digest anything deeper.) The Fellowship time is very special and profitable as I see the gals bonding together as they share their lives.

11) At end of Bible study we have prayer but safe extended time for individual needs for our Quiet times at home. As time permits and need arises we stop and pray anytime during our time, of course. We love our group and all feel it is very benificial and worth while. Hope this helps. Keep in touch. I put you in my HopeKeepers(R) group in my address book so you will get some of my forwards. God Bless you new venture. It is a wonderful ministry. I could go on for pages about it and how our ladies help each other etc.

In His Love and Strength,

Diane Boone
Calvary Chapel of Lake Arrowhead HopeKeepers (R) Leader

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