Dipping Your Toes in Planning Small Group Devotions

Forty-four devotional worship services with reflections, hymns, prayers, discussion question and more plus tips for effective worship leadership and workbook for learning to build your own services.

The tweets and downloadable pictures provided for each service are designed to help your group focus. as well as being useful for advertising your meeting in your church newsletter.

This is a useful resource for nursing home services, Bible study, Sunday morning worship and personal devotions.

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If you wish to have an autographed copy, please email me directly.


Janet’s Notes

Dipping Your Toes Dipping Your Toes will relieve your anxiety, when it’s your turn to lead devotions in your small Group. Everything you need – reflection, prayers, hymns, call to worship, right down to the benediction gathered together in one book. There is even a discussion question if you choose to make the worship participatory. Hymns were chosen from a variety of hymn books to accommodate the needs of many denominations.

To help you gain confidence in your worship leadership there are “Tips for Effective Leadership” in the introduction. The final section called “Wading in a Little Deeper”, leads you through creating your own call to worship, prayers, reflection – an entire service so you’ll never need a book like mine again.

Don’t forget leading worship can be fun.


Dipping Your Toes in Planning Small Group Devotions

Service #1 for September
Tweet: Lead me to a gas station. My spiritual tank is running low.

Light the Christ Candle

“We light this Christ Candle to remind ourselves that God is our guest today. God’s Spirit swirls around us and within us.”

Call to Worship

Come into this time of renewal.
Open your heart to God’s presence in this place.
Feel God’s love radiate through those around you.
Let us worship God.


How Good Lord to be Here VU # 103
Take Time to be Holy VU #672, HFG #457

Opening Prayer:

Gracious God, thank you for calling us together today. As we enjoy one another’s company, make us aware that you are part of the conversation and the laughter. Use this time to give us a gift of renewal. We pray as followers of Jesus.


Luke 9:28-40


Gas For the Journey

Fall is here, vacation over. It’s time to care for yourself and fill your spiritual tank with gas for life’s journey. Many of us know that Sunday morning worship is gas up time, but we forget that retreats, study evenings and workshops provide a special opportunity for renewed energy and learning.

One year, Tom and I chose to give ourselves the gift of an entire week at “Soul Feast” in the mountains of North Carolina. We met a crowd of caring, friendly people. Worship each day provided inspiration. Workshops offered valuable learning. Sharing a cottage with dear friends meant free time was special. When the week ended, we felt as if we had been wrapped in faith. Our energy level for life in general had risen considerably. We were reluctant to return home and dive back into the busy stream of living.

Times of renewal are always too short. Why? They give us gas for our journey. In the Bible, we see Jesus inviting his followers to go up on the mountain or down by the lake to have time apart to focus on his teachings and on God. Always they returned to continue their ministry carrying God’s Good News to others.

This month, check out the Internet and the bulletin board at church for study groups or retreats. Make the commitment to take advantage of at least one opportunity to learn and grow in your faith. Remember you will always be too busy. You will never have enough time or money for such a “luxury”. Just as you know your body requires food to remain healthy, so your spirit requires special nurture too. Give yourself a gift from God.

Describe your experience of Bible Study, or a Spiritual Retreat. How did you feel? What did you learn?

Closing Prayer:
Loving God, intentional time with you is important to us. Give us courage to make the choice of caring for our spiritual needs. If we need a friend to go with us, help us find that friend. We give you thanks for reminding us to feed our souls. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen

We Have Come at Christ’s Own Bidding VU #104, FWS #2103
Precious Lord Take My Hand VU #670, HFG #611

Commissioning and Benediction:

Go into this month with your hearts open to opportunities for renewal. Go knowing that God is with you, guiding your choices, offering you blessings. Amen

5 reviews for Dipping Your Toes in Planning Small Group Devotions

  1. Betty Radford Turcott, author of Follow Me and Beside Still Water

    An excellent resource for your library. This little volume contains complete meditations for personal or group use that challenge and uplift the reader. It also offers helpful ideas to write your own devotional material. The material is well organized by the calendar year and is easy to use. Janet’s faith shines through on every page and she calls us to respond to the voice of the holy in our lives in many different ways.

  2. Pat Gilmore, Co-ordinator of Book displays for the United Church of Canada

    As I travel around to Book Displays, people constantly ask for a book on devotions and worship services. Rev. Janet Stobie has written such a book. Not only has she included forty plus services to use around the church year, but she has even included steps for writing your own. This invaluable resource can be used at the beginning of meetings, for devotions, for services in senior’s homes etc. My thanks go to Janet for producing such a needed and user friendly resource.

  3. Jackie Childerhose, Director, Grand River Spiritual and Educational Resources

    Are you looking for new ideas for worship planning for your small group ministry?  Janet Stobie’s new book will certainly meet your needs with this lively, faith-filled work , featuring forty-four complete worship services, along with ideas and guidance to create your own.  Each program includes prayers, hymn suggestions, a short meditation and questions for group discussion.  Programs are seasonal, theme-based and user friendly.  “Dipping your Toes” is a valuable addition to any church or personal library for worship planning.

  4. Ruth Welham-Umphrey, Lay Leader, Biblical Storyteller, Anglican Church of Canada

    Your book is really helpful. I like it. The tone is warm and wonderfully encouraging to people new to this type of ministry. It invites one to try and it doesn’t require a theological degree or professional titles. It truly is in the spirit of “all of the followers of Jesus are ministers.

  5. Rob Dalgleish, Executive Director, EDGE – A Network for Ministry Development, United Church of Canada

    In a time in which many ministries struggle for sustainability and also new and innovative forms of missional church are emerging, the equipping of lay people for discipleship and ministry is essential. “Dipping Your Toes in Small Group Worship Planning” is an excellent, practical worship planning resource that comes out of the rich experience of a long time practitioner. Why do we always recreate the wheel! Even more than that it is a learning tool to unleash the gifts of lay people and deepen their discipleship in service to make ministry possible in ways it wasn’t before.                      A MUST GET.

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