This is the Participant's Guide for Unit 1, New Hope in Christ: Bringing Gospel Identity to Bear on Your Story of the four-unit series, Discovery: A Biblical Support Group Curriculum for Men Pursuing Sexual Integrity. A free Leader's Guide is also available for Unit 1.
Harvest USA’s Discovery series brings the power of the gospel into men’s struggles with sexuality. Drawing on more than 35 years of discipleship through biblical support groups, Discovery makes Harvest USA’s discipleship model accessible to local church ministry. Participants dive deeply into Scripture, learning to apply the promises and comforts of the gospel beyond their behaviors to the deepest issues of their hearts. Their personal encounters with God’s Word are strengthened and expressed in the context of small group discussion, where they learn to live the gospel, giving and receiving truth and mercy together.
The entire series consists of four units with 13 lessons each. Designed to be used in order, these units guide participants through a course of Bible study that systematically draws out personal discovery of how the gospel transforms shaping life experiences, controlling heart desires, functional beliefs, and resultant behaviors. A corresponding Leaders Guide is available for each unit, with additional notes to help group leaders facilitate with skill and grace.
Unit 1, New Hope in Christ: Bringing Gospel Identity to Bear on Your Story starts with our gospel model for change that forms the structure of the entire curriculum. We then take a few lessons to establish a biblical understanding of the human heart. The second half of Unit 1 will help men bring new, gospel clarity to a variety of past and present experiences and situations that have exerted strong shaping influence over our hearts.
Other units in this series include:
Unit 2, Treasuring Christ: Transforming Your Heart’s Desires focuses primarily on the deeper desires of our fallen hearts that, apart from the transforming work of the Holy Spirit, will lead to idolatrous pursuits of sin. This unit not only shows men how Jesus transforms and redirects our desires but also illuminates the profound reality that, at our core, we are all much more alike than we are different.
Unit 3, Seeking the Mind of Christ: Renewing Your Functional Worldview addresses a fundamental struggle for every believer: What we profess to believe about God and life often does not line up with what we functionally believe in our hearts. This unit challenges men to look deeply into what they truly believe, because transformed living will only come from a mind renewed in Christ.
Unit 4, Progress and Perseverance in Christ: Seeing Real Growth and Change shows how our hearts, circumstantial influences, desires, and beliefs all bear out in either good or bad fruit in our lives. This unit focuses on the good fruit men should expect and work towards through their union with Christ.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Discovery was written and organized by Jim Weidenaar and Mark Sanders. Jim and Mark also use Discovery in the biblical support group ministry that takes place in our Dresher and Pittsburgh offices.
Jim Weidenaar joined the Harvest USA staff in June of 2012 as Director of Church Equipping and the Greater Pittsburgh Region (GPR). He has a burden to help those struggling with sexual sin, that they will come to understand and experience progress in gospel repentance. Jim has a Masters Degree in Theological Studies (MTS) from Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI, and a Doctorate in Historical and Theological Studies (PhD) from Westminster Theological Seminary, Glenside, PA. He resides in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh with his wife and daughter.
Mark Sanders joined Harvest USA’s Men’s Ministry in July 2015. Mark holds an MA in counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary and a BA in communications and integrated media from Geneva College. For five years, he taught English in South Korea, where he met his lovely wife. In addition to leading support groups and conducting one-on-one discipleship, Mark also serves on Harvest USA’s teaching staff and has produced all of their video resources. In February 2021, Mark became Director of Discipleship at Harvest USA.
“I love this curriculum, and I will recommend it often. I appreciate that the gospel is the lens through which everything about sexual struggle and sexual integrity is understood. Here are three of the many ways I found the Discovery curriculum both unique and practically helpful. First, it is honest about the labyrinthian nature of sin. Second, it acknowledges the power of external influences and experiences on what a person thinks, desires, and does. Finally, it very importantly and helpfully roots change in our new identity and potential in Christ, not just in acknowledging the wrong thoughts and desires of the heart. This is a wonderful gospel tool addressing a very significant area of personal struggle and cultural chaos. May it find a huge audience and bear a wide harvest of good fruit.”
– Paul David Tripp, Author, New Morning Mercies, How People Change, and Sex in a Broken World
“For nearly four decades, Harvest USA has been helping men pursue sexual integrity. So it’s not surprising to me that these lessons are biblically anchored and oriented toward life in the local church. I heartily recommend this curriculum.”
– Michael Horton, Professor of Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
“Harvest USA’s Discovery series is more than a spiritually insightful, biblically faithful guide for Christian men struggling with sexual sin. It gets behind behavior to the desires that move us, the experiences that form us, the worldviews that guide us, and the actions that reveal us, all so that we might grow in the freedom and knowledge of Christ. May God use these studies to bless thousands.”
– Rev. Dr. R. Carlton Wynne, Associate Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCA) (Atlanta) and Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology at RTS-Atlanta
“Sexual sin is harming men, women, and children more than we fully understand. Harvest USA’s Discovery series has practical help and gospel hope for men who want to change. Based on decades of theological reflection and informed by real experience with men whose lives are being formed into the image of Christ, this biblical, rich curriculum is proven to produce spiritual freedom through sexual purity.”
– Philip Ryken, President, Wheaton College
“When navigating issues of human sexuality, brokenness, and redemption, I find myself returning to the cumulative wisdom and experience of the Harvest USA team. This latest support group curriculum for men pursuing sexual integrity is yet another example of that. Grounded and soaked in biblical truth, it is also brimming with the lived experiences of counselors whose lives have been dedicated to helping men in this area. I cannot commend it more highly to be used in your church, your small groups, and your care ministries.”
– Jonathan D. Holmes, Executive Director, Fieldstone Counseling, and Pastor of Counseling, Parkside Church (Chagrin Falls, Ohio)
“In my 25 years of working on college campuses and in the church, this is the best curriculum that I have discovered to help men feeling defeated by sexual sin. It has been tested in the suffocating fires of disillusionment, doubt, and discouragement—and, like pure gold, the result is incomparably precious.”
– David Kieffer, Associate Pastor of Adult Ministries, Westminster Presbyterian (PCA) (Lancaster, PA)
"This Harvest USA group curriculum isn’t full of false promises or easy answers. It points us toward a long haul through the wilderness, but with God’s presence, his provision, and his people to sustain you. It can be a hard journey, but traveling there as a group makes it much more doable. This guide will take you there through Bible study and Christian community.”
– Rev. Michael Gembola, LPC, Author, After an Affair: Pursuing Restoration
“This is more than a curriculum—this is a warm and personal pathway out of dark struggles toward a walk with Christ in the light. Expect not just realism and practical wisdom, but a grace-filled journey together that will lead many to nothing short of renovation of the heart. As a struggler, I need this resource, and, as a pastor, I will use it.”
– Ste Casey, Pastor, Speke Baptist Church (Liverpool, UK), and Executive Member and Tutor, Biblical Counselling UK
“Connecting the mind and the heart is no easy task, but it is a critical element of healing for any sexually compulsive man. By combining penetrating biblical insight with carefully guided written and oral self-disclosure over a many-month period of time the Harvest USA Discovery group curriculum is a powerful tool to not only make the connection, but to significantly address and resolve the shame that binds the hearts and minds of the sexually broken.”
– Randall B. Hicks, Clinical Psychologist, PsyD
“I’ve served for fourteen years as Harvest USA’s Women’s Ministry Director and journeyed with hundreds of wives who have been devastated by their husband’s sexual sin. The majority of these dear women represent Christian husbands who don’t understand why they are in bondage to these devastating behaviors. Many of these brothers come to Harvest USA after years, if not decades, of being stuck in sin and desperate for someone to give them practical, Christ-centered guidance that results in true and lasting change in their hearts, emotions, thoughts, and decision-making. I am so grateful for my colleagues Jim and Mark and their faithful years of discipleship to men, which now bears out in this wonderful workbook. Grab all four of these workbooks, which apply the gospel with biblical wisdom and brotherly compassion from two men who have been in the trenches day after day with men seeking a way out of sexual addiction.”
– Ellen Mary Dykas, Women’s Ministry Director, Harvest USA, and Co-author, Sexual Faithfulness: Gospel-infused, Practical Discipleship for Women
“We have found the Discovery curriculum very helpful in our men’s small groups. It has been great to focus on reading Scripture, interpreting it, and applying it to our lives. The discussion questions encourage men to think deeply about the roots of their struggles and to pursue Christ to be changed, and the Leader’s Guide makes sure we get all we can out of our group discussion.”
– Steve Roskos, Partner Ministry Leader
“Harvest USA has been pivotal in my fight against sexual sin. The combination of Christian community and a Christ-centered curriculum provided me with powerful tools in this fight. The curriculum is comprehensive, taking students through lessons on so many important topics, including desires, beliefs, behaviors, and past influences. Every lesson is solidly connected to Scripture so that we were able to see what God’s Word has to say about our struggle and how to best fight. Each week involved personal reflection and application so that our group went from intellectual understanding to heart change. Working with this curriculum over a period of 18 months really had a huge impact on my life, and I continue to refer to it as I fight my battle and grow in Christ.”
– Paul, Harvest USA Ministry Recipient and Men’s Support Group Participant
“After struggling for decades with pornography, Harvest USA’s Discovery series helped me rightly deal with my deep-seated sin. Working through each section with a caring men’s group, I realized how I was haunted by deeper issues, how my sin was triggered by unacknowledged fears and anxieties, and—through it all—how Christ can truly satisfy my deeper longing for love and peace.”
– Jim, Harvest USA Ministry Recipient and Men’s Support Group Participant
“The Discovery curriculum has been a wonderful resource for both my facilitation of a group and also for me to personally learn more about the hope Jesus gives in the battle with sexual sin. As an inductive Bible study, we are pointed to the source of truth every week. Participants are directed to see how their own experiences, beliefs, and desires are what ultimately generate the fruit in their lives and how what has been fallen can be renewed in Christ.”
– Anonymous, Harvest USA Men’s Support Group Leader