I'm often asked "what are the best studies for small group connections?" This is a great question and actually a very important question.
Choosing the right study is important because the topic often determines who will say "yes" to joining the group.
I've written previously on the topic of how to choose the right study for small group connections. In that article I listed the four characteristics of studies that will connect unconnected people.
When I use those four characteristics to develop a list of the best studies for small group connections, I come up with this list:
Circle Up: A 4-Part Study to Begin a Group has become our go-to study for launching new groups. It’s important to note that Circle Up is not a Bible study. Instead, it is two very important things: (1) a guided conversation designed to help the members of your new group show up, join in, and be real. And (2) a very helpful teaching on the purpose of a group and the qualities of a good group leader. A skillfully designed set of discussion questions will help group members share their story in a way that will help them talk about things that help knit hearts together.
What on Earth Am I Here For? is the new name for the study that anchors 40 Days of Purpose. You might think, "Wait, that's been around too long" or "wouldn't the people we're trying to connect have already done it?" but in reality, most of the people you are trying to connect will not have participated in the study previously. And the topic is spot on when you're looking for one with broad appeal.
Follow: No Experience Necessary is DVD-driven and each of the sessions is a 17 to 22 minute clip from an Andy Stanley message. One of the most compelling communicators in America, this is must see TV. Never flashy or fancy, Stanley is known for his ability to draw out life-changing truth and deliver it in a way that is both inspiring and very memorable. Follow is an excellent example of his pattern of taking difficult or challenging ideas and presenting them in a way that leads to application.
Relatable: Making Relationships Work is the newest study from Louie Giglio, senior pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and founder of Passion Conferences. DVD-driven, Relatable is a 6 session study that features Giglio teaching live from a message series at Passion City Church in early 2015. The video sessions are excerpted from full messages and average 18 to 23 minutes long. A powerful speaker, Giglio has no trouble holding your members attention. Spoiler Alert: There are a number of moments when God’s presence in the room is palpable.
DVD-driven, Transformed is a 7 session study by Rick Warren that explores what the Bible has to say about every essential area of our lives: Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, Relational, Financial, and Vocational. If the early part of the year is made for turning over a new leaf and a new beginning, Transformed is really well conceived.
Certainly, these aren't the only studies that will work well with a small group connection. In my mind they are among the very best because they fit the four characteristics of studies that will connect unconnected people.