Choosing Small Group Bible Study Material

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You’re ready to get your group going…or you’re finishing the study you’re in right now…and you’re trying to figure out what to do next. We’re all here eventually.  Now what?  Let me give you a few suggestions.

First, don’t take a vote!  Especially when your group is new (within the first 6 months) taking a vote can lead to some unnecessary debate (and even disappointment when a nominated suggestion is not chosen). Instead, think about the members of your group and based on recent discussions choose a study that will help your group mature.

Second, taking the Purpose Driven Health Assessment can help your group determine which of the 5 Biblical purposes might need strengthening.  A great way to use this resource is to have each member of your group take the assessment and then simply add up their scores in each area.  You’ll quickly see where you need help!

Third, make sure you’re choosing material that is easy to use and leads to application.  Learning about the Bible is fine.  Learning how to apply what you’re learning is really the point.  One thing I always look for is material that an average person can lead.  That means that it has a leader’s guide (preferably built-in) and is mostly about facilitating and not teaching.  If you want an average person to be able to lead it, you’ll need to focus on facilitating discussion and not teaching.  At the same time, a discussion is much more engaging than a lecture to your members.

Last, many groups find that a DVD-driven study capitalizes on a gifted teacher and allows the group leader to focus on keeping the group engaged and cared for.   Be careful that the material you choose doesn’t require so much preparation that connecting with group members becomes an afterthought.

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