Had an opportunity to preview a new DVD-driven small group study designed to help new groups get off to a good start. Community: Starting Well in Your Small Group is an 8 session small group study that is designed to be used right out of the gate as a new group begins.
An updated version of a study originally developed to launch groups that begin at one of North Point’s grouplink events, this is a very important development. Let me be quick to say, you do not have to be a fan of North Point or use the grouplink strategy to use this study. In fact, Community jumps right to the top of the list in terms of studies that help launch new small groups regardless of your strategy!
If you’ve ever gone on a journey with a really good tour guide, you might already know what to expect in this study. If you never have…you’re in for a real treat.
The DVD provides just the right amount of guidance and inspiration to help your new group talk about the things that make for great conversation. 5 of the 6 DVD segments average 7 to 10 minutes in length, just about the perfect length for today’s attention spans. The one exception is a 20 minute segment designed to help group members share their stories. With four vignettes modeling how to tell the story of the things that have shaped us, session 4’s DVD segment is very powerful and sets the stage for the session’s objective.
The participant guide is really a conversation guide. And it’s important to note that Community is not a Bible study. Instead, it really is a guided conversation designed to help the members of your new group show up, join in, and be real. Every session includes an introduction and short reading assignment to be read as preparation. 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.
A very thorough leader guide (along with a number of other very valuable small group resources) is available free online at GroupLeaders.org/startingwell.
I want to say this carefully, but I believe the availability of Community: Starting Well in Your Small Group might be the most important development in group launching strategy in the last decade (see also, 4 Important Innovations in Small Group Ministry). Community is a great study and is going to help launch and deeply connect a very large number of groups. I love it and I’m sure you will too!