I review small group curriculum. A lot. Some of it’s good. Some of it I wish I had never wasted my time looking over.
But I’ve just stumbled on a great study from Lifway. Which, to be honest, is shocking to me. Lifeway has been putting out Sunday School curriculum for years in the form of quarterly material that you subscribe to. And I had no interest in figuring out how to fit Sunday School curricula into our small groups system. They’ve found a format that works for small groups, and brought together a couple of small group veterans (Steve Gladen and Bill Donahue) to help facilitate the DVD portion of the material.
If you want a chance to win a free copy of the material, keep reading!
What I like about Building Biblical Community
- It starts by encouraging everybody to share their story. I believe that this is foundational to healthy, biblical community. Without knowing people’s stories, it takes much longer to build authentic relationships. Without sharing your own, it’s easy to hide. Sharing your story, and understanding what expectations you (and the group as a whole) are bringing to the table help launch the group on the right foot.
- There’s real interaction with Scripture. There’s no question that this is truly a Bible study. Discussion is encouraged around the meaning of the text, both historically and practically. And there is a distinct push for you to incorporate Scripture into your everyday life, asking questions that prompt you to integrate the Gospel into the normal flow of your day. And I agree with Spence Shelton, that a Building Biblical Community, vol II focusing further on applying the Gospel to community life could be a great follow-up resource.
- There are short, daily devotionals for in-between the week’s meetings. And these are built on the previous week’s discussions, which means that they’re not vital to the following week’s discussion. So the homework is important, but if you don’t get to finish it, you won’t be lost in the following week’s discussion.
- It’s simple. It’s often easier to say more, citing more Scriptures, and asking more questions than it is to say less. Thankfully, Lifeway didn’t take the easy way out.
- It’s short. It’s only 4 weeks. I’ve found that longer studies seem to grow stale because they take so long to finish. And, like I said HERE, change (even when it’s something as small as your group’s curriculum) feels like progress.
- It’s a great overview of group life. It hits on each of the major areas of healthy small groups without spending too much time on any one category. Here are the 4 sessions: Becoming a Celebrating Community, Becoming a Learning Community, Becoming a Loving Community, Becoming a Serving Community.
- The leader notes are in the back. It saves money from having to buy another book. Last time I checked…that was a good thing. And leader notes give the group facilitator hints on how to continue the discussion, helping them feel even more comfortable in the role God has called them to.
How I’m going to use the study
- New small groups.
- Small groups that are restarting.
I don’t quickly put a curriculum into our regular flow of recommended curricula at Grace Community Church, where I’m on staff. But this one’s going in the rotation immediately.
If you’d like a chance to win a free copy of this material (I’ll be giving it away on Friday, 2-11-2011), all you have to do is
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2. Leave a comment below, telling us why you’d like to win.