How to choose transformational small group curriculum

Determining the best curriculum for your church’s small group ministry can be a daunting task. There are literally hundreds of resources from which to choose! Here are a few tips to help you narrow your selection and choose the right thing to do as a small group:

What is the stated purpose of your group?

If the goal of being together is to experience God’s love for one another and extend it to those who have yet to discover it, you can easily rule out Bible studies that only go deep into the Word. Knowing one’s Bible is good, but applying what is learned is far better! Look for curriculum that takes one scripture verse and helps the group members verbalize how the truth found in it must be lived out to be transformational.

In which areas is your group weak?

Take a good hard look at your small group. Do the members interact between meetings? Do they pray for one another daily? Has the group become a team to reach out to unchurched people with relational evangelism? Are the more mature members of your group mentoring the younger believers? All of these things can be addressed through discussions during meetings if the curriculum you choose moves the group members to action.

What’s your budget?

Video or DVD-based material from mega churches makes facilitation a breeze, but it comes at a high cost. I recommend you choose curriculum that only requires one printed leader’s guide for six or eight sessions. Low cost, high-impact printed small group curriculum is readily available, and it has an added bonus—using it further develops your facilitation skills! Popping a  20 minute DVD into the player just doesn’t leave a lot of room for the Holy Spirit to prompt you to take the group in a different direction.

Are children a part of your group?

Intergenerational small groups are really powerful if the curriculum you choose actively involves the children in the meeting with the adults or in a different room for part of the meeting. If your kids are sent to the basement or a back bedroom to watch Veggie Tales® while the adults meet, I highly recommend you find material that shows the children (and their parents) that they are the church of today, not just the church of the future!

Creating and sustaining momentum

When I look for curriculum for my small group, I want to build momentum for group expansion. Healthy groups produce fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ that are not content to warm the cushions on your living room sofa year after year. With this in mind, I choose curriculum that is part of a series. Look for a set of resources that moves a new believer into maturity, recruits maturing members in a discipleship process, and moves the members out of a meeting mentality and into missional living.

We’ve seen it all, and created some of the best

TOUCH Publications has developed some of the most powerful small group curriculum available today. We took the plunge into curriculum development because we reviewed hundreds of Bible Studies from big publishers and denominational offices and found them to be dry, dull, and certainly not personally transformational. The Community Life Series of small group agendas contains six curriculum pieces. Launch into Community Life helps a new leader form a core leadership team to prevent burnout. Looking Upward focuses a group on Christ in their midst and challenges them to pray and seek His face. Connecting Inward helps the group members see ways of overlapping their daily lives between group meetings to experience true biblical community. Reaching Outward shows the group how to band together to be a bright light in a dark world with relational evangelism. Moving Forward helps every member of the group see their potential as a disciple-making believer, encouraging everyone to “grow up and move out of the house” sooner than later to start their own group. And the name of the last resource in the Community Life Series says it all—God is Powerful In You. This unique small group assessment tool assists each member in discovering their spiritual gifts and using them to build up others.

Our curriculum is inexpensive and carries a weekly small group through six full months of practical and powerful Bible application. It’s transformational for the members, easy to facilitate, and even has an intergenerational supplement to integrate children into the life of the group.