Leading a small group can be a fulfilling and transformative experience for both you as the leader and your group members. But it can also be an overwhelming one, especially if you’re just starting out. That’s why we create small group curriculum each week.
The curriculum structure usually consists of three parts:Getting Started, Digging Deeper, and Bringing It Home. Getting Started helps engage participants and prepares them to interact on the topic. As leaders, it's important to recognize that even though our group members are presentphysically, their minds and hearts might be elsewhere. Getting Started helps their heads (and hearts) metaphorically move into the room.
The Digging Deeper section aims to connect biblical teaching with real-world applications. It uses the sermon and additional Bible verses to bring more understanding and context to the topic and encourages participants to explore how these truths relate to their daily lives.
This brings us to the final section, Bringing It Home. This section is designed to engage the group in a conversation about how to apply what they’ve learned. It pulls together all the different aspects of the sermon and points people to life change and growth.
To maximize the use of the small group curriculum, consider the following strategies:
- View the sermon and small group notes as a single entity. The questions provided should complement the sermon, enhance your understanding, and encourage spiritual growth.
- The goal is not just to gain knowledge, but to foster spiritual growth and maturity. Encourage your group members to apply the lessons to their daily lives.
- Don’t feel pressured to cover every question in the notes. Instead, consider them as a toolkit from which you can select questions that best suit your group's needs.
- Encourage your group members to review the questions before the meeting. This allows them time to reflect on their responses, leading to a more meaningful and deeper discussion.
Working within the three-part lesson structure and incorporating these strategies will help you as you guide your small group toward deeper spiritual growth and a greater understanding of the message from the sermon. As we’ve taught in our Leadership Essentials training, one of the most important aspects of growth starts with community and thoughtful discussion around the Word of God.