Looking for Recommendations for an Adult Small Group Study
June 26, 2018
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I'm looking for recommendations for a small group study (for an Adult Sunday school class that meets Sunday mornings after church for 30 to 45 minutes/week). I'm looking for a variety of topics that range from a three-week to ten-week series. Nothing too intimidating for a lay leader.
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I have two things that have worked pretty well for our small group. I find that it is a real challenge to get people to do any "homework" in between meetings. No matter how well-intentioned we/they may be, most of the time no one reads or prepares beforehand. So, I'm always looking for something that will work well and not involve pre-meeting prep (except for the leader).
One thing that has worked well is outlined in this Banner article:
You can see it gives this format:
First third of the meeting:
- Read aloud a passage from the Bible. Eugene Peterson's The Message has chapters broken into nice segments for this purpose.
- Go around the circle, asking if anybody has any questions about the passage. Trust the Holy Spirit to provide an answer from the group members.
- Go around the circle again, asking if the passage struck a meaningful chord and if a new insight arose.
- Repeat as often as time allows.
Second third of the meeting:
- Go around the circle, allowing people to share thoughts from the previous week. Prayer requests are welcome. Those who prefer to say nothing can simply pass.
Last third of the meeting:
- Go around the circle again, this time praying aloud and remembering to pray for those who asked for prayer. Those who prefer not to pray aloud can say "amen" when it's their turn.
A couple of rules:
Food and drink should be simple and affordable for all.
I also had good luck - and good discussions - using the book, 90% of Helping is Just Showing Up by James R. Kok (https://www.amazon.com/90-Helping-Just-Showing-Up/dp/1496113799). Our group read through parts of it at the meetings, and discussed it there. Even without prep, we had good discussions.
Hope that helps!
-- Mavis Moon
We have used studies from Right Now Media for years. Here is the link: https://www.rightnowmedia.org/Library
Ray Vander Laan has video series that our adult discipleship classes find helpful!
Plenty of resources available on the CRC Faith Formation site, if you do some browsing: https://www.crcna.org/FaithFormation/toolkits/intergenerational-church-toolkit
I've personally seen a lot of Tim Keller's resources work very well for groups of all kinds!
We have had great sessions with A LifeGuide Bible Study booklets - one which we are currently studying is Psalms - Prayers of the Heart - 12 studies written by Eugene Peterson; It certainly brought the book of Psalms to life. There are many more study booklets in the LifeGuide Series. You definitely receive more benefit from having studied the lesson beforehand, but even without preparation, this can be a real blessing!
thebibleproject.com has some interesting studies on a variety of levels.
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