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It's officially fall, and that means ministry season is underway! There are so many options out there for small groups/Bible studies—everything from traditional print studies to ebooks to online studies and more. Perhaps your group is trying out something new this fall, or maybe you're sticking with the same series you've used before. 

What small group/Bible study resource is your church excited about? Share in the comments!


The pattern of the men's group that I am a part of (and I believe other groups within our church, both mixed and gender specific do as well) typically will go back and forth between going through a study based on a book of the bible and then a topical book. For example, in the Fall we may go through the Letters of John and then in the Spring read and study The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. Using this method helps us study the whole counsel of God, with a focus on his Word and being formed by it, and also to study a variety of topics from a biblical perspective.

This Fall, our group is going through a book called The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies. We are just a few weeks in and I find the book to be good... but more importantly, I find it really necessary as a tool for preparing to consider other, future studies. Since there are so many books and studies out there and denominational agencies and organizations that seek to give help in wisely choosing good studies for a variety of groups, the task can seem either overwhelming or that we assume that what ever is offered to us for study is "gospel" truth. However, even when we know an author (or organization, publisher, denomination agency) and they have a reputation of being solid and biblical, we still have the task of discerning truth and taking every thought captive to the Word of God.

I believe we tend to be more impressionable than we would like to admit, and can be very vulnerable to believing what resonates with us personally, even if we never stop to consider whether or not something is wisdom from above or earthly wisdom in the form of a motivational meme or book that repeatedly focuses on self rather than glorifying God. I know that it can be a difficult thing at times when using discernment or hearing from others who encourage the use of discernment. Those who speak out or are critical of certain books/authors can often be called extreme, judgemental, legalistic and a number of other terms. (and some are) However, Challies seems to be very humble in his critique and always comes back to both the sufficiency of Scripture and dealing with brothers and sisters with grace.

So I would recommend (thus far, as we are not done with the book) The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment and think that it might also help in choosing or avoiding future studies that could possibly cause confusion, misdirect our passion or at worse, teach things contrary to the Word of God, albeit nicely packaged and shrewdly worded. And even if a trustworthy study is chosen, the tools from this book should help a group or individual discern truth from error. 

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