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What should my group study? Part 1

The below is a re-post of a topic I often get questions about. “What should my group study?” I’m working through this question with one leader right now and it got me thinking, I haven’t posted on this in a year or more. So here you go. Pt. 1 today, Pt.2 tomorrow.This was a part of a larger series called “stuff a small group leader should know” and you can pick up that series here.

“What should my group study?”


This is the one question I was always finding myself coming back to as a small group leader for many years. Even if I set up a 6 month plan for my group’s study I was always keeping an eye out for other materials out there that would be “cool to try.” As a group leader you have a very serious responsibility in this arena. What you study will define a good portion of the discipleship experience your group members have. You better get this one right hu? So let’s build a strategy to answer this question well. Hopefully you will find this strategy one you can keep coming back to.  3 phases, the first of which we will look at today, the second two we will look at tomorrow.

First, Evaluate your situation
. Answer the following questions:

  • What is happening church-wide?
    • What is the pastor teaching through? Is he in a series on a particular book or subject?
      • Summiters: We’ve got a 3 week series on prayer starting May 3.
    • Are there any major initiatives being emphasized such as expansion projects, service opportunities, etc.?
      • Summiters: think BELIEVE project, Hope4RDU, Church Planting, for examples.
  • What is happening in your small groups ministry?
    • ideally the small groups ministry will be emphasizing the same things as the church-wide vision, but there may be some nuances or other things the sg team is putting out there to help you make disciples.
    • Is there certain material the sg team is offering or encouraging you to use?
      • Summiters: think BELIEVE guide this February and our weekly sermon discussion guides the rest of the year.
    • Is there a certain emphasis for the year or semester the sg team has put out there at leadership gatherings?
      • Summiters: What did we emphasize at Frontline this January? Hope4RDU and small group coaching
  • What is happening in your small group?
    • Spiritually, where are the people in your group? Are there new Christians and/or non-Christians?
    • Is there a certain life-stage many of your group members fit into?
    • How long has your group been meeting together?
    • Is there a situation one or more of your group members are in or have been through that you think requires more attention?

Mars Hill Church in Seattle, a sister church of the Summit in the Acts29 network, describes the role of their small group leader as “to know each member of the group well enough to articulate a vision for his/her spiritual growth, citing specifics about how my group as a whole or individual members of the group nurture his/her growth.” I think this is necessary in order to answer this 3rd question well.

part 2 coming tommorrow.

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