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Curriculum: How to Find Good Small Group Studies

Back in the day, good studies were few and far between. Today, the problem is this: out of so many great studies, which do you choose? Here are a few resources that might help:

1. View Samples Online.

Online Booksellers like Amazon.com or Christianbookdistributors.com sometimes offer samples of study guides and often video content. If they don’t , then the publisher might offer these samples. A quick review of a sample lesson or video might give you a sense of whether the study would work for your group. Often you can print out a sample lesson for your group to review. At a minimum, point them to the website

2. Connect with a Coach.

A small group coach is an experienced small group leader who has led quite a number of studies over the years. They will have suggestions based on what other groups have enjoyed. They can also help you in evaluating a study that is outside of the norm for your church.

3. Check Brookwood Church’s Study Review Site.

The Brookwood Studies site is a site we’ve built where small group leaders can find information for the DVD-based studies currently available in the Small Group Library. You will find reviews from other Brookwood small group leaders along with links to online curriculum samples. If you would like to use one of these studies, simply reserve the study at the Brookwood Bookstore and order the study guides for your group members to purchase. Please give the bookstore at least two weeks to process your order.

4. Use a Message Discussion Guide.

A Message Discussion Guide is a great way to help people take their weekend into their week. At Brookwood Church we provide a guide that gives group members an opportunity to take the truths learned on Sunday morning and apply them to their lives. There is no advance preparation apart from attending the Sunday morning service or viewing it online prior to the group meeting. You may access the guide here:brookwoodchurch.org/discussionguide.

5. Follow a Church-wide Series.

Many churches will align a message series with a small group study once or twice per year. Like a Message Discussion Guide, this offers an opportunity to discuss and apply the teaching from Sunday morning. Usually the small group study will involve a teaching DVD. The DVD allows the opportunity for multiple members of your group to facilitate a lesson, since the pressure of teaching is relieved by the DVD.

These are just a few ways to choose a study. There are many more. The key is to find a study that your entire group is interested in. If there’s a difference opinion, then plan out the next two or three studies to incorporate everyone’s good ideas.  

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Allen White consults and speaks in the areas of small group strategy, staffing structure, volunteer mobilization, and spiritual formation. Allen is the author of Exponential Groups: Unleashing Your Church’s Potential. He blogs at http://allenwhite.org.