“All of the Bible is always good all of the time.”
I first heard that statement in a meeting with other pastors visiting Mark Dever at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. We were discussing how pastors should approach their sermon preparation, and how discipleship pastors should approach what their small groups study.
The answer: “All of the Bible is always good all of the time.”
This truth is liberating, for it reminds us that no matter how we go about setting up our small group ministry, as long as we keep the Word of God at the center, we make progress.
For example, some small groups gather to study the Bible in a way that is tied to the message preached at the service. Using a discussion guide written by the discipleship pastor, group leaders facilitate a discussion based upon the message from the service. Proponents of this method often view the weekend message as the “front door” to the church for a guest. Studies like these help draw in those marginal attendees and make for a more comfortable experience for them since the discussion is based primarily on what everyone heard at the service.
Let Your Leaders Plan
Still other churches let their group leaders plan and teach what they want. They might choose a video-driven study, a short-term study on a given topic or book of the Bible. Or they might subscribe to receive Bible study curriculum from a trusted source of excellent content such as LifeWay. Whatever way they choose, group leaders have freedom in this environment to chart their own course for their groups.
Long Range Planning
Still others might prefer to plan out a long scope and sequence for their groups to study. They might choose to walk through certain books of the Bible for a year, choose various topics to study, or do both over a longer period of time. Planning and purpose are very important variables for churches that take this approach.
With so many ways to set up a small group ministry, there are also many products to help support them. One web-based tool, smallgroup.com, gives churches and their group leaders the ability to create studies for all of these scenarios. Sermon-based groups can quickly customize existing studies to fit the message; church leaders can grant all of their group leaders access to create their own studies; and church leaders can build a scope and sequence by text or topic (or both!) for as far out in to the future as they please.
Regardless of how you set up your groups or equip them study God’s Word, the important thing is that they are studying God’s Word. “All of the Bible is always good all of the time.”
This article originally appeared here: http://www.lifeway.com/Article/what-should-your-small-group-study