Over the past 35 years I have used lots of great books and curriculum in leading small groups and discipleship groups—some of them written by me. Thinking of all of the good material I have used, my favorite small group curriculum now is The Good & Beautiful God, by James Bryan Smith.
My friend small group author Greg Bowman commended the book to me several years ago. Based on Greg’s enthusiastic recommendation I picked up the book and started to read it. As I started into it for some reason I thought, “What’s so great about this?”, and I didn’t make it past the first chapter. Then last year our senior pastors, Hap & Di Leman, gave me and all of our senior leadership team a copy of the book and worked through it with us chapter by chapter over coffee on Wednesday mornings. The book thrilled me and was tremendously helpful in accelerating my spiritual journey.
More recently I went through the book with four other guys in a men’s discipleship group early on Wednesday mornings. The biblical principles in the book again were life changing for me and them. As one of the guys expressed, Read the rest of this entry
I’m excited to be blogging again. I plan to blog one to three times a month about small groups, discipleship, and doing multicampus church—all of it so that more people can experience Jesus’ power and grace in life-changing ways.
Some of the entries will be about my favorite resources because I know small group leaders and pastors always want to find the best resources. Today I want to highlight what I consider the very best resource out there for small group leaders—The Serendipity Study Bible (SSB). The SSB contains great small group discussion questions for every chapter in the entire Bible. The questions are conveniently located in the Bible’s margins and are arranged in three categories (Open, Dig, and Apply) to progressively move people into the topic, into the passage, and then into applying the truths to their lives.
I want you to understand the best way to use the SSB and similar small group helps. Let’s say you are looking at today’s One Year Bible Psalm—which happens to be the very familiar Psalm 23—with your group. Here’s how I suggest you prepare.
First, pray for your group and your group meeting inviting God to do cool things that show how wonderful he is and that help people move forward in their walk with him. (Remember my research shows that time spent in prayer is much more important to your group’s health and growth than time spent preparing your study.)