Choosing Curriculum

Choosing appropriate curriculum is one of the most daunting things you will do as a leader. There are limitless resources and so much literature on every conceivable topic. How can you be sure that you choose the right study?

The purpose of choosing appropriate curriculum is to enable the members of your group to mature in their ability to discover Biblical truths for themselves. Ask yourself, “Does the study allow them to grapple with scripture on their own?” Encourage your group members to choose to study a book of the Bible or do a topical study based predominantly on Scripture, rather than a book. There are many studies that can nurture growth in Biblical truth, but they must be anchored in God’s word.

 

Choosing a Topic to Study
First, you’ll want to choose an appropriate topic to study. Consider the following when determining what to study as a group:

1. Consider God

  • Pray about the topic, by yourself and as a group.
  • Ask your apprentice to pray and then set aside time to evaluate different options as a leadership team.

2. Consider Yourself, as a Leader

  • Choose a topic that takes advantage of your strengths and interests. Do you have a passion for the topic?
  • Do you feel equipped to take your group through a book of the Bible? To grow deeper in your ability to study and teach the word talk to your coach or staff contact and seek out opportunities like the How to Study the Bible Workshop.
  • Choose a topic that is meaningful for you. Has some particular topic been meaningful in your life? Or perhaps it is a topic that you are not familiar with or that God is still developing in you?
  • Based on your experience, should you develop the study or use a prepared study guide?

3. Consider Your Group

  • Make sure your study focuses on the needs of your group members. What do they struggle with? What do they desire? What do they have interest in?
  • Do you know if your group members are in the Word on their own? How can a study that you choose encourage this discipline?
  • Avoid controversial issues or heavy topics at first.
  • Do you have any young believers and/or seekers in your group? If so, make sure to choose a study that will be appropriate for them.

4. Consider Logistical Constraints

  • Shorter studies with less homework work better as the group is forming and building relationships.
  • Number of weeks you want to spend on a study. Finishing a study is reinforcing for the group and helps you know what to do in the next study.
  • Time you want to spend each meeting in study.
  • Amount of homework group members will do.

5. Consider the Content

  • Doctrinally-sound. Does the content contradict the Mclean Bible Church Statement of Faith? Are the key points being taught by the book in line with what Scripture says? Does the book reference Scripture accurately? Have you consulted your coach or a staff person on the study?
  • Relational in nature. Does the content lend itself to discussion and group interaction?
  • Application oriented. Does the content lead to practical steps? Do those steps encourage or lead to becoming fully devoted followers of Christ?
  • Relevant. Does the content focus on the needs of the group? Are you addressing topics that are relevant to group members? (i.e. relationships, finances, life stage, etc)
  • Varied. Does the content vary its learning approach to retain maximum interest?
  • Ask. Consult your coach or staff person for recommended studies on various topics or books of the Bible.
  • Authored by credible people. Consider the background and credentials of the authors of the curriculum. Are they theologically sound? Is the study designed for a small group environment?

In choosing a study, you want group participation in decision-making, but ultimately, it is the leader’s final decision. (Note: In Mothering Matters groups, curriculum is predetermined.)


Example Study Topics

  • Book of the Bible
  • Study of a Bible character
  • Relationships: Dating, friendships, family, work
  • Spiritual disciplines: Prayer, fasting, giving, etc.
  • Developing Godly character
  • Spiritual Warfare, temptation
  • Bonding/Boundaries
  • Healing hurt of past experiences
  • Financial stewardship
  • Role of the Church; our role in the Church

 

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