People often ask what I use for my small group curriculum. The truth is, most of the time I use myself as the curriculum. Rather than coming to the group with books and lesson materials, I simply come with stories of how God has worked in my life during the past week or so and scripture that influenced my spiritual growth. For example, I may talk about a conflict I had with someone and how the Holy Spirit convicted me about it through a passage I read during my quiet time. I’ll follow this up with a discussion on how we handle disagreements. Or maybe a scripture passage really brought me to a sense of awe and wonder last week that I’ll share with the small group followed by a discussion on worship experiences in our lives.
There are several reasons why I prefer this format:
- It assumes I’m in the Word and reflecting on God’s interaction with my life several times a week, something I should be doing anyway.
- It allows me to model vulnerability and transparency to the group, setting a tone of authenticity for the rest of the discussion.
- It always holds everyone’s attention because I’m sharing personal stories about me.
- It gives us the opportunity to talk about our personal lives, our struggles, successes and spiritual matters all at the same time.
- It shows students that this God-thing is real and personal, not just something we talk about from a lesson book.
- It connects truth directly to real life.
- It is a whole lot cheaper than buying curriculum.
- Prep time only takes about 5 minutes (assuming I’m in the Word reflecting on God’s work in my life all week long).
That’s not to say I don’t ever use curriculum because sometimes I do, but it’s usually when the group wants to work through a specific topic that a good book can address better than I can.