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Home > Christian Bible Studies > Articles > Spiritual Formation

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Choosing Small Group Materials
Finding what to study may be the hardest thing small group leaders do.
by JoHannah Reardon | posted 8/19/2005
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The small group coordinator in our church scrambles each fall to figure out what in the world the many groups in our congregation should study. The small group leaders look to him for guidance because, although there are an endless amount of studies available, it takes time to go to the Christian bookstore and thumb through all those books to determine which one is best for your group. And then the leader has to decide how many to order and go through the tedious process of collecting money for all the study books.

This year I was delighted to tell our coordinator that there is an easier way—through our site. provides Bible studies in downloadable form. The leader downloads only one study, then copies as many as are needed for the group. Or if all the small groups in a church would like to follow the same format, the church can download only one study and copy it for all the groups in the church. The leader or church pays for only one study, rather than many.

This year we have concentrated on offering Bible Study Courses that last from three to nine weeks, so a group leader will be able to guide the group through a particular book of the Bible or a topical study of the Bible.

The book-based courses offer an overview of both Old and New Testament books, giving the reader a chance to grasp important concepts in that book. Some of the favorites are:

  • Joshua: The Journey of a Faith Walker — The Book of Joshua shares the powerful story of how God fulfilled his promises and led the Israelites into the long-awaited land of milk and honey. This eight-session course shares lessons from Joshua on how to live a life of extraordinary faith.

  • Galatians: The Essence of Being a Christian — As Christians, we believe we are saved by faith alone, but we often live as though God accepts and loves us based on our actions. This three-session course explores Galatians, where Paul taught the rich joys and freedom of living under the grace of Christ.

  • The Elijah Chronicles — In 1 Kings we see Elijah boldly tell the evil king Ahab, "There will be no rain or dew until God says so." Elijah trusts God to bring a young man back to life, and he faces the prophets of Baal in a contest. But when Elijah bottoms-out emotionally, he finds out that God's kingdom is bigger than he can imagine. This three-session course reveals that God is true to his Word, and that he will never leave us alone.

  • The Beatitudes: Happiness Is a Serious Business — According to the Beatitudes, we should pursue happiness in the Lord. But the path to true happiness is far different than many of us think. This nine-session course investigates the joys that can be found in knowing God and living his way.

The topic-based courses range from "Live a Revolutionary Life" to "Raising Children." A topical series allows the leader to focus on an area that he or she feels the group needs to work on. Those that have been most sought after are:

  • Living Beyond the Box — Feeling boxed in by life? These four Bible studies challenge you and your group to break out of the world's mold by learning to be genuine with God and one another. These studies encourage you to be available and accountable to each other so you can impact the world around you.

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