This week, churches across the world will not only meet together to sing songs of the faith and sit under the preaching of God’s Word; they will also meet in homes and classrooms to study, share, confess, and pray for each other in groups. These groups matter greatly as God uses community to mature His people.
Healthy groups don’t merely meet together; they form community built on the truth of God’s Word. In light of this, I shared some time ago about two wise approaches for group content: (1) a discipleship plan that systematically develops people or (2) aligned content that unites the weekly sermon with the group experience.
Because groups matter so much, we at LifeWay have devoted tremendous energy to helping church leaders feed their people well in either approach
- Approach One: A discipleship plan—This is an intentional roadmap for how your groups study the Bible, often found in a trustworthy Bible study resource. These are resources like Explore the Bible, Bible Studies for Life, and The Gospel Project, all intentionally crafted around a wise discipleship plan. (For more information on these, click here.)
- Approach Two: Aligned content—This is the practice of connecting group Bible studies to the sermon content each week.
Today, I want to focus specifically on this second approach. Aligned content has a special ability to focus the whole church in a single direction. Churches that do this often have highly skilled pastors or staff members writing these studies each week. This is a time-consuming but worthwhile effort for these churches as every group discussion reinforces the vision, values, and mission of the church while taking the sermon to a more personal level.
A few years ago, a team of people here at LifeWay set out to serve these churches through a concierge service called Discipleship in Context. By doing so, local church staff members saved hours in their weekly schedules, hours that are now being utilized to develop and shepherd group leaders. This team continues to create custom Bible studies for churches every week, and while the team does a tremendous job, their bandwidth is limited.
Today, I want to share with you about a new service that bridges the gap, allowing churches that want aligned content to create custom Bible studies each week in a convenient and cost-effective way.
Smallgroup.com is a web-based tool for creating and distributing custom Bible studies in minutes. Our team has built a customizable library of more than 1,500 studies (with up to 50 more added each week) from all 66 books of the Bible and on more than 200 topics. Simply search for your text or topic, choose a study that’s on target, and then quickly customize it as needed for your groups. The result is a custom study, written by a team of seminary-trained Bible study experts, that fits your groups perfectly.
In short, smallgroup.com does the heavy lifting so that you can spend more time each week on other areas of ministry that require your attention. It’s easy to use, fast, and very affordable. I believe this will be an invaluable tool for churches that desire aligned content.
I’m very excited to tell you that you can head to smallgroup.com right now. The site is currently in an open beta test, and you are invited to try it free for two weeks. This will give you an opportunity to test the site for two weeks and see how smallgroup.com can help you deliver custom Bible studies to your groups at a fraction of the time it would ordinarily take you.
Your groups matter, and if you desire to use aligned content, I believe smallgroup.com will help you feed your people in a careful and customized way.