Team D-- the NCC Discipleship Team-- is writing a series of blogs about things that no one ever told us about small group leadership. Today, I challenge you to throw away the workbook.
The best conversations are not found in the workbook. Throw them out.
That was a bit extreme. A few qualifiers and disclaimers:
- If you are an NCC leader, you may want to discover the joy of curriculum. I know a lot of you don't use it because you are so dang entrepreneurial. And I love that about you. But curriculum can give your group some great tracks to run on.
- I like curriculum. (Warning: shameless self-promotion ahead) I wrote a curriculum. You should check it out.
On the other hand...
- Just because you are using curriculum does not mean you are leading a transformational community. For that matter, just because you lead a Bible study doesn't mean you are necessarily making disciples.
- If getting through the curriculum becomes the goal, you've got the wrong goal.
Some of the best groups I've ever seen aren't concerned about getting through the curriculum; they are concerned with getting the curriculum through their people. The best conversations are not typically found in the blanks on the sheets of the workbook. They are found in the organic places-- when we are eating together, praying together, playing together, and serving together. When those elements are a part of your group, you look a lot more like Jesus' band of merry misfits. Their arguments didn't happen over a blank in a workbook. Their arguments happened over their status on the team, over the proper way to heal a person, over who would go buy the food for the masses on the hillside. Stuff like that.
Make sure your group is playing together, praying together, eating together, and serving together. You can go deeper if you take the group experience outside the living room.