Small Group Tip #20: Using Curriculum

By Bill Search

When using curriculum well, you want to make sure you get through all of the questions. In fact, put a check next to each question to make sure you've asked it. If you don't get a sufficient answer to the question, make sure you answer the question so everybody knows what the right answer is.


Once you're done, make sure that you submit a full report to the front office so we know that you've gotten though the curriculum and done it right.

Sound a little off? Hopefully so because that’s not how you should use curriculum. Curriculum is just a tool designed to help you lead a discussion. So here’s some advice on what to do:

Start by choosing good curriculum.

Find curriculum that promotes discussion and allows your group to participate in a conversation.

Once you have chosen one, you will want to read and pray through it.

Ask God to reveal to you and to your group what he wants you to understand and where he wants you to grow using this particular tool.

Then as you read through the questions as the leader and before the group meets, read through them out loud.

Do the questions make sense? Do they fit your group? Do you have to adapt them? Do you need to need to re-write them? You have permission to do that. That is perfectly okay, because you are the shepherd of your group and you know what your group needs. Therefore, you might need to modify or rewrite some of the questions. Maybe you even add some or take some away.

Then as you're going through the discussion with your group, don't check off the questions.

Feel no obligation to answer them all. The purpose of using a curriculum, the purpose of a discussion in a group, isn't just to learn more information about God. Most of us “know” enough. But the purpose is to help us change to be more like Jesus. The whole tool of curriculum is designed to help us do that – not to become mere consumers of information, but become better followers of Jesus.

That is how you use curriculum well.

*This is the twentieth post in a series of 27 Tips for Small Group Leaders

Bill Search Simple Small Groups

BILL SEARCH is the author of Simple Small Groups. He has served in ministry for nearly 20 years. Bill loves spending time with his family, drinking great coffee, listening to jazz, and enjoying the great outdoors.