This is part 5 of a blog series called Leading a Small Group.
Curriculum can ruin a good group, but it does not make a good group.
If you are like me and you have some responsibility in crafting the curriculum for multiple groups you know how hard it is to put good curriculum together. If you lead a group though, I think you are putting too much emphasis on the curriculum.
As a general rule of thumb when you are in a book study people want to be watching a video and when you are watching a video they will want more discussion in a book study. So if you are a creator give them what they want and stress variety. If you are a leader relax and accept that there is no perfect curriculum.
I respect and admire those that write curriculum from nothing. It is a gift that serves the larger church very well, but it is a rare gift. Don’t be afraid to adapt the work of someone else. The end product will be better and you will have more time to devote to the real work of small groups, developing relationships.
In small groups there is no such thing as plug and play curriculum. Everything needs to be adapted to fit your specific context. As you pre-game make sure you are changing language to fit your group and adding local flavor.
Make sure that the curriculum serves you, not the other way around. Whether it is an agenda or a list of questions realize that the people in front of you are more important than getting through your sheet of paper.
Life is going to happen and people are going to want to talk about things that aren’t on your curriculum. Always, always, always defer to these things initially. Some may prove to be a useless distraction that need to be moved past and others will be things that need to be addressed and discussed further.
The curriculum is a tool. Use it as such.