Two Best First Studies for Any Small Group

When new groups start they need to know what group life is all about. They need to know that this group experience isn’t going to be just another class and that it’s not going to function like a one-on-one discipleship experience. When a new group gets together they need to learn what it means to live in biblical community, that every person has an important role to play, and that the journey they’re about to take is going to be an exhilarating one.

There are two studies that were designed to accomplish these goals. One of them is DVD driven and led by the two most prominent voices in group life, Steve Gladen and Bill Donahue, and the other is discussion based and is in the format of all great small group studies.


The first is Building Biblical Community. Building Biblical Community is a 4 session group experience designed to help members understand what it means to belong in a small group, know how to live in community and do life together, discover mission, and learn the importance of “story” in group life.

 The session topics are…

  • Celebrating Community: a biblical community looks for reasons to celebrate; Jesus modeled this even in the hours before being arrested in Gethsemane
  • Learning Community: God created us to be learners; community is perhaps the best context for individual learning as members engage truth, seek to understand, and put learning into practice
  • Loving Community: draws from 1 Corinthians 13 to develop the notion that love is central to biblical community: a community that loves God completely, loves others compassionately, loves self correctly, and loves the world courageously
  • Service Community: examines the reasons service seems so “heavy” by identifying the barriers to service within the church and broader community


The second study is Great Beginnings: Your First Small Group Study. Great Beginnings is a six session experience that is fun, easy, and perfect for developing a sense of connection within a group. As the group gets to know one another and shares their stories, they’ll also grasp the key ingredients for creating a great community. The group will…

  • Gain an understanding of life in Christian Community
  • Uncover the uniqueness of each individual with the Resources Profile
  • Increase the effectiveness of service within the group using the Spiritual Gifts Assessment
  • Deepen relationships and engage your God-given passions by mapping your personal stories
  • Jump-start the process of sharing real life together
  • Unleash the power of commitment

Either of these studies is perfect for any group and will be especially effective for a new group or a group that simply needs to get back on track.


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