Monday, February 7, 2011

The best small group ever. Just sayin'

For the last five years-ish now, Adam and I have been blessed to be a part of an awesome small group. And I'm not just saying that cause I know they read this (hey guys!). Seriously, the members have changed a little over the years as people have moved away and new people have joined . . . but I dont know what I would do without them. Don't you just think everyone needs a solid group of friends who will keep them accountable, lead them closer to Jesus, and be a shoulder to cry on when you need it? Cause I know I do.

When we first started our group, we had 4 couples and decided to "kick off" our small group by having each person take a week that would be "their" week - they had to bring their favorite snack, make a cd of their favorite songs, and share their entire life story from beginning to end. And then the group could ask any questions they wanted. We drew names to see who would go the next week each time. I ended up being the very last person to go. You'd think after 8 weeks, I might have gotten less nervous about the process . . . but I will never forget how terrified I was to share myself with people so fully. Being vulnerable and honest about who you are is HARD. Seriously hard. Luckily, my small group (as I mentioned) is full of amazing people who totally accepted and loved me despite my messiness and flaws. And we have been BFFs ever since. And I don't even mean that sarcastically.

Anyways, over the years our group has gone from sharing our stories, to reading books together, to just eating together, to talking about tv all night, to just catching up and hanging out every week, to watching sermons on dvd . . . Right now our group has 3 couples, which is a great number for going deeper and talking about hard stuff and being vulnerable. We've been taking turns as couples leading the group each week . . . but now we've decided that we need some sort of study or book or something to do for the next 6-8 weeks (before Adam and I move). Unfortunately, we've done some not-so-successful Bible studies in the past with our group, and we really want to avoid doing any more lame less than wonderful studies.

That's where y'all come in. Our homework this week  was to come up with an idea for what we should study and we will put them all on the table when we meet on Wednesday to decide what to study. Here's the problem: I am completely clueless and have no idea what makes a good small group study. So I need your help! Any ideas? Have you done a study/book with your small group that was wonderful? Life changing? Let me know what you guys think we should do next!


  1. Oh my. I haven't been a part of a small group in a while. The last time I was we did a terrible study. I mean, I am sure it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good in that setting.

    The last devotional I was in love with was Experiencing God when I was in college. I haven't done anything I loved as much since. I know you will find something great.

    I am so glad you have a group of friends like that.

  2. I love this post ! And I can't believe we didn't think of asking your readers while I was still in the group! I love all 6 of you and mouse you all the time-especially wednesday nights! Praying for you to be well all the time!

  3. I'm gonna put something out there that might seem silly, but it goes way deeper than you would think. It's a children's book : and it even has some small group lesson info in the back. Check it out... :<)

  4. A couple of ideas...
    For marriage: Sacred Marriage
    For parenting: Shepherding Your Child's Heart
    For theology: Connecting With God by Christopher Adsit(workbook published by Campus Crusade for Christ)

  5. i really don't know how well it would work in a study, but the only books popping into my head are those by Greg Paul(God in the Alley, Twenty Piece Shuffle). He works with the homeless in Toronto. He writes about not just about his experiences there, but how the rich and the poor need each other, how we are all broken.

    p.s how are you feeling? i'm still praying.

  6. we have some friends who recently did the "radical" study - apparently it's at the end of the book - they loved it.

  7. Hey, girlie! Love what you guys do with your small group ... gonna steal it!! I did a Tommy Nelson study on the book of Ecclesiastes last year and it was awesome! It's called A Life Well Lived and is so applicable ... hope you are doing better!!

  8. I just did "Experiencing God" by Henry Blackaby this past fall and it was really great. I recommend it!

  9. Opa gave you copies of every book he's written. I'm sure they are kinda lost somewhere... but Forgiveness is really good and as a bonus Uncle Len wrote the forward.

    Forgiveness Leader's Guide: What the Bible Teaches, What You Need to Know [Paperback]
    Andrew Kuyvenhoven (Author), Leonard Kuyvenhoven (Author)

  10. Steven and I are starting our very first small group in 2 weeks and we are pumped! So I don't have any great ideas that I have done or experienced, obviously since I have never been in one but 1 thing did pop in my head while I was reading the comments and that is iMarriage by Andy Stanley. It is a 3 part series that I think EVERY couple should watch, married or not! You watch the video and then there are questions at the end that are sort of like discussion topics! It was part of our premartial course and it was amazing... just simple concepts that you never really think about until someone mentions it! I have a copy of it if you would like it...a gift from the Castardis to the Stanleys! Let me know!


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