Life Groups: Planning For Success

It’s that time of year in church land when Life Groups gear back up.  They’ve taken the summer off (unless, of course, they haven’t), they’re busy re-assembling existing members and inviting new ones, and, critically, researching & selecting material to study.

life groups

In locating good material for a small group to study together, it’s helpful to remember the kind of people you are trying to reach.

In the same way that certain sermon topics touch lives more effectively than others — our recent Crash Test Dummies series seemed to speak to people of all ages and life experiences — so it is with Life Group curricula.

I’ve been helping Bible Study groups select topics and books for over 17 years, and I’ve learned which topics are most likely to engage group members.

Here are three main topics will that add value, interest, and longevity to your Life Groups:

Self-Destructive Tendencies

The longer I am in ministry, the more I realize the extent to which people are their own worst enemies.  People get caught up in patterns of behavior that are encased in self-harm . . . and yet find themselves incapable of escaping.  Where is hope and where are resources to help me overcome my biggest enemy . . . me?

Dealing With Opposition

While people find uncanny ways to oppose themselves, it is also true that life is full of external opposition. For some folks, it’s parents.  For others, it’s bosses.  For others, it’s those you boss.  For many pastors I know, it’s church.  So the question arises:  how can I deal with opposition redemptively?  What is God showing me through this opposition?  A good Life Group curricula will help people address those issues.

Personal Significance

People want to make sure their lives have an enduring impact for good.  Most people I know have their hearts quicken at the thought of living a life that matters.  That’s one reason I am overjoyed at our church’s response to the Reading Buddies program at Lake Wylie Elementary School.  People extending themselves, entering the community and forging a better neighborhood.  How can a Life Group curriculum combine study and action in a way that’s both do-able and challenging?

As you consider how to meet core needs with your Life Group material, Solve may well help you create Life Group success.  Drawing on the life and ministry of the overlooked-yet-unforgettable Old Testament character of Nehemiah, Solve addresses issues of self-destruction, external opposition, and personal significance.  Each of the five chapters contains challenging content, biblical exposition, and session-ready Life Group questions.


You can order copies for your entire group at If members of your group prefer to use a Kindle edition, they are available on

If you’re in the Charlotte area, you’re invited to join us for the launch of our next Life Groups season. We are hosting our very own Life Groups Launch event on Tuesday, August 23.

You can sign up for that here.