Engage your small groups with our easy-to-use Living the Word: Small Group discussion guides. These guides facilitate a little to no-prep discussion on a weekly series of Bible passages that cover the major stories of the Bible over the course of one program year! As a product in our Living the Word series, these Small Group guides journey through the Bible following the stories of the Narrative Lectionary. Our discussion guides are designed to allow for groups with or without designated leaders. Each guide provides all the information small group members need to study the weekly Scripture lesson.
The Living the Word: Small Group discussion guides are a high-quality, low-cost option for congregations and ministries of all sizes. Pricing is based on the number of small groups in your congregation who will be using this product (you may estimate to the best of your knowledge if you do not know for certain). You and your leaders can download the materials from your Customer Account as soon as each quarter is released (See the current Release Dates page for details). Small group leaders or members can print whichever pages they would like, or access the PDF files through their mobile devices!
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What is the Narrative Lectionary?
The Narrative Lectionary is a nine-month calendar of Scripture readings which focuses on one story or passage each Sunday or festival day. It starts in September with a story about creation and touches on the major stories, characters, and plot points in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) until mid-December. At that point, the lectionary picks up one of the four Gospels (one Gospel each year for a four-year cycle) and moves through many of the main stories or passages of that Gospel sequentially until just after Easter. From the second Sunday of Easter through Pentecost Sunday, the readings are pulled from Acts and the Letters. Read more about this on our What Is the Narrative Lectionary? webpage.
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What’s in a Discussion Guide?
Each downloadable guide includes:
- Unit Themes- The year of Narrative Lectionary readings is divided into multiple thematic units, each two to five weeks long.
- The Point- Every lesson has a focal point or big idea that is stated right at the beginning. An added benefit is that this Point is the same each week throughout all our Living the Word products!
- About the Story- This background information makes it easy for small groups with or without leaders to dig deeper into each Bible reading.
- Weekly Pattern- The same pattern is repeated each week to give a group an optional structure for their discussions, including an opening prayer, gathering activity, main Bible study, spiritual practice challenge, and closing prayer.
- Sidebars- Several sidebars give additional information in each guide, including a look at the previous and following weeks’ lessons, connections to related Bible passages, and information on general topics of the Bible.
- Weekly Devotional Helps- Each discussion guide ends with a series of spiritual practice challenges for the coming week, as well as a list of suggested daily Bible readings to bridge the gap between Sundays.
Scope & Sequence
Our Living the Word: Small Group Guides product complements our other Narrative Lectionary products:
- Living the Word: Kids (PK-2nd)– For lower elementary students.
- Living the Word: Kids (3rd-6th)- For upper elementary students.
- Living the Word: Singing God’s Story (PK-6th)– Original children’s music following the Narrative Lectionary.
- Living the Word: Youth– For confirmation and youth groups.
- Living the Word: Contexts & Connections– Bible background notes for faith formation leaders.
- Living the Word: Cross+Gen Worship– For creating interactive, intergenerational worship experiences.
- Living the Word: Cross+Gen Education– For leading interactive, intergenerational learning experiences in a classroom setting.
- Living the Word: Sharing God’s Story @ Home– Bulletin insert bringing faith formation home with a weekly devotional tool.
Ordering & Download Information
To order, go to the Living the Word: Small Groups product page and select the number of small groups that will be using these materials. You will also select the package you would like to order: the Full Year or the Fall, Winter, Spring quarters individually. You only ever need to have a quantity of one. After you add the product to your cart and complete the rest of your shopping, you can proceed to checkout. There, complete the form and select your payment type.
All resource materials are available as digital downloads (PDF files) for printing or using electronically. The end user licensing agreement (EULA) allows congregations to download, print, and use the curriculum lessons as often as you would like if the materials remain in the purchasing congregation.
After your payment is processed, you can download the materials from your Customer Account as soon as each quarter is released (See the current Release Dates page for details). Each quarter purchased comes in a single compressed (ZIP) file, which your operating system should be able to open and extract the folders containing the PDF files, at which point you can print or share with your leaders as you please!
Introduce leaders to this curriculum with the letter below from the publisher, or write your own!