In the final installment of the Youth Curriculum Review of 2015, let’s take a look at some small group curriculum.
Creative Bible Lessons in Job by Doug Ranck. Let me just say this. I have searched and used many youth curriculum, and one of the curricula that I often recommend is the Creative Bible Lessons. Here’s what you get with this curriculum. A starter or icebreaker for the lesson that often comes with multiple options with minimal setup but maximum effectiveness. Then the lesson is dynamic, easy to teach, good foundation of Scripture, and a good challenge. In the end, there are discussion questions and worksheets that work very well in the small group setting.
Serving Like Jesus by Doug Fields & Brett Eastman. This was a good fit for small group, but on a heavier teaching night, it would not work as well. The teaching material is limited and often required some additional work. However, the discussion questions and outlined series were phenomenal. I actually added to the series by inviting people in the church who were serving like Jesus to interview them. That added to the material. The highlight of this curriculum was definitely the plethora of interaction and discussion questions. So if you struggle in the teaching side, this might not be best series. But in a small group setting with shorter teaching and more discussion, this is perfect.
Surrender by Francis Chan. Disclaimer to begin: I’m a huge Francis Chan. I’ve read every book he has written and Crazy Love happens to be in my top 5 books of all time. That being said, this series is a small group goldmine for many reasons. It provides a DVD series to break up your teaching. The subject matters are not fluff, but are very challenging, relevant, and hold the interest well. The lesson is very well put together and Biblically based. The discussion questions provided allow the small groups to flourish and have great follow-up. The only down side is it only 4 weeks. Other than that, it is well worth using for a “break” series during the year, to finish the year, or even in a retreat setting.