Every few months the ladies of my Sunday school class have to pick what we’re going to study next. Sometimes it’s hard to choose! Walking into a book store or browsing online can be overwhelming.
How do we choose books and Bible study tools that will encourage our women to grow in godliness? We must evaluate the curriculum based not on the popularity of the author or attractiveness of the cover, but we must evaluate it in light of Scripture.
When you are looking for Bible or book studies, ask yourself these questions:
1. Is the book biblically based?
There are many books out there that may be helpful to our lives, marriages, families, and ministries. But only Scripture has the power to change lives and encourage growth in godliness. If you are using this book to bring about spiritual growth and true change, it must be biblically based. Scripture must be more important than experience, emotion, and opinion.
2. Is the book consistent with the theology and practices of our church?
It is important that the books you choose reflect and teach the same ideas your church believes.
3. Who is the author and what are his/her sources?
What is his/her education and experience in ministry? Why is he/she qualified to write on this topic? Who endorses the book? What sources are cited? Are they reliable?
4. Will the format of this book work for us?
What tools come with the book? (workbook, leader guides, videos) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the facilitator? Will the tools help or hinder her teaching ability?
5. What are the needs of our group?
Who is the target audience of the book? What are the personalities and dynamics of the group that will be studying the book? While it’s often a good idea to have women in different stages of life to be in a small group together, you want to choose a book that will teach all of them. If the book you have chosen is biblically based, it will help women in all stages.
What have been some of your small group’s favorite Bible studies?