Resource Review: DVD Curriculum for Your Family

Explore the pros and cons of some interesting studies from SmallGroupsMaterials.com.

In the ever-growing sea of DVD-based small group curriculum, SmallGroupMaterials.com has developed a DVD series with some distinctive features worth considering. SmallGroupMaterials.com's small group curriculum for the family has a full-featured adult DVD curriculum that also includes a companion book for younger kids. So, you can have a relevant DVD-based small group experience for the parents, and also an age-appropriate small group experience for the kids related to the same theme.

Overview

Most of these DVD curriculum titles provide 3-5 small group sessions, so you can tackle a series without the fear of getting burned out. Also, if your group includes families with children, you can purchase the companion children's book and provide your kids with a themed small group experience that mirrors what their parents are studying.

These studies were developed to enable the entire familyto be ministered to through meaningful discussions of God's Word—and to do so at the same time in the context of Christian community.

Some of the study titles include:

70 x 7, which examines the pitfalls of unforgiveness.

Bicycling with God discusses how to deal with the often unexpected twists and turns of life's journey. When the bumps, detours, and dead-ends come, we need to understand that our emotional responses are normal.

Flashpoint paints a vivid picture of what happens when the infectious love of God comes into contact with a soul that has been dried up by the harshness of life.

No Condemnation explores the fact there are far too many Christians who live in a state of perpetual guilt because they are failing in their attempt to live the way they know they should. But there is hope through the power of the Holy Spirit!

And there are many more. Click here to see the full list. Each tile includes a Facilitator Guide, Member Guide, and a DVD (which also includes a Leadership Lifter and Trailer in addition to the group lessons). The Kids Companion book is optional for each study, and downloadable facilitator sheets are free and available online (here's a sample).

Strengths

More and more, families are yearning not to be segregated in age-based church programming—and small groups are no exception. So having a DVD small group package that allows every member of the family to be involved in the same theme is a big plus.

While not flashy, the small group materials that come with this package are very complete and encompass many tools for building Christian values and community. Each meeting agenda includes specific ideas for meeting goals, snacks, icebreakers, group worship, lesson, discussion, vision, and prayer. There are also tools that help you keep track of prayer requests and outreach prospects. The kid's books contain similar small group tools that are geared toward kids.

Weaknesses

As with most DVD curriculum, trying to fit in all the components in the time allotted is a challenge. Along with the generous running time of the DVD, there are probably more discussion questions and activities provided than most groups can tackle in one session. So, some preparation is needed to pick out the questions and activities that will fit best into your group time.

Summary

There are a lot of DVD studies available on the market today, but few are made specifically for small groups by those who know small groups well. And even less include material for the whole family. So, if you are looking for a small group resource that can bless both adults and kids, the "Curriculum for the Family" series is worth checking out.

—Dan Lentz is an Editorial Advisor for SmallGroups.com and the author of Let's Get Started: How to begin your small-groups ministry (Standard, 2007).

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