Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Small Group Resources - Do You Really Want Honest Feedback?

Do you want to hear feedback? Do you want to hear honest feedback about your recommended small group resources? Or do you prefer the typically-vanilla, “That was good.” from your small groups?

I prefer feedback.

We (Woodmen Valley Chapel) have a recommended curriculum list for small groups that includes Bible study guides, Christ-centered books on marriage, parenting, stewardship, worldview, missions, evangelism, etc. We also use DVD study resources. Our groups like diversity in their resource choices. Yet one fact remains; not all small group resources are created equal.

You’ve lived the story: You love the author’s work. The topic/issue is relevant. The publisher is a trusted source. The packaging is intriguing. It’s even got online support tools! Yet when it comes to stirring healthy, Christ-centered small group discussion, the book is the equivalent of a dribbler back to the pitcher’s mound—it doesn’t travel very far. It doesn’t take you places. It doesn’t do what you need it to do.

But how do you know?

Encourage your groups to tell you! Give them a voice. Provide them a forum for critique. Ask to hear from them about what worked—and what didn’t.

We use a curriculum critique form that gives them an opportunity to praise (or rant) on their recently completed curriculum. This, in turn, impacts what stays on (or gets removed) from our recommended list from year-to-year.

Our leaders then have an opportunity to look over these critiques. They can see for themselves what other leaders have said about the curriculum—good or not-so-good.

Honest feedback isn’t always what we want to hear about the study guides, books, and resources that we as small group pastors/directors/leaders believe are life-changing. Yet it is what we need to hear.

1 comment:

Faith Mama said...

Good stuff! I personally think it's helpful to also include critique specifically about the group and the leader as well. I like to ask questions on whether the members felt the leader was prepared, whether relationship building within the group was fostered, whether discussion in the group remained on task or not. This gives the leader a chance to improve his/her leadership skills as well and usually provides helpful positive encouragement as well.