Small Groups

Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship resources can be a good choice for small group Bible studies.

Small group members may have many different family, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Good Soil Evangelism & Discipleship resources such as The Story of Hope do not assume that participants have any prior knowledge of God or the Bible, and provide a solid understanding of the “Big story” of the Bible.

Hero small groups new

The Story of Hope Bible Study Workbook

The Story of Hope

The Story of Hope is an ideal resource for small group Bible studies. The workbook format of The Story of Hope is designed for participants to be actively engaged in Bible study. It is equally as effective in evangelistic Bible studies as it is for studies with Christian groups. Many Christians who have participated in a study of The Story of Hope have commented: "Now I understand how the Bible fits together!" And many people have come to faith in Jesus Christ through The Story of Hope.

Includes 40 Bible events from God's redemptive story, presented chronologically—one page per event, each with a Bible-event image and questions that lead participants into study of the Bible texts. Also, includes Bible maps to locate where those Bible events occurred in real historical time.

Also includes the Chronological Bridge to Life— eight concepts that summarize the Bible's BIG Story: God - Man - Sin - Death - Christ - Cross - Faith - Life.
The study concludes with a Personal Faith Response page.

Two “Guiding Options” for Using The Story of Hope in Small Group Studies

One: A Questions-Based Discussion Study

If you want to lead a simple questions-based discussion study all you need is the FREE downloadable Leader's Guide for The Story of Hope. The Leader's Guide is a professionally designed 100+ page guide containing answers to the questions in the study, as well as tips as to how to handle certain issues or questions that may come up. Great for one-on-one studies or group studies with very small groups.

If your group consists of only Christ-followers, you might want to give each group member a copy of the Leader's Guide and assign each of them to lead one or more studies. Great preparation for them to lead studies on their own.

Everyone loves a good story. Stories captivate us. They make us laugh. They draw us in. Stories can transform a thick wall into an open door. Did you know the Bible contains more than 500 stories? And God has woven these stories together to tell one amazing story — the story of humankind’s timeless and universal need, and of God’s unique and perfect provision.

About ten life groups from our church meet weekly in people’s homes. The pastor wants to bring these cell groups back to their original focus of evangelism and has asked us for ideas and if we would help with training the leaders. The materials we received in The Roots of Faith courses this summer are a perfect fit, with the vision God has given — we are thrilled to be involved! We will be using a more condensed version of The Roots of Faith, called The Story of Hope. It is a dynamic, chronological study of 40 key stories from the Old and New Testaments. In each story, God reveals more of Himself, and His characteristics, and over the course of the study we get a panoramic view of God’s plan to provide for our greatest need.

Ken & Leah, missionaries to northern Mexico

Two: A More Creatively-Interactive Study

If you want to lead a study that accomplishes a similar purpose as the one described above, but involves a wide variety of FUN learning activities, you may want to use the Class Facilitator's Guide for The Story of Hope. This guide is a complete curriculum plan for 31 class sessions.

  • FREE Class Facilitator's Guide - 120 professionally designed pages.
  • Class Facilitator PowerPoint Presentation is available for purchase.
  • FREE access to an online Instructor's Resource Center with downloadable activities to use throughout the study.

The Story of Hope - Condensed

Pocket-size edition of The Story of Hope. Contains 20 events from the Bible's redemptive story—10 from the Old Testament and 10 from the New Testament, plus the Chronological Bridge to Life. Good resource for your small group members to use to introduce others to The Story of Hope.

The Story of Hope - Mobile App

Carry The Story of Hope on your mobile phone or iPad. All 40 Bible event-images found in The Story of Hope, plus the Chronological Bridge to Life in a mobile app. Available for Apple or Android devices. Also, a FREE 20 events version available: The Story of Hope—Condensed.

We all want to share our faith effectively…but how do we do it?

The Way to Joy Basic Discipleship Workbook

The Way to Joy

The Way to Joy is a basic discipleship resource for new believers, or for people who have professed faith in Jesus Christ but have never been discipled—never been taught the basic steps in beginning to follow Jesus Christ. The ten-lessons study begins with a chronological overview of the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, and the Chronological Bridge to Life. Then, it introduces the participant to these key foundational discipleship topics:

  • Assurance and Security of Salvation
  • Reading and Studying the Bible
  • Prayer in the Believer's Life
  • The Holy Spirit in the Believer's Life
  • Personal Purity and Holiness
  • Learning to Share Your Faith
  • The Place of the Church in the Believer's Life
  • Becoming Involved in Serving Jesus

Two “Guiding Options” for Using The Way to Joy in Small Group Studies

One: A Questions-Based Discussion Study

If you want to lead a very simple discussion study, based on The Way to Joy, you will want to use the Leader's Guide for The Way to Joy—a FREE download. The guide provides answers to the questions in the workbook, as well as an instructional guide for when to do what, and how to do it. The Leader's Guide makes it easy, for even novice study leaders, to conduct small group discussions.

It's great for one-on-one discipleship or for very small groups. But, if you want to lead a more lively, creative kind of study, you might want to consider the Class Facilitator's Guide.

The Leader's Guide is a 44 page professionally designed document and FREE for you to download.

Two: A More Creatively-Interactive Study

If you prefer to lead a study that is more active, with a wide variety of learning activities that get your members moving around the room, interacting with various other participants, and keeps the class atmosphere light and lively, then the Class Facilitator's Guide is probably your best option.

This guide is a complete curriculum plan for 13 group sessions. Not only does it cover the content in the workbook, but it is also designed to equip and encourage group members to use The Way to Joy to disciple others. The final session, for example is called "It's Your Turn." It's a great resource for making disciples who make disciples.

  • FREE Class Facilitator's Guide - 42 professionally designed pages
  • FREE access to an online Instructor's Resource Center with downloadable activities to use throughout the study.

I took a small group of Hispanic women through La Historia de la Esperanza and they are wanting to continue to grow in faith in Jesus through the next study book, The Way to Joy. Gracias!

Patricia, Boulder, CO


FREE Evangelism Resource

106 Professionally Designed Pages - FREE

Designed for evangelism with people who enjoy stories and story telling. Connects “where they are in life” to major redemptive story events in the Bible.

Perfect for informal small groups. Activities engage participants in learning key Bible stories well enough that they can tell the stories to others. Each session also focuses on learning about God—the God of the Bible—who He is, what He is like, and what He has done.

LifeStories is a “stories version” group study of The Story of Hope.


FREE Discipleship Resource

71 Professionally Designed Pages - FREE

Designed for basic discipleship with Christ-followers who love to learn through hearing or telling stories. A complete curriculum plan for small group gatherings. Loaded with creative FUN activities.

Participants compare their own struggles and steps of spiritual growth with characters in the Bible. Questions-activities provoke them to think of their own lives and what they can do to become more-committed followers of Jesus.

GrowthStories is a “stories version” group study of The Way to Joy.

Hooks for Hanging the Bible’s Storyline

Works great in informal small group settings!

Every movie or novel has a central storyline, a plot. And you can teach small group participants the central storyline of the Bible in your small group ministry. They can learn to think their way through the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation, using these “Hooks”—25 major Bible eras.

Activities for teaching Hooks are FUN for participants of all ages.
And there are FREE helps to guide you in the process of leading Hooks sessions.

Lead the study in as few as two hours or much longer, depending on how deeply you want to delve into Bible content.

The 12 "Hooks" for Hanging the Old Testament Storyline

The 1 + 12 "Hooks" for Hanging the New Testament Storyline

My latest Hooks for Hanging the Bible’s Storyline workshop was last Saturday in a Bible study in the home of the owner of Sam Ash Music Stores in Bayonne, NJ. Several very diverse cultures were represented in the group (Filipino, Russian, German, American, African, Hispanic, Arab, and Jewish). They were amazed and enjoyed it - and everyone understood. Some said, “I finally got it!” “I’ll read my Bible again.”

Ariel, Filipino visiting in New Jersey

Gaining Ground with Good Soil

Is a Good Soil Evangelism and Discipleship seminar in a book.

All the resources needed for a small group study:

Gaining Ground with Good Soil is a seminar in a narrative format—a story of missionaries who learned, from experience and from Bible study, how to share God's story of hope in a world of competing faiths and cultures. You and your group can learn a lot from them! Not only will your group enjoy the "ride," they will also be better equipped for Great Commission ministry when the journey is over.

The FREE Leader's Guide was created for use in informal small group studies, as well as more formal class settings.

Learn More About Gaining Ground with Good Soil

The Roots of Faith - Old Testament and New Testament Bible Courses

Looking for a small group curriculum for the "long haul"—like two full years?
Take a look at The Roots of Faith.

  • 100 lessons, each based on one of 100 Bible events from God's redemptive story—50 Old Testament and 50 New Testament event-lessons.
  • We call it a "Biblical centipede" that doesn't limp, meaning that it covers every major period of Biblical history from Genesis through Revelation.
  • In addition to being Bible survey courses, these courses teach a lot of solid theology, the way God revealed it, progressively.
  • Complete set of instructional resources accompany the courses.
  • Designed to make learning engaging, interactive, and FUN.

Where can I go for small group leadership training?

At some point in the life of a small group, this question arises

GSED seminar photo

Good Soil Training Seminar and Workshops

In order to learn how to lead a small group study using The Story of Hope, The Way to Joy, Hooks resources, or Gaining Ground with Good Soil, we recommend that you attend our Good Soil Seminar, Trainer Certification workshop, and Hooks for Hanging the Bible's Storyline workshop.

You can accomplish all of that in three days in May or October at ABWE - the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism near Harrisburg, PA.

Photo of a MBL workshop

Moving Beyond Lecture Workshop

The Moving Beyond Lecture workshop, offered in October at ABWE, near Harrisburg, PA, provides practical small group ministry facilitator training.

It includes training related to two key skills that are essential for small group leaders:

  • Planning class sessions.
  • Creating engaging, interactive, and FUN learning activities.

More Information About Moving Beyond Lecture

More Good Soil Resources for Evangelism and Discipleship

Good Soil provides an entire toolbox of resources for small group and other ministries.

For a complete overview of our Good Soil resources:

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