Gospel-Centered Group Studies:
Below are some gospel-centered resources that work well in an Agape Moms missional community. We know these studies work well in our family and we know that they keep Jesus at the center. It is not exhaustive, and we plan to update this overtime. It's also really important to learn to study scripture together, with a Gospel lens. I think it’s helpful to rotate between book led Bible studies, thematic books, and then to continually get back into pure scripture. A mix is good and keeps things fresh, and should be primarily led by the spiritual needs of your group.
Prayerfully and intentionally choose your studies, preview them yourself first. I would encourage group focused studies with minimal homework because you want to make it easy for new women to come, without of course, taking away the important element of studying scripture and encountering the gospel together. When selecting a study with homework, ask yourself, is there a way to meet the gap for new women each week by summing up the homework? If not, choosing to simply unpack scripture together, ideally working through a book of the Bible verse by verse, always accomplishes your goals of studying scripture together and making it easy for new moms to come without having to have done homework.
We also want to choose studies and lead them in a way that helps undue legalistic Church culture that many women have encountered, for example, shaming them if they didn't finish their homework by not allowing them to speak during the meeting. (This is true of the area of the original Agape Moms, and we imagine many other areas too.) Coming to fellowship with the family of God, gleaning from the wisdom shared, hearing the word, being prayed for, etc is reason enough to come, no matter what! Be sure to build a culture that says "bring your mess" and there's always an empty seat. The studies you choose and the way you conduct them will greatly influence the tone. For women who want to dig deeper in a heavily homework driven study, you can always suggest studies to do themselves, you can disciple them, or pair them with other women who have the same interests/needs. The study chosen for Agape Moms is not meant to replace deeper inductive Bible studies for women in their own time with God, it is meant to be a time to fellowship in the Word and prayer with the Agape Moms family of God.
Serge Ministries creates studies specifically designed for Missional Communities, because you actually do the study together so there's no homework, and there's also incredible application that's done together as a group. I love how this breaks down our individualistic, American Christianity, which is not how God designed us to flourish. Having no homework is an important aspect if you are wanting new people to join you every week, and it worked really well for us. These books also help to lay the gospel foundation of your group, and I'd recommend doing the Gospel Centered life, followed by Gospel Centered Community as one of your first studies. The Gospel-Centered Parent is on my list of all time favorite books too, and is a great topic choice to bridge the gap between believers and not-yet believing people.
The Gospel Centered Life
The Gospel Centered Community
The Gospel-Centered Parent
More on the website
You can't go wrong with any Tim Keller book, but not all are great choices for Agape Moms studies. The two below are excellent choices, especially because they guide you through scripture, verse by verse.
Galatians For You (a guide to the bible book of Galatians)
Romans For You (a guide to the bible book of Romans)
You may have to adapt books into studies for Missional Communities, possibly adding the option to read the book for long time Agape Mom members, and then creating a way to work through part of the chapter or an applicable Bible section together at your meeting, while recapping the chapter. Even if you don't do these books as a group, I'd definitely recommend that you read them! I don't have a ton of books listed by the typical women's ministry authors because many of them are very expensive and heavily homework driven, but you can definitely take the above approach as long as those books keep the gospel at the center and keep you in scripture!
Gospel Fluency and Gospel Fluency Handbook By Jeff Vanderstelt
(as well as a new small group study version of this book)
He has some more books and it looks like study versinos have come out, check them out!
Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul David Tripp
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman
Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower
Lies Moms Believe and How the Gospel Refutes Them by Rebekah Hargraves
Multiply by Francis Chan (great for equipping your tribe to make disciples)
Gospel-Centered Websites for Further Equipping and Training:
The Story of God (another great study for Missional Communities)
Gospel-centered books for leaders:
These are great books to add to the top of your list to continually help equip you as an Agape Moms leader
Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt
Total Church by Tim Chester
The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness by Tim Keller
Letters to the Church by Francis Chan