Once you can answer the question "What is disciple now?" you can move on to your next major decision, choosing your curriculum. The majority of disciple now curriculum you buy has a set plan but also has room for flexibility. These opportunities to be flexible and make changes may not always be visible but right away but it is important that we find them. This is not only because these opportunities can help make our teaching more dynamic but quite often these opportunities are a necessity. In this article I will explain exactly what I mean and the action you need to take to make sure the students in your small group get everything out of the lessons that they can.
Think about the typical situation when you choose a curriculum. Does the author know you? Do they know your students? Do they know your community? More than likely they do not. So while they will write to try and meet the needs of as many people as possible they do not specifically know the needs of your group and your community. This is where you need to be flexible. You need to be able to look at a lesson, see what will not relate to your community and culture and its specific needs, and make the changes that are necessary.
This process may never be easy but it gets easier if you start with one specific step. You must know your culture and your community. You need to know the major issues that are going on. You need to know the predominant worldviews that are carried by most people. You need to know the cultures and ethnicities in your community and what their relationships have been with one another traditionally. When you have this background knowledge you then will be able to make wise decisions about what the people in your small group need to hear.
Before you get overwhelmed and think that you have to rewrite the entire lesson let me give you a little guidance. For the most part the points that the lessons make will be fine. You may have to make a few minor adjustments but usually this will just be a matter of you offering further explanation. Also, you can be pretty much be sure that the scripture references will be okay so do not worry about that part of the disciple now curriculum either. Where most of your issues will come is from the illustrations that are included. This is where people tend to think and write from their worldview. There is nothing wrong with this but it can cause some issue as you teach the curriculum they have written. So I encourage you as you double check the lessons to start with the illustrations and then work out from there.
In teaching disciple now curriculum you must be flexible. This means a lot of things but most of all it means that you need to be flexible enough to divert from the written lessons to meet the needs of your culture and community. Because you always need to remember, no one knows your corner of the world better than you do.