This post is meant to help churches assess whether G4 would be a good fit for their congregation and community. And, if so, what areas of need they would be able to serve. We’ll do this by answering three questions.

  1. Why are these groups called “G4”?
  2. Why was this G4 design created?
  3. What curriculum could we use?

Why Are These Groups Called “G4”?

“G” is for gospel-centered groups. Rather than making an issue, struggle, or sin the centerpiece of our groups, we strive to make the gospel of Christ the core of all of our groups. Our identity is not found in an issue but in an individual — the person of Christ.

The “4” designates the four types of groups that are offered within this ministry

  1. Recovery: Groups focused on helping people recover from life-dominating sins, addiction, or traumatic life events
  2. Support: Groups providing encouragement and support during a prolonged period of suffering or hardship
  3. Process: Groups focused on helping people process problematic emotions or multiple life stressors
  4. Therapeutic educational: Groups providing theologically sound and clinically informed education about a specific life issue
The ministry model and curriculum your church needs to run a G4 support-recovery group ministry. Click To Tweet

Why Was This G4 Design Created?

There are three reasons G4 was designed as it is. First, we wanted to strike a balance between step-work structure and subject specificity. Step-work programs, like AA’s 12 steps, have long been an effective format to catalyze peer-support ministry. G4, through its two 9 step models wants to provide a programmatic structure that allows the church to rally its members to steward their own difficult life experiences (II Cor. 1:3-5) to care well for one another.

Why two 9 step models? That is the second reason for the G4 design. G4 believes that the gospel speaks to both sin and suffering, but that is speaks to them differently. For too long the Christian therapeutic community has spoken to God’s comfort for suffering and the theologically-oriented pastoral community has spoken to God’s remedy for sin. There is no tension. God through the gospel speaks to both. Each G4 9 step model is meant to be “the gospel in slow motion.”

Beyond having a balanced approach to sin and suffering, we designed G4 to have curriculum flexibility; meaning resources from outside (see below) can be used. We want churches to have the freedom to incorporate Christian counseling resources that best reflect their theology and meet the needs of their people. That is why we created the list below.

What Curriculum Could We Use in G4?

Below we link to suggested curriculum for each of the 4 types of groups that are possible to offer through a G4 ministry.



  • DivorceCare – An excellent 13 week video-based discussion group for the experience of an unwanted divorce.
  • GriefShare – An excellent 13 week video-based discussion group for grief.
  • Taking the Journey of Grief  with Hope – A G4 9 step curriculum (unless someone is dealing with complex grief the GriefShare curriculum is recommended)
  • Marital Betrayal – A G4 9 step curriculum
  • Codependency – A G4 9 step curriculum
  • Post-Abortion – An 8 session small group curriculum from Pat Layton
  • Mending the Soul – A collection of support group curriculum by Steven Tracy for various forms of abuse; in order to use this curriculum leaders must go through the MTS training designated for their subject area.


  • PTSD – A G4 9 step curriculum
  • Anger – A G4 9 step curriculum
  • Depression / Anxiety – A G4 9 step curriculum; both a suffering-based and responsibility-based curriculum are available
  • Same Sex Attraction – A workbook curriculum developed by Dr. Mark Yarhouse for the experience of unwanted Same Sex Attraction
  • Gender Identity – A workbook curriculum developed by Dr. Mark Yarhouse for the experience of Gender Dysphoria
  • Redemption Groups – An 8 chapter study where individuals come to understand God’s involvement in their life struggle through the Exodus narrative

Therapeutically Educational

  • Blended Families – A 8 week study by Ron Deal on navigating some of the unique challenges faced by blended families.
  • Psychiatric Disorders – A 5 week study by the counseling faculty at CCEF on how to understand and care well for those who are experiencing various psychiatric disorders
  • Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage Series – A 5 part (foundations, communication, finances, decision making, and intimacy) series on marriage that can be led as a marriage enrichment class through G4; each part is comprised of five or six segments each
  • Relational Wisdom 360 – A 20 lesson intensive study on relational wisdom and emotional intelligence developed by Ken Sande
  • How People Change – A 14 week study by the counseling faculty at CCEF on what a thoroughly gospel-centered approach to change looks like
  • Finding Your Confidence, Identity, & Security in Christ – A six session study on how Christ-centered identity, purpose, confidence, security, and wisdom is what believers are looking for when they say they struggle with a low self-esteem

Questions: If you want to know more about G4, contact John Chapman – Director of G4 Recovery and Support Group Ministries at The Summit Church.