leading-small-groups-with-purpose-everything-you-need-to-lead-a-healthy-groupAsk group members to devote a certain amount of time to studying the Bible each week. This does not need to be the same for everyone. The idea is to get them to commit to something that will work for them, not to try to mirror the habits of other members. Keep the commitments private (or just between spiritual partners) so that members do not feel they are competing with one another. One member may commit to five minutes per day while another commits to half an hour a day, and another commits to ten hours a week. The amount of time is not important. The important thing is to meet them where they are and encourage them to increase their time in the Word.

Ask group members to share their spiritual practices. If you have a hard time studying the Bible on your own (or if someone else in the group does), ask other group members how they study on their own. Open topics of conversation on matters such as spiritual disciplines. Seeing how others grow not only impacts on a practical level, but it also encourages other members to know that you are not perfect either. In addition, someone may have an idea that will assist you in your walk with God.

Rotate leadership. When you rotate leadership, you empower people to move beyond their comfort zone. Everybody can rotate and lead the group either by doing a sentence of the curriculum (asking members how they responded to a particular question or what they thought of a particular sentence), a section of the curriculum, or by leading an entire study of the curriculum. Place the bar very low and ask members to lead the group for a few minutes at a time. If there are enough questions at the end of your small group study, have each member take a question. This is a great way to get people to move toward leadership. There’s a fine line between respecting people’s reluctance and nudging them to their next step, and you need to know where that line is for each member. But if you keep the bar low and encourage them in a casual manner, they will meet the challenge.

Leading Small Groups with Purpose: Everything You Need to Lead a Healthy Group by Steve Gladen