In the 100th episode of the Set Apart Girl Podcast, Leslie begins a two-part series on how to lead or participate in a thriving small group. With a bevy of Bible studies and topics to choose from, these two principles will provide direction and help you lay a solid foundation before you begin leading or participating in a small group. The most important tip? Building a successful small group runs parallel to how you are building your life around Jesus Christ!
While the purpose of small groups, youth groups, women’s Bible studies, and the like are to lead us closer to Jesus by diving deeper into His Word, the sad reality is that they can be easily sidetracked. Being a part of a powerful and spiritually passionate small group can be a life-changing experience, but there are certain biblical principles that must be present in order for any kind of Christian gathering to remain centered around Christ and spiritually ignited. If you are leading a small group, would like to begin a Bible study group, or are participating in a youth group, these principles will provide clear vision for what is possible when two or three believers are gathered in His name (see Matthew 18:20).
- A small group must be Truth-based.
Modern books and Bible studies can often be based on trendy thoughts and ideas rather than the unchanging Word of God. A good baseline to establish is that every teaching or study must built on nothing less than the solid rock of Truth. Otherwise your gathering will become nothing more than a spiritualized social club or a breeding ground for error.
When selecting material for your group to read or choosing a study to attend, be diligent and watchful over any outside material that is chosen. Make sure that it aligns with God’s pattern and remember that just because something is popular in mainstream Christianity doesn’t mean that it’s Christ-centered.
Questions to ask when selecting a Bible study:
- Does this message agree with the Truth of Scripture? Not just in some points, but in its entirety?
- Do these thoughts align with God’s character and nature?
As you learn to weigh modern messages against the Word of God, if you become uncertain about a particular resource, take time to seek the answers in God’s Word before you promote it in your group. James 1:5 promises that God will indeed give wisdom to those who ask – including you as you take a step in leading others to know Christ more.
Don’t be afraid to use Scripture as your main guide and let the Word of God speak for itself. It’s always safe to stick with the Bible and time-tested Christian classics that firmly support the Word of God. In order for a Christian group of any kind to thrive, we can’t treat the Bible as moldable to human opinions or ideas. Find out what God says and build your life and your small group on that unshakable foundation.
Above all, make sure you are fit and equipped to lead your group by cultivating a personal reverence and study of God’s Word. In doing so, you will be able to detect error in any material you are reviewing and lead your group effectively. When God’s Word is your lamp and light, you will be quick to recognize and renounce ideas that don’t align with God’s pattern.
- A small group must be centered around prayer.
Prayer accomplishes much in our weekly Bible study gatherings! If you are not incorporating regular times of corporate prayer into your time together, begin placing a large emphasis on communing directly with God when you meet.
Benefits and blessings of incorporating prayer into your times together:
- Builds spiritual unity and likemindedness
- Accomplishes what human words never will
- Softens hearts and prepares souls for truth
- Replaces discord with brotherly love and unity
- Brings spiritual passion where there was once passivity
- Lay a foundation for your time together by praying diligently for each person attending your group before you meet.
- If you are participating, pray especially for your leaders and those who are overseeing the small group.
If you desire to build a thriving small group, begin by building a christ-centered daily life. Make your daily life all about Him and your group whether it’s small or big will naturally reflect Him! Next week Leslie will share two more principles to lay a strong foundation for a Christ-centered small group!
- Matthew 18:20
- James 1:5
- Read Leslie’s article Becoming a Godly Mentor is available to read for free at our website!
- Another article you might find helpful in learning how to discern between the many popular Christian trends today, read Leslie’s article Popular Christianity for free at our website.