As you’ve figured out by now, a small group meeting regularly under these guidelines will build deeper and deeper skills in the observation, interpretation, and application of Scripture in their life. In other words, they’ll begin to hear God speaking to them personally through His Word.
The basic mechanics of leading a small group are:
- Provide a reading schedule so each member has the opportunity to come to each meeting having read and considered the passage to be studied.
- Use or develop an outline of the passage to be studied that emphasizes a main point you’ve learned or want to convey.
- Help group members identify personally with the main point.
- Allow other members in the group to share ideas, insights, knowledge, facts and themes they themselves learned.
- Encourage members to share how God "spoke" to them personally from the portion of Scripture being studied.
- Make an extra effort to find ways to lovingly encourage members to go further in their study and application of God’s Word. Always remember Christ’s instruction to be a servant to them.
It’s not difficult at all to effectively accomplish all these things in a one-hour meeting. If you’re blessed with a group that can allow more time, consider first expanding the areas of prayer and fellowship rather than adding additional Scripture study. Even in a small group setting you want to achieve a balance of the things that make meeting in His Name the most life-changing. Structure the time to include sharing of personal life events, prayer for individual needs, prayer for your church at large, and time to genuinely fellowship with each other.
If at all possible, set out at least one more chair than people attending the group at any given occasion and lead the group in asking God to send someone to fill that chair next time you meet.
Pray that you encounter the “worst” small group “problem” imaginable: The group becomes too large and must split to form more than one small group.