Want to Lead a Successful Small Group Bible Study? You Can Do It, but You’ll Need All the Elements in the Right Order

Everyone has one: a favorite meal. Whether it’s your mom’s Thanksgiving feast, your spouse’s secret recipe for spaghetti, or that surf and turf you can only get at that tucked-away little seaside restaurant you visited on vacation years ago, everyone has that go-to meal that makes them salivate at the mere mention of it. Of course, to be the perfect meal, you must eat every component of it. You won’t enjoy a Thanksgiving feast if you only eat the cranberry sauce. That delicious spaghetti dinner won’t be nearly as good if you only have one meatball. And that surf and turf won’t be half as scrumptious if you simply order the turf. Every part must be there to make the perfect meal.

Similarly, if you are leading a Bible study, you also need all the right elements in the right combination. For starters, you need a robust opening. This is the section in which a small group leader grabs everyone’s attention, informs them of the objective of the entire study, and reveals the core Bible truth they will explore over the coming weeks. This is where you get your audience excited because not everyone will have the level of exuberance at the outset. How group leaders get people excited about a study varies. Some will use audio or video clips. Others will interject a current trend or event from the news or entertainment world. Still, others may simply engage a group with a simple quote. The first step is to get everyone excited about moving forward. Win your audience first.

What comes next?

The next step is to pepper learning opportunities for every learning style in your group. You’ll, no doubt, have visual learners, oral learners, verbal learners, and physical learners. Catering to each type of learner over the course of your study will help everyone feel like the entire study has been tailor-made for them. Making sure your group members are engaged ultimately means ensuring that they’re learning.

To this point, you’ve had a robust opening, and you’ve appealed to myriad learning styles. Now it’s time to finish strong. The third element of leading an engaging Bible study is the application stage in which the group members consider how the study and the truth within it apply to their lives.

Be sure that any life applications you suggest are actually achievable. Provide ways for them to succeed rather than setting them up to fail. One way to accomplish this is to consider the participants’ spiritual maturity. You may have a group filled with people who have been following Christ for many years, but you may also have a few who have only recently begun their walk with Him. Be mindful of everyone’s journey with the Lord.

You CAN provide a Bible study that you’ll enjoy teaching and students will enjoy learning. Just remember to include all the elements because leaving out even one can spell disappointment —for you and your small group.

Where can I get Bible study resources for my small group?

We’re so glad you asked. Call 21st Century Christian at 800-251-2477, or head on over to the Bible Studies section of this website to view the hundreds of available options.