Small Groups

This page will help group leaders talk about starting, leading, and reproducing a small group.

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SERMONS

Check out our customizable sermons with sermon-based curriculum built in for small groups.

The Pursuit

General Edition

Complete this discipleship track with a group or mentor to go full circle in faith.

INTRODUCTION

Topic #1: God and You

Click the link above to listen, or view video topic.

Talking Points:

  • Before you even thought about God, he was pursuing you. Psalm 139:16-17
  • We start a relationship with God by trusting Jesus. No level of personal performance on our part can earn his approval. Romans 3:22
  • As Christians, we live to honor God. Our new standing with Christ allows us to live from the inside out. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • We mature as disciples by helping others pursue God. Jesus calls us beyond information and empty rituals to simple obedience. Matthew 28:19-20 
  • If you make a decision to pursue God, you will find him. Jeremiah 29:11-13 

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From the Podcast:

Discussion Questions:
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Do you have any questions about faith or the Bible right now? Start a list.
  3. Make a list of areas where you would like to make improvements in your daily life.
  4. Read Psalm 139:17. Is this a new concept for you to realize that God uniquely created you? Explain. 
  5. Read Jeremiah 29:11. What do you hope your life looks like in 5 or 10 years? Paint a picture.
  6. Where would you put yourself on the circle above? Explain.
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?
Topic #2: People Matter

Click the link above to listen, or view video topic.

Talking Points:

  • Many people have the wrong idea of God, and often it’s because of the way “religious” people act. But Jesus always shared the truth in love. John 8:10-11
  • Love is at the core of God’s nature. A relationship with God goes beyond information to transformation, causing us to love like God does. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  • God is interested in people, not institutions or rituals. Every human being is worthy of respect because they are created in the image of God. Genesis 1:27
Discussion Questions:
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Share a time when a “religious” person rubbed you the wrong way. Have you ever been that person?
  3. Read John 8:10-11. What would you have said to the adulterous woman? 
  4. Read Genesis 1:27. Do you agree that everyone is worthy of dignity and respect? Who do you have a hard time respecting, and why?
  5. What does it mean to love God? What does it mean to love people? Make a practical list.
  6. What’s your action step based on today’s topic?
Topic #3: The Whole Person

Talking Points:

  • God is interested in your whole life, not just your “spiritual” side. A pursuit of God is will transform you into a “whole person”. Matthew 22:37-39
  • Emotional health (you and you) is seeing yourself how God see’s you, no more and no less. It’s having the courage to become self-aware and lean into your fears and insecurities. Psalm 139:1
  • Relational health (you and others) is truly loving the people around you and wanting the best for their lives. It’s speaking truth in love even when it’s uncomfortable. Romans 12:9-10
  • Spiritual health (you and God) is letting Jesus fix the brokenness at the core of your being. It’s submitting your attitudes and actions to God so you can start living from the inside out. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Discussion Questions:
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Do you have any questions about faith or the Bible right now? Start a list.
  3. Make a list of areas where you would like to make improvements in your daily life.
  4. Read Psalm 139:17. Is this a new concept for you to realize that God uniquely created you? Explain. 
  5. Read Jeremiah 29:11. What do you hope your life looks like in 5 or 10 years? Paint a picture.
  6. Where would you put yourself on the circle above? Explain.
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?
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TRUSTING JESUS

Topic #4: What Is Sin?

Click the link above to listen, or view video topic.

Key Points:

  • Sin is going your own way, trusting and acting on your own opinions and feelings instead of on God’s truth. Genesis 3:6
  • We’ve all been born a bit wrong, which means we can’t trust our feelings and instincts about ourselves. We all must be born again. John 3:3
  • Sin progressively brings brokenness in every way: emotionally, relationally, financially, and spiritually. Romans 6:23
  • No one is as bad as they could be, but everyone is infected at the core with a sinful nature. Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:8
  • Sin is the roadblock that keeps us from a relationship with God. Galatians 5:19-21
Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. How does this video define sin? How would you define it?
  3. On a scale of 1 (Mother Teresa) to 10 (Hitler), how bad of a “sinner” are you? How do you think someone else would rate you?
  4. Read James 1:14-15. Give an example of how sin is a selfish impulse. Where do you think that impulse comes from?
  5. How have you seen sin bring brokenness to your life or the life of someone you know?
  6. Read Galatians 5:19-21. Why do you think there’s such a wide variety of sin listed there? What would you add to the list?
  7. For next week, take an honest look at your own life and identify a few areas of brokenness that you need to address.
Topic #5: Who Is Jesus?

Click the link above to listen, or view video topic.

Key Points:

  • What you believe about Jesus is the most important thing about you, because Jesus alone is the solution to your sin problem. Acts 4:12
  • Jesus is both fully God and fully man. John 1:1
  • Jesus lived a sinless life and yet died a criminal’s death on a cross. Isaiah 53:4-6
  • Jesus rose from the dead to prove his power over sin and death. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. What, if anything, did you learn about Jesus when you were younger?
  3. Read John 1:1. Why is it important to believe that Jesus is fully God? How would it impact Christianity if he were something less?
  4. Read Isaiah 53:5-8. How did Jesus fulfill this prophecy? Why did he have to do it?
  5. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Why is it important that Jesus rose from the dead? How would it impact the basic Christian message if he didn’t?
  6. What questions do you still have about Jesus? Talk about them now, and click here for more answers.
Topic #6: Trusting Jesus

Click the link above to listen, or view video topic.

Key Points:

  • Jesus fixed the human problem through his death and resurrection. Romans 5:8
  • We can do nothing to save ourselves; Jesus did 100% of the work. Ephesians 2:8-9
  • We start a relationship with God by trusting Jesus, and no one can make this decision for us. Romans 3:22
  • Salvation is ours the moment we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth. Romans 10:9-10

A Sinner’s Prayer:

“Jesus, I recognize I’m a sinner. I know that you died on the cross and rose from the dead so that I could have life. I’m turning from my sin now, and I’m turning to you in faith. I trust in you alone to forgive my sin and give me new life. Thank you for this free gift. Amen.”

Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Review the definition of sin from the first topic in this track. Why is it important to understand what sin is? Do you agree everyone has a sin problem? Explain.
  3. Read Romans 6:23. Make a list of the ways sin can bring “death” into our lives.
  4. In your own words, explain how the death and resurrection of Jesus fixes our sin problem. 
  5. Read Romans 3:22. Do you believe that anyone can be made right with God by trusting in Jesus? Are there any exceptions?
  6. Have you put your faith in Jesus for salvation? If so, when? If not, are you ready to do it today? See the “Sinner’s Prayer” above.
  7. Need to talk more about Jesus? Click here.
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HONORING GOD

Topic #7: Honoring God

Click the link above to listen, or view video topic.

Key Points:

  • As Christians, we live to honor God. We have a new nature, but we have old habits that need to fall away over time. 2 Corinthians 5:17
  • We need more than will power to honor God. The Spirit leads from the inside out, empowering us to honor God every day. Ezekiel 36:26-27
  • We need a new way to think. The Bible guides us and shows us the attitudes and actions that honor God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • We can’t live this new life on our own. Other believers help us stay on the right track, both one-on-one and in the local church. Galatians 6:1-2

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Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic? 
  2. Read Ezekiel 36:26. Describe the difference between a “stony” heart and a “tender” heart.
  3. Read 2 Timothy 3:16. What does this verse say that scripture does for us? Share a scripture verse that has been “useful” for you.
  4. Share a teaching from the Bible that surprised you when you first heard it. Did you obey it? Why or why not?
  5. Read Galatians 6:1-2. Share a time when another believer helped you on to the right path.
  6. Make a commitment to start reading the Bible every day. Need help? Try a reading plan.
Topic #8: Five Habits

Click the link above to listen, or view video topic.

The Five Habits:

  • Bible study: Try to do this daily. Subscribe to our Daily Bible podcast or follow a Bible reading plan from YouVersion. 2 Timothy 3:16
  • Prayer: Make a habit of talking to God, not with fancy words but like he’s right there next to you. Set some time apart for focused prayer daily. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
  • Connection: Find a healthy local church and join a small group if possible. Meet regularly with your mentor and continue to cover topics. Hebrews 10:25
  • Giving: Many Christians give 10% of their income (a “tithe”) to their local church, and above and beyond that to other Christian charities. 2 Corinthians 8:7
  • Mentoring: This is the habit that most Christians have missed out on. That’s why the resources at pursueGOD.org exist. Matthew 28:19-20
Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Name one good habit you had as a kid. Did you have a habit that was hard to break when you were young? Talk about how to break bad habits and form better ones.
  3. Give yourself a grade on each of the five habits above. Which one are you most eager to improve? Why?
  4. Talk about what prayer is all about. Do you have any questions about it?
  5. What do you think Paul meant by “excel in giving”? What could it mean for you today?
  6. Talk about how to use our resources to start meaningful conversations with your friends, family, or small group. Are you already doing this? Is there an area where you can be more intentional about your “mentoring”?
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?
Topic #9: Core Convictions

View the standalone topic.

Talking Points:

  • The triune God of the Bible – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is the only God and is worth pursuing. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19, John 10:10)
  • The Bible is inspired by God and infallible in its original manuscripts and is therefore the only final authority in faith and life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 6:3, Philippians 3:15).
  • Truth is discovered through a relational process – and every pursuer of God must take ownership of their own pursuit. (Matthew 9:36-38, Jeremiah 29:13).
  • Jesus envisioned a church of “full circle” followers: Christians who trust Jesus, honor God, and make disciples. (Ephesians 4:11-16, 2 Timothy 2:2)
Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. How do our core convictions relate to your ministry’s Statement of Faith?
  3. Why do you believe God is worth pursuing? Make a list.
  4. What does it mean that the Bible is “infallible”? In your ministry, what percentage of people believe this?
  5. Read Matthew 9:36-38. How is a sermon different than a discipleship conversation?
  6. Explain a “full circle” pursuer of God (see image above). Do you think this image captures the essence of discipleship? Explain.
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?
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HELPING OTHERS

Topic #10: The Why

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Key Points:

  • Jesus came to earth to help people pursue God, and his strategy was to empower generations of regular believers to do it. Matthew 4:19
  • The crowds had sermons, but they needed shepherds. The pastor’s job is not to just preach, but to empower regular people to make disciples. Matthew 9:36-37, Ephesians 4:11-12
  • Making disciples is a command, not a suggestion. When regular believers start doing it, they start maturing. Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 4:14
Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Define “full circle” faith in your own words. Where are you on the circle?
  3. Why do you think Jesus picked fishermen instead of Pharisees as his disciples? 
  4. Read Ephesians 4:11-12. What’s the pastor’s job? What’s your job?
  5. Read Matthew 9:36-37. Why did Jesus have compassion on the crowds? Have you ever experienced that?
  6. Do you think you can help someone else pursue God? Why or why not?
  7. Is there a step you need to take based on today’s topic?
Topic #11: The What

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Key Points:

  • If you’re going to make disciples, you’d better get the product straight! Jesus envisioned a “full circle” follower, not just a consumer Christian. Matthew 28:19-20
  • You haven’t finished the job until you empower your disciple to start making disciples. And nobody matures until that happens. Ephesians 4:13-14
  • If everyone becomes a disciple-maker, the message of Jesus will scale like never before. 2 Timothy 2:2

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Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. How do you think most churches would describe a disciple?
  3. Make a list of words or concepts associated with “trusting Jesus”. Do the same for “honoring God”.
  4. Consider the marks of a disciple. What percentage of people at your church could be found in each category (include those who haven’t yet trusted Jesus)?
  5. Read Ephesians 4:13-14. What does this say about the relationship between disciple-making and maturity?
  6. Read Matthew 28:19-20. Find the three marks of a disciple in this passage.
  7. Consider the marks of a disciple. Write the name of someone under each category.
Topic #12: The How

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Key Points:

  • Disciple-making (mentoring) is simply a series of conversations, and it starts with inviting someone into a meaningful relationship. This doesn’t have to be weird.
  • Pick a category from our site and share it with the person you’ll be mentoring. This will help you narrow down our library of more than 2500 topics and series.
  • Start talking by choosing a topic from the featured content at the top of the category page. Learn about the topic on your own by reviewing the audio or video and the talking points provided. Then come together to explore it in conversation using the questions provided. Do this for weeks, months, or even years. Someday, you’ll be ready for the final step.
  • Finally, empower you mentee to go “full circle” and start making disciples. To prepare for this, we recommend that you take them through The Pursuit (find it on any category page) just like someone is doing with you. And for your own growth, continue to meet with your group or mentor for follow up support and to cover topics from additional categories.
Talk About It
  1. What’s your initial reaction to this topic?
  2. Invite, Invest, Empower – which one seems the most difficult to you? Explain.
  3. Describe the three mentoring principles in your own words. Which one resonates most?
  4. Describe the pathway for disciple-making in your own words. What’s the point to taking someone through a discipleship track? 
  5. Do you feel qualified to make disciples? If not, what would qualify you?
  6. Make a list of a few people who might be interested in going through a discipleship track with you. Begin praying for those people.
  7. To finish your training, cover this full discipleship track with a training partner or group. Take turns leading each topic, and be sure to track your progress.

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Podcasts

Subscribe to these podcasts to stay in the know.

The Network Podcast

Leadership topics for pastors, ministry leaders, and key volunteers.

The PG Podcast

Discipleship topics with regular people from around the nation.

The Daily Bible

Simple insights to help you read through the New Testament.

How It Works

PursueGODnetwork.org is a library of conversation starters for pastors and ministry leaders. We empower conversations for disciple-making ministries, and our tools work in three simple steps:

STEP 1: PICK A CATEGORY. With over 3000 conversation starters in our libraries, we’ve organized our content into categories to help you find what you need. You've already picked our Small Groups category, but here's a complete listing of options:

Find additional conversation starters for disciple-making at our other sites:

STEP 2: START TALKING. Pick a topic from the top of the category page and learn about it by watching the video or listening to the audio. Then get together to explore it in conversation with your group or mentor, using the questions provided as a guide. Cover additional topics for weeks or months, and feel free to jump between categories to mix it up. Eventually, you’ll be ready for the final step.

STEP 3: COMPLETE THE PURSUIT. “The Pursuit” is our 12-topic discipleship track that guides you through what it means to go "full circle" in your faith (find it above or on any of our category pages). The idea is simple: complete "The Pursuit" to become a disciple-maker with the pursueGOD tools. Then start covering topics with someone else - from your ministry team, church, or community. Continue to meet with your ministry team or mentor for follow up training and to cover topics from additional categories.

  • To learn more about PG Network, click here.
  • To learn more about pursueGOD.org, click here.
  • To learn about how your church can join our network, click here.