A great small group is not a lecture. People grow when they can participate in discovering and sharing the truth together. But leading an engaging conversation is not as easy as it looks. You can succeed using the resources at pursueGOD.org.
Facilitate, don’t teach.
People grow not by passively hearing the Bible, but by discovering, sharing, and applying its truths for themselves. That’s why a great small group leader is not a lecturer or a Bible expert. Your role is to create conditions for people to explore ideas and get feedback from each other. No one really knows a truth until they can share it. That happens in a discussion format, as people wrestle with and apply God’s truth for themselves. So don’t feel like you need to give a mini-sermon, have all the answers, or come up with some profound nugget each week. In fact, it’s best if you don’t. Let the resources do the teaching, and focus on facilitating an engaging discussion.
Use the library at pursueGOD.org.
Good group curriculum is available from many sources. But the resources at pursueGOD.org have several advantages. Everything in the library is:
- Biblical. Every topic is explored by trustworthy teachers from a biblical worldview.
- Free. There is never a cost to use or to share.
- Easy to share. Just send you group members a link by email or text message before the next meeting.
- Digital. You can use pursueGOD resources easily from a phone or tablet, with nothing to print out.
- Discussion based. The format makes leading discussions, and thus group discovery, simple.
- Concise. People stay engaged with these topics.
Check out the “All Topics” and “Series and Tracks” menus at the top of this page and spend some time browsing to see the wide array of options for your group.
[Related Resource: Series and Tracks]
Resources in the pursueGOD library are organized in the form of “conversations” that make it easy to lead a discussion.
- Video. Start with a short video explaining the topic from a biblical perspective.
- Summary. Each conversations also has a brief summary article explaining the topic. Often the summary will contain links to related resources that will explain a key point or give you a related discussion topic.
- Discussion questions. Use the questions provided to help you facilitate discovery. You don’t have to use all of them, or use them exactly as written. As you get better at using the questions provided, we encourage you to write your own. The last question in every list focuses on application. Don’t skip it!
- Related resources. At the end of every conversation you will find additional resources, links, and downloads. Use these for your own study, to make an assignment to the group, to explore in a coming week, or to add further content to extend your group discussion time.
Help everyone participate.
Your goal as the discussion leader is to help everyone in the group get involved in discovering and sharing truth together. Here are some ideas on how to do that:
- Limit what you say. Work hard to make space for others to talk.
- Practice ground rules for good group relationships .
- Learn group dynamics, like how to draw out quiet people, set boundaries on people who talk too much, or bring tangents back on course.
- Don’t answer your own questions. Give people time to think and wait for them to speak.
To make disciples, you don’t want to make people dependent on you, or they won’t grow. That’s exactly what happens if you adopt a teaching versus facilitating role. Groups are more healthy when everyone joins in.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of a teacher-centered small group?
- Why is it important to help everyone in the group participate in the discussion?
- Identify some pros and cons of using the resources in the pursueGOD library? Do the pros outweigh the cons, and why?
- What are are some signs that you, as the discussion leader, are talking too much?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.