How to Use These Books for a Small Group Study
Be led by the Holy Spirit
Pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Pray by yourself, and pray with the members of your group. Begin each meeting with prayer. Share the responsibility of praying.
Make sure everyone knows when, where, and how you’re meeting.
Email, Facebook message, Twitter tweet, Text, Phone call. You can use more than one of these.
Make sure everyone has your email and phone number. How will you meet? Will it be in-person, Zoom, some other method, both in-person and online?
Spell it out clearly: When, where, how, what they’ll need, what chapter or section will be the focus.
These questions can be used for the entire book, or you can use these same questions for each section or chapter, depending on how you want to run your club, group, or class.
What Did You See?
What new things did you learn in this reading?
What did God seem to be saying directly to you as you read?
What is the most important point in what we read, and why is it important?
Edification, Encouragement, and Comfort
What was most comforting to you in this reading, and why is it comforting?
What did you find most edifying as you read, and why was it edifying?
What part of this reading was most encouraging or strengthening to you, and why did you find it strengthening or encouraging?
How do feel you’ll be able to apply this reading in your life going forward?
What do you see as the hardest part of applying this reading to your life?
What do you see as the key to applying this reading to your life?
What questions do you still have? What points are still confusing?
What truth can you add to what was in the book?
Where do you think God is leading you based on what you read?
What’s a better way . . . ?
Why do you think . . . ?
When have you been in a situation like . . . , and how did you respond?
If . . . happened, what would you do?
Set up the furniture as close to a circle as you can. That makes everyone feel equally part of what’s going on.
The host or hostess must show hospitality.
Reinforce the purpose. Why did you start the group?
Let everyone know how the group is going to operate. Let them know you’re trying to allow the Holy Spirit to lead, so you’re trying to be flexible to follow the will of God.
Pray before and after the meeting. Don’t put anyone on the spot to pray.
Let people linger after the meeting.
It’s not a show or entertainment. It’s not a demonstration of perfection. Don’t try to impress. Be real with humility.
Don’t try to be the answer person. You won’t know everything, and your opinions are just opinions. Let the group discuss. Be open. Listen. Even listen to thoughts with which you don’t agree. If everyone seeks the mind of the Holy Spirit, the truth will rise to the top.
Be patient and gracious.
You’re not the teacher. Your job is to make sure everyone has a part. Get people thinking and talking. Enter in only when the Holy Spirit prompts you. You may bite your tongue sometimes when you think of something to say but know that others need to participate.
Ask open-ended questions rather than making statements. Don’t ask a question and then answer it. Ask and wait for the answer. You’ll find some sample questions in the last section of this page.
Don’t give the final answer after others have answered. If everyone is missing the point, better to give more information or read a little more text and then ask a different question.
Sometimes, the group will start to move in the Spirit. A spontaneous meaningful conversation will break out. The questions serve the purpose of getting the group to that point. Don’t interrupt the conversation to redirect to a question. That’s not to say the Holy Spirit won’t bring a question to your mind that fits into the conversation.
Don’t be the person who talks the most.
Some people will dominate. You can say, “Someone who hasn’t spoken yet needs to answer this question.” The round-robin style works in smaller groups. Everyone gives a short answer.
Those who dominate want to contribute. Bring them into your core group and enlist them as shepherds whose task is to get others to enter in. Continue to remind your core group of that responsibility to develop the ministries of others.
Learn to enjoy holy silence. People need time to think. Look around and watch people processing. The Holy Spirit is speaking to some. The Holy Spirit is leading others, but they’re struggling inside. It’s a gestation period that’s necessary. Don’t jump in and spoil it. You aren’t running a radio program where dead air is a sin.
Probably better to be informal and fun rather than formal and showy.
Treat the group as a group of friends. You may even want to plan outside activities. And those will vary depending on the interests of the people in the group.
Setting rotating roles and responsibilities builds a sense of belonging and ownership. Let others lead if they have the potential. The group can meet without you if you aren’t available. Train some members to take over and keep things on track when you can’t be there.
Food and beverage?
How to get the shy to enter in (game, round-robin style, simple open-ended question)
Where will you set up the food? Will it be accessible?
How much fellowship time before starting.
How much prayer time after?
Rigid schedule or loose?
Will you print out questions ahead of time and hand them out?
Will each person read the section of the book and come prepared, or will someone read that section in the meeting?
If someone reads a section in the meeting, will there be breaks for questions or will questions come after the section is complete?
What will you do about the children?
All these books are FREE. Download them. Use them. Make copies. Give them away.