How to Lead a Small Group: 4 Steps

small group doing a Bible study in a living room

Leading a small group Bible study can be deeply rewarding with the right preparation. Here are the four steps that will help you prepare and lead your group well.

  • Step 1: Prepare yourself to lead a small group.
  • Step 2: Determine what your group should study together.
  • Step 3: Plan for how to best lead in helpful discussion.
  • Step 4: Consider how you’ll keep your small group engaged.

Prepare Yourself to Lead

Truly spiritual ministry emerges from the overflow of your personal relationship with God. There are three essential tasks to preparing yourself as a leader:

  • Study God’s Word on your own
  • Pray for each person in your group
  • Pray for the Spirit’s guidance as you lead your group
  • You can’t go wrong when you start by remembering how much you need God’s help to love and lead his people.

You can’t go wrong when you start by remembering how much you need God’s help to love and lead his people.

PD201 Introducing Spiritual Formation

This course by bestselling author Dr. Garjhuy Thomas walks students through the theology behind spiritual growth and formation. Beginning with God’s love for his people and the spiritual disciplines, you can learn how God changes his people from the inside out.

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Choose Your Small Group Study

Picking a study for your small group can be daunting. While you can’t really go wrong when studying God’s Word, knowing the people in your group well will help you choose a study that guides them toward a deeper walk with God.

Some questions to consider as you think about a small group study:

  • Do you want to study a book of the Bible or a special topic?
  • Is there a book or topic that ties in well with your church’s sermon series?
  • Where do you see a need for spiritual growth in your group?

Not Your Average Bible Study Series (15 vols.)

The Not Your Average Bible Study series combines a deep understanding of the biblical text with real-world application that is relevant to our lives today. Each volume guides you step-by-step through Scripture, helping you dig into the Bible on a whole new level. With discussion and reflection questions, prayer suggestions, and ideas for further study, you’ll see how easy it is to apply these lessons to your everyday life. This is not your average Bible study.

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LifeGuide Bible Studies: Christian Living Collection (14 vols.)

Looking for studies on specific topics related to the Christian life? This series covers issues such as Christian disciplines, aging, money, and more. With entries by Peter Scazzero and many more, you can quickly find a study to fit your group’s needs.

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Baker Bible Study Collection (11 vols.)

Want to dig in on what Scripture really says about any topic? This collection guides your group through the Bible’s teaching on parenting, heaven, and angels—and it even has a study on the most misused verses in the Bible.

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Rick Warren’s Bible Study Methods

Take your group through a Bible study without an accompanying study guide using pastor Rick Warren’s instructions on studying the Bible. The methods in the book walk you through how to study the Bible in depth so you can more effectively teach it in a small group setting.

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Engage Your Small Group in Discussion

Every group has them. The overtalker. The quiet one. The unsolicited advice-giver. With so many unique people in each group, you never quite know what to expect when you lead small group discussion. But having an arsenal of good questions can help you facilitate a fruitful, encouraging conversation.

Keep in Touch with Your Group All Week

The time your small group meets together each week is just one part of the equation for a healthy group. Creating ways for your group to talk throughout the week, share prayer requests, and studying the Word together are the other keys to a successful small group experience.

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With the right tools and resources, leading a church small group can be even more rewarding—and easier.


If you don’t yet have the Logos Bible app, see how it helps you answer tough questions with confidence.

With the Starter package, you can take your study to new heights with 60+ resources and features like Sermon Manager—where you can plan ahead, write discussion questions, and more to prepare for your small group.

Written by
Logos Staff

Logos is the largest developer of tools that empower Christians to go deeper in the Bible.

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Written by Logos Staff