Read a summary of chapter 8 or go directly to any of the following sections:

  1. Overview of Small Groups
  2. The Basic Structure of a Small Group Bible Study
  3. Teaching
  4. Application
  5. Sharing
  6. Touch
  7. Extra
  8. In Summary

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Overview of Small Groups

For most people who want to host a Bible study the most difficult issue to overcome is who will lead and guide the study.

First, don't think of a small group ministry as something that has to be organized like a congregation gathered to hear a sermon. You will see that the suggestions offered here look upon a small group more as an informal gathering of fellow believers focusing on how God's Word is changing each life.

Second, the Bible studies on this web site—and sent weekly directly to your inbox if you've subscribed to the newsletter—are designed to lead a small group discussion line by line through a passage of Scripture. In other words, formal preparation for the study has already been provided. These studies are mostly organized around reading a section of Scripture together and the leader asking questions about what was read. Although answers are provided as suggestions to move the conversation along so to speak, you will find that the group's answers really move things along in the direction of the Spirit's leading rather than your own. [Hint: It’s “OK” if the group’s answers and discussion digress from the written lesson—that’s the point.]

If you haven't done so recently, you may want to review the Overview of Walk with the Word material to be reminded that the goal is not to become an encyclopedia of theology but to share how God is speaking to you through His Word. Small group Bible studies are really about sharing this with others who can then provide prayerful support and accountability in our walk with Christ. All you really need is a place to meet, a Bible, and a study guide from this site. A "Group Handout" is provided with most Bible studies which leaders can print and distribute to follow the basic outline of the study and use for later review.

For those desiring to develop deeper skills as a small group leader the basic information is provided on how to apply the studies you've personally developed.

Return to Bibliography • Continue to The Basic Structure