Small Group Ministry (Leadership)

From Helping Christians Live Like Christians

March 16, 2016
Live Web Event for Group Leaders with
Chip Ingram and Jim Blazin
👉Play Audio 👈

TEACHING NOTES: The Job of a Small Group Leader…

Being in a small group doesn’t automatically create life change – their effectiveness can rise or
fall with the leader.

Eight Leadership Principles of a Great Small Group
1. Job of a small group leader is not just to lead a meeting well, but to
disciple/develop people.
1 Thess. 2:7-12
This involves an intentional mindset – looking beyond curriculum and what you want to deliver in terms of material and content, but making the priority helping people connect
with the word of God, and other people, in a way that brings about personal growth.

There’s a significant difference in trying to “make it through all the questions” versus
trying to “get the truth into the people.”
In Colossian 1: 28-29 the Apostle Paul clearly outlines his goal when he meets with a
• Proclaim Him – admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom,
that we might present every man mature in Christ.
• For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His (Christ) power that works within me.

We play a role as a small group leader to being prepared as best we can, but the Holy Spirit plays the biggest role.

It’s also essential to seek counsel, help and training from other leaders. It’s
important that we recognize that members come to our groups at different stages of spiritual
health and maturity – and our goal is to help them move to the next stage.

2. Walk with God personally. The number one criteria on God’s agenda for a
small group leader is the health of their own walk with Jesus…

The greatest gift they
give is their own healthy soul.

Remember – we can’t lead anyone beyond where we’ve gone ourselves and we cannot
impart what we don’t possess.

Our consistent and authentic walk with God births our
passion and ability to be transparent because we can own what it is that we’re doing,
and it’s important to us.

When Christ owns us we find true ownership (belonging) and that is available to all. It is to be shared.

3. Create an environment of authenticity for transformation. For there to be
“real change”… the environment must be “real.”

The issue here is equipping
group leaders to cultivate an atmosphere of true authenticity.

The number one thing people want to feel when they walk into a group is safety.

Creating an atmosphere of safety is the responsibility of the leader. Doing so
positions people to allow the Holy Spirit to move in the group in a way that helps people be vulnerable and open to the truth.

• This begins with simple things – intentionally greeting people, food and
drinks, and a casual and comfortable feel.

• Think carefully about whether you’ll sit around a table vs. in a more casual
living room environment.

• Set clear expectations around confidentiality and the core value of allowing
everyone in the group to share/ engage.

From a leadership perspective, people are looking for a heart connection, and
conversation that pushes past the surface.

Leaders need to model this to set the
stage – which in this case means sharing something that makes you personally
vulnerable. There has to be enough risk in what you’re sharing for people to gauge
the safety of the group environment and response.

Open up, be honnest & upfront.

4. Effective group leaders develop great listening skills.

Never underestimate the power of great listening.


Remember you are there to learn & grow as well…you may learn more from those in the group more that they learn from you!

Listen to what God says through His word and others in Christ

• Learn how to be a “curious” listener.

Listening is about much more than just waiting to speak.

{ Again, this not only allows everyone to take part it leaves room for the Holy Spirit to move, touch and speak }

• Read Acts 8:26-38 with Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch, and notice how Phillip
entered in with the exact question the eunuch was considering.

🔸 Listening well validates people by letting them know they are important.
Beyond that, it helps you learn their unique story and understand their
world view.

• To intentionally disciple someone on their journey, it’s essential that you
understand where they are coming from.

🔸 Fight against the urge to “solve problems” and already be thinking of
what you want to tell them and truly listen.

(People hear themselves when they talk and many times figure things out with the power of The Holy Spirit)

🔸First and foremost, lead people back to God’s word. This ensures the
authority is not the small group leader, but scripture.

🔸Group leaders who over talk, beware! The message you are really sending
your members is that they don’t matter.

🔸 If you have a group larger than 10 or 12, it’s important to break into
subgroups to allow deeper more authentic conversation and connection.

🔸 Remember – Our goal is to raise people up so they become “self feeders”
off God’s word.

5. Leaders ask intentional follow-up questions that take people deeper.
Along with asking great questions is art of fantastic follow-up.
Your questions should
engage the full group. Pose your questions in a way that you guide group members from
a surface level response to a thoughtful response to the core issue or truth that God’s Word wants to illuminate.

Here’s a simple progression that will help you accomplish this:

• First questions:
“I feel” questions – these are safe and you can’t miss.

• Second questions:
“I think” questions – become cognitive.

• Third Question:
Action oriented – what are you DOING – what is God speaking to
you, what’s the action he wants from you? How are you going to respond to that?

NOTE: One helpful thing a leader can do is set the tone for the group. Tell your people where you
are leading them – set the expectation.

6. Challenge people to obedience.

• What do you feel like God wants you to do and how can we support you?

• What are you going to do differently this week?

• Redirect people who seek counsel from the group to go FIRST to scripture so
God’s truth about their situation comes into their heart and moves through them
to translate into action.

7. Help members clearly identify their next steps.

• Encourage them to be specific in ways that they will apply the truths they are

• Circle back the next time you are together to see how they did.

• What outcome did they experience as a result of that?

8. Give people responsibility!

• One of the best ways for people to grow is by serving others.

• Look for ways to give away leadership – ask someone to own outreach, snacks,
fellowship, etc.

Helping Christians Live Like Christians
For more resources go to:
Living On The Edge Ministries

I hope and pray this will be helpful.

In Jesus name & for Christ sake,

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