1. Icebreaker Start every session with an icebreaker. Groups that do this experience more laughter and community than other groups.* The icebreaker should be simple and not too deep. It could tie into your study or be completely unrelated. Something like: What was your favorite Christmas gift as a kid? You can find tons of these online.
2. Get ‘Em Involved This is a key to group health.* Get a volunteer to pray, get another volunteer to read the questions or Scripture for the week. Encourage discussion and pull people into it. Just keep in mind some people are shy, others have trouble reading aloud. You don’t want to embarrass anyone, so let people volunteer.
3. Shut It Down Don’t let the Bible/course study time go longer than 30 minutes.* Even if the group is on a roll, shut it down. It’s okay. Stopping while there’s still a ton of energy leaves them hungry for more next week. Going out with a bang is much better than fizzling out. And it’s a win-win situation: Your group feels alive and energetic; individual members can continue to talk if they want, which forms more community.
*What’s with all the asterisks? These tips, and so much more, are from a book called Small Groups Big Impact. It is the only book on the market that combines painstaking research with biblical principles to tell you how to build successful small groups (which, by the way, are the most important factor in church growth*). It’s a gem of a book.
Thanks for reading!