How to Connect Between Group Sessions
The difference between a small group and a Bible study is what happens after the group meeting ends. As a leader, your responsibilities don’t end when the group meeting is over. What’s left to do?
- Lead your group to build close relationships with one another. This is done best by doing what you love to do together. For some groups, that may mean sports. For others, it may mean meals out and movies. There is no formula for relationship building, so the best thing you can do is create an environment that allows and encourages people to connect. Trust me. If you create the right environment, your group will figure out how they can do life together. Time and time again, I have seen God bring a group of strangers together in such a way that they are not strangers anymore. They become like family for one another.
- Once relationships are established, you should lead your group to serve together. As you look for ways to serve, remember to serve both in the church and in the community. As your group serves together, cool things will happen. Some members of your group will thrive and will find their place of service for years to come. Others will struggle with being a servant. This will clue you in to ways you can challenge them in the future. Either way, you learn more about your group, they know more about each other, and you meet needs and share God’s love along the way.
- Help people keep the commitments they make during the group study time. This is the truest form of accountability you will ever experience. God convicts people in the context of community. Then, you as a leader come along side them and reinforce God’s activity in their lives. If they are taking action on their commitment, then you get to encourage them. If they are not, you get to challenge them. This is done best in the context of a one-on-one conversation. Make it your pattern to connect personally with members of your group to talk through their spiritual development.
This is part of Mike Hurt’s tips series, How to Lead a Successful Discussion-Driven Bible Study.
About the Author
Mike Hurt is the senior pastor of Parkway Church in Victoria, Texas. A leading thinker and trainer in small group ministry, Mike is passionate about finding ways to reach people who don’t know Christ and to see those who do know Christ connect in authentic biblical community. Before pastoring Parkway, Mike was a senior leader at McLean Bible Church and Frontline where he led the Small Group Ministry. He also led MBC to become a multi-site church with six campuses.