Small group Bible study ideas for 2017

In this era of large scale gatherings and mega churches, the idea of a small gathering around someone’s dining table seems unreal. But if you really think about it, the original church had a grand total of 12 members plus the leader that met in a home or by the water. That original small group is the basis of where you are now.

If you aren’t in a small group yet, the best thing you can do for your spiritual life is to find a group where you will grow.

But if you dear reader are already leading a small group, you’re probably chuckling or sighing to yourself: You know it’s not that easy.


Bible study ideas

Small group Bible study ideas

Publishing houses are here to help. If you’ve read and been inspired by their book, chances are they offer a small group study guide for you to share the things you’ve learned, and hopefully have others apply it to their lives, even teach it to others in their circle.

Below are recommendations on some of the best small group Bible study ideas. All are readily available, timely, and will surely strengthen you and those you lead.

1. Small Groups Leader Training Program

Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will your leadership skills.

This program is listed first with the best of intentions, your group will not blossom if you don’t have the right skills in leading one. This book will you teach you on how to among others create a safe space, give equal airtime to all the members, deal with group dynamics which are not always ideal, and most importantly facilitate Godly discussion.

So be equipped in order that you can equip.

This is the first in their series on developing leaders and equipping them with the right hard and soft skills for success. If you’d like to further your skills, check out their advanced courses at smallgroups.com. Rest assured that this program will contain some of the best small group Bible study ideas for the new year.

2. 3:16 by Max Lucado

We all know the verse: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

But then again do we really?

From the book of the same title, Pastor Lucado takes his inimitable Texas style and breaks down this verse that has converted many a believer. The study guide takes it even further by giving you the tools to share this almost word for word verse that is packed with so much meaning that it can inspire it’s own book.

3. What On Earth Am I Here For by Rick Warren

If you have copy of his bestseller The Purpose Driven Life, What On Earth Am I Here For is the subtitle. Whether they did this knowing they’d come up with another book I don’t know, but what I do know is this study guide is as inspiring as the book it is based on.

It’s just six sessions but most certainly a great study guide for any group at any level.

The Sessions are:

  1. You Matter to God
  2. You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure
  3. You Were Formed for God’s Family
  4. You Were Created to Become Like Christ
  5. You Were Shaped to Serve God
  6. You Were Made for a Mission

Awesome right?

4. 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Gary Chapman has been a marriage counselor for 30 years. His bestselling book has saved and helped countless marriages by teaching them that we all speak different love languages. The sooner we learn our spouse’s, the better we can express love to them.

What a wonderful idea then to make a group study guide, because this guide allows couples to open up about their problems and allow others to help them whether thru similar experiences or words of wisdom from the Bible. Dr Chapman spells out ways to make your discussion lively, make everyone feel safe for other couples to discuss their issue.

Chapman includes short questionnaires so that you can discover which is your and your spouse’s language and other sticky issues in marriage. He also includes practical application questions that can be answered more extensively.

Marriages need all the help they can get. This is probably one of the top 3 group guides that have saved innumerable ones.

5. Developing The Leader Within You by John Maxwell

John Maxwell is unique in the self help/business management book world. After 25 years as a pastor, he went full time into speaking and writing. He is the pre-eminent example of how we as Christians can impact not just churches, but the world.

He has always, and I’m sure will always have a Biblical perspective on our earthly dilemmas whether in self-improvement or marketplace success.

If you read him enough, you know that Mr. Maxwell talks about the importance of reproducing leaders. With this book, he has given us an even better tool to that end. He further distills the principles of his bestseller into actionable items.

This is a great resource for anyone wanting to lead a small group in the office or workplace and contains loads of small group Bible study ideas.

6. War Room Bible Study

You’ve seen the film, now do the study.

Based on the hit 2016 movie, the guide delves on the 5 important moments in the movie. It would be best if you had the DVD or Blu-ray so you can watch the 5 clips as a group.

Don’t think for a moment that this is a gimmick. The movie has touched thousands of lives, and they producers did well to create a study guide for those who either want to delve deeper or realized from the movie that they needed more. Just look at the 5 hard hitting sessions they tackle:

  1. Dealing with Spiritual Lukewarmness
  2. Christian Accountability
  3. Grasping Grace and the Gospel
  4. Engaging in Spiritual Warfare
  5. Trusting God in Prayer.

It’s encouraging to see the grace of God portrayed so well in mainstream media. For that alone we should be supporting this guide and using it in our small groups.

That’s the end of our list of best small group Bible study ideas. If you feel you are being called to lead a small group, don’t ignore it. God has a great plan and reward for those who teach his Word. Allow Him to lead you to become a blessing.

P.S. please feel free to leave any other study ideas in the comments section.

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