Steve’s Tips

by Steve Gladen

Are your small groups getting in a rut? Looking for a way to take their relationships with God and with each other to a new level? Give them suggestions for incorporating the biblical purposes into their small groups!


Meet with another small group either from your church or another church. A shared Bible study like that can be a tool for Christian growth as well as an opportunity to establish fellowship with another group. Discuss with the other group any unique aspects of their meetings and glean ideas for new ways to approach your own Bible study time.


Conduct a group experiment: Commit to turn off your televisions for one week. Encourage members to include their children in this experiment and to explain to them why they are doing this. Each day use one of the hours you would normally spend in front of the television to read the Bible or a classic book on Christianity. If you aren’t sure which book to choose, ask one of your church leaders. At your next group meeting, take some time to discuss your experiences with living a “television-less” lifestyle.


Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. How well does your group function as a body? What could you do to improve your teamwork? What role can and does the Holy Spirit play in the functioning of the body of Christ? Also discuss which part of the body of Christ different people in the group represent. For example, if Mary is a good listener, she would be an ear in the body of Christ.


Plan a special small group meeting that is designed with seekers in mind (friends of yours who are open to the gospel and seeking the Truth). You’ll definitely want to think outside the small group box in order to help a seeker feel at home. Work hard to create a comfortable, no-pressure environment.


During group time make a house call to a member or two who haven’t been able to attend. Stop by for a few minutes, drop off some goodies, and move on. You could say, “We missed you coming to the group, so we brought the group to you!” Be sure to ask how you can pray for the person you’re visiting and pray right then and there.

Join me next month for more suggestions!

Steve Gladen is the Pastor of Small Group Community at Saddleback Church and founder of the PDSGN.

For more tips like these, read 250 Big Ideas for Purpose Driven Small Groups.

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