4B’s of Leading a Small Group

Before the class
The session leader should arrive at least 15 minutes early to prepare the classroom.  This includes:

– Preparing refreshments (coffee, snacks, etc.), if any
– Arranging the room as needed (chair placement, providing extra Bibles, preparing name tags, etc.)
– Queuing AV equipment and/or writing points on white board
– Greeting attenders as they arrive for class (especially new attenders)

Beginning the class
The leader or assigned person should record the roll.  If applicable, do the following:

– Enroll new attenders who wish to join the class, using an enrollment form or providing the information on the roll list (name, address, phone, email, birthday).
– Record visitor information (as above).
– Place the completed roll list and new member or visitor information where it is routinely picked up.

New attenders should receive attention!  Be sure they are cordially welcomed and made to feel like they’re part of the class.

As attenders arrive, be sure they are offered refreshments, if provided.

Always start class with prayer.  Here are several suggestions on leading a brief prayer session:

– You, the leader, simply lead in an opening prayer.

– Or:  Call class to prayer.  Then, ask attenders to pray silently (or even aloud) for several things that you’ll mention during the prayer session.  Give enough time for response.  Examples to mention are:  stated prayer requests, the pastor and/or other staff, an upcoming event, family members, someone in the hospital, the country, military, etc.  Likewise, ask attenders to pray for you as you lead the class.

– Or:  Begin the class with prayer then prayerfully announce that a few moments will be given for attenders to pray silently or aloud; then you, the leader, close the prayer time.

– Or:  If you want someone else to lead the prayer time, be sure to ask them before class begins.  Do not put anyone on the spot.

Body of the class
Using the Bible and any chosen curriculum, lead the class in an intentional way through Bible study.  For assistance, see How to Teach the Bible.

(NOTE:  You can receive assistance or orientation to the material or topic from those who lead the Christian Education ministry of the church, i.e., the ministerial staff.  They welcome your communication as you prepare the lesson in advance of class.)

Be sure the following are observed:

– Lead an orderly (systematic) lesson, one that begins with a STATEMENT of the lesson’s objective and ends by getting there.  Write the statement on the board, distribute it in written form, or at least speak it aloud.  Reference it during class, letting it be your guide and goal.

– Read the focus Scripture and any specific Bible references.  Of Bible reading is shared, be sensitive to who is asked to read aloud.

– Prepare discussion questions and encourage dialogue – do not lecture or cut short the discussion.

– Rabbits always run in circles so if one is chased, be a good hunter and bring it back home.

– If controversy arises and you, the leader, sense it is going nowhere, just end it – follow the Bible, not opinion.

– Discover Jesus and the Cross in any and all Bible studies.  For assistance when studying the Old Testament, see How to Discover Jesus in the Old Testament.

– Offer a way to apply the lesson.  Challenge attenders to act on the lesson’s objective.  Also, offer key words or phrases that attenders can reflect on that week.  This latter suggestion is a good way to conclude the body of the lesson.

Bringing the class to an end
As stated in the last point above, make sure there is some level of application.  Attenders should leave class knowing that they should do something about what they’ve just learned.  Be inspirational!

Dismiss with prayer and/or an inspirational story or illustration, or even a song.

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