Your Quick Start Guide to Leading Life Groups
Have you ever been in a high-pressure situation? One in which you needed to know the facts, but had to act quickly? Imagine a friend needed YOU to jump in and lead their life group at the last minute. What would you need to know? These principles can serve as your quick-start guide:
- Be a people engager – Use the social time with your group to find out how people are really doing and how you can pray for them later in the group. If somebody is new, build connections. Also, don’t underestimate the power of “breaking bread together” and how food helps people let their guard down and build relationships with others.
- Be an Immanuel acknowledger – Open your group in prayer and recognize how our God is Immanuel, “God with us.” Remind them that Jesus is in your midst. Where God’s Presence is, there is power to transform lives, so every group meeting should be life-changing (Matthew 18:20). Call out the things you believe God is going to do in people’s lives. Believe for each group member and pray for them by name!
- Be a temperature-setter – Group leaders create environments where the Acts 2:42-47 kind of community can grow. One of the keys to helping a group go deeper in relationship with one another is authenticity. The more real you are, the more vulnerable others will be, so set the pace and be courageous by being completely yourself! This will help people to feel more at ease, opening up to others, and participating more in the group.
- Be a Scripture sower – The primary catalyst for spiritual growth is reading and reflecting on God’s Word. It transforms us from the inside out because it is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). So use every opportunity to refer people back to the Bible, pray Scripture aloud, and weave biblical references into your conversations.
- Be Jesus-focused – Use the conversation around your study to point people to Jesus and what He has done for us. Think of Paul, who said, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Turning people’s attention to Jesus creates an atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving. Make your group Christ-centered, not curriculum-centered, and invite the Holy Spirit to have His way.
- Be generous in love – To follow Jesus’ example is to love others. Leaders who are rich in love earn the privilege of influencing people spiritually. Take time to learn people’s unique stories, listen to their needs, and pray for their dreams. Generous love does not limit its reach only to those within the group’s circle, but stretches to those who have yet to be transformed by God’s love (Matthew 25:40). A group will never grow to its full potential if it does not reach beyond the needs of its own members.
Biblical community will grow when you exercise these principles. Along the way, you’ll experience the thrill of being used by God to inspire real growth in His people, and helping those who have yet to know Him, find their way home.