Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Small Group Preparedness

Books and discussion guides are an excellent method of generating content and keeping the group’s progress on track throughout the span of the semester. For groups that may not have the discussion materials prepared beforehand (or for those looking for more ideas), here might be a few principles to utilize to your next group meeting’s content:

Preparedness provides direction…
Proverbs 16:1-3: “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
Although the Holy Spirit moves freely and should not be restricted by our agenda, we also would do a disservice to our group members by not coming to the table prepared enough. By reading through and praying over the text beforehand, we leaders are able to jot down discussion questions and fresh observations to share with the group. If the Holy Spirit shifts the conversation in a different direction slightly from what was prepared, that’s ok! But just as a nature tourist guide can enjoy the view and discover new things along with their group, they first must know the path ahead so that they can properly guide their group through the trail and make it out without getting lost in the thicket.

Preparedness helps us listen better…
Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”
By having content prepared in advance, we are able to have more opportunity to listen to the Spirit’s direction. Our preparedness does not necessarily give more freedom to an all-powerful God, however it will position us small group leaders to better hear the direction of the Holy Spirit. Rushing the preparation phase or pulling things together in a last-minute fashion may run the risk of neglecting time for prayer. I know from personal experience, content that I had prayed over and reviewed throughout the week leading up to the day always felt like it was more polished and better suited to the group than the days that I quickly pulled things together.

Remember, proper prior planning prevents poor performance! May the Lord richly bless the time that your groups are coming together for fellowship and community.

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