Tools for Mentoring

Four Components of a Small Group

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How to Lead a Small Group
Components of a Small Group
Small Group Guidelines
Practical Solutions to Common Small Group Dilemmas
Leading an Effective Discussion
Feedback for Discussion Facilitators
Relationship Builders
Worship Ideas for Small Groups
Prayer Ideas for Small Groups
Praying with Others

Your small group experience together can consist of four elements: connection, Bible discussion, prayer and/or worship, and mission. By participating in these four components together, the group members begin to fulfill their purpose: to know and worship God, connect in community, and participate in His mission in the world.

Plan your regular meetings around the four components. The percentage of time you spend on each element may flex from week to week. For example, the first couple of meetings, spend more time connecting so people can begin to build community, and do a shorter Bible discussion. Balance it out during the following group meetings. You can jot down your ideas using something like the planning grid at the end of this article.  

Often the components overlap. For example, pray regularly for yet-to-believe friends—prayer and mission. Or spend a couple of weeks learning to communicate the gospel message—Bible discussion and mission.

Although you plan your regular meetings to include all four elements, once in a while, you can spend an entire meeting time on one or two. For example, you may prayer-walk around a group member's workplace—prayer and mission. Or make Christmas cookies together—connecting. Or pray for each person in the group—prayer. Or write your own psalms of worship to God—worship. Whether you plan those times or the Holy Spirit orchestrates them organically, pick up the other components the next time you meet.

What each component looks like:

Connection (suggested 20 minutes): Build community through life sharing.


Bible discussion (suggested 30 minutes): Facilitate meaningful discussion and life application of Bible passages.


Prayer and/or worship (suggested 15-25 minutes): Pray for each other's needs and/or worship Jesus.


Mission (various amounts of time): Pray for those yet to believe, tell your story and the gospel, and meet practical needs.  


Idea Planning Grid



Bible Discussion



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Sept. 24





Oct. 1







Build Your Own Bible Study
Small Group Helps
One-on-One Discipleship
Free Bible Studies
Refusing Bitterness: Joy's Story
Chi Alpha Campus Missionary In Training Objectives
Father Heart of God Seminar
Appointment Information


Regular small group help and advice on Facebook


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