Small Group Structural Components

Welcome (initiates relationship)

  • Greet new people and help them feel valued.
  • Starts the moment someone is contacted & invited and then continues at group.
  • Establishes and models a relational foundation for entire group.

Opening Prayer

  • Invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide the small group time.
  • Prepares hearts for what God wants to do in the group.
  • Shifts attention from the individual to the group as a whole.
  • Places expectations on God.

Purpose of the Small Group (why we are in a small group)

  • To live out the Great Commandment in Matthew 22:37-38, to grow with God, love Him and each other.
  • To make biblical disciples in a relational environment (Jesus’ method and model).
  • To focus our hearts and minds on biblical community.
  • To live life intentionally on mission.

Guidelines (sets appropriate expectations)

  • Establishes clear boundaries for a healthy group (see guidelines sheet).
  • Helps establish a safe environment where everyone can share openly and honestly.
  • Provides biblical guidance for healthy conflict resolution.
  • Establishes the group start and stop time.

Icebreaker/Warm-Up/Group Connection Time/Worship

  • Intentional activity that sets the stage for transparency.
  • Helps create a safe environment.
  • Offers ‘low risk’ participation for people to share.
  • Options: game, testimony, hook question, or worship.

Topic/Story (Encounter God through His Word)

  • This is the ‘business’ of the group, being before God.
  • Curriculum, Bible story, agenda, etc., serve as a tool to discover, learn and grow.

Take Away/Recap/Application (Faith in Action)

  • Discuss implications of passage - how my beliefs have been challenged by truth.
  • Application - What do I need to do in light of God’s truth?
  • Challenge to grow beyond present.


  • Recognizes what was accomplished in the group.
  • Thank group for participating, praise God, encouragement.

Prayer Time

  • Re-focuses our attention to God and His provision.
  • Pray through key subject matter and the implications/applications, personal requests, group needs, praise God.