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God does big things through small groups. He heals, unifies, encourages, and equips. Christ trained his twelve apostles in a small group. It was while participating in a small group of leaders in the Antioch church that Paul and Barnabas heard God speak—calling them to international missions (Acts 13:1-3). Essentially, all believers owe something to those initial small groups. As with Paul, small group ministry has greatly affected a number of us. Some met their best friends in a small group; some met their spouses; others were healed and carried through difficult seasons by the love of their small group members. Some heard their call or reheard their call to ministry in the midst of a group. God does big things through small groups. When two or more are gathered in his name, he is in the midst of them to bless and answer their prayers (Matt 18:19-20).

In this study, we will look at the WHY of small group leadership. Why should we participate in and lead them? We will consider the WHAT of small group leadership, as we look at types of small groups, their elements, and their focus. We will look at the WHO of small group leadership, as we consider qualities of good small group leaders. Christ said it is good enough for a student to be like his teacher (Matt 10:25). In one sense, small group leaders set the spiritual ceiling for the group and individual members. Therefore, small group leaders have a special calling. Finally, we’ll look at the HOW of small group leadership, as we consider the skills of a leader, the basic order of a small group meeting, and a sample lesson.

Much of the content in this study won’t be new, especially to veteran leaders, but it should reaffirm and encourage both new and old leaders in their calling and ministry. In addition, hopefully, small group leaders will pick up a skill or two and be more confident in their frontline ministry of discipling others through small groups. May God bless your study and ministry.

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