It doesn’t take much to lead a sermon discussion in your small group. With a little preparation and some good questions, you’ll be ready to go.
1. Announce it. Our groups will be discussing the Sunday sermon. Everyone is encouraged to listen to and take notes in preparation. If unable to attend, the sermon is uploaded on Tuesdays under the resources tab.
2. Apply the sermon yourself. To lead a good discussion, be sure to prepare yourself. Listen to the sermon, think about the connections and implications, and pray for insight and conviction from the Spirit. Bring some personal applications to share in case the group discussion slows down.
3. Read the Bible passage. Reading the Bible passage will start your discussion with the proper focus.
4. Ask open-ended questions. Begin the discussion by asking for broad takeaways from the passage or sermon. This gives an opportunity for people to share what God is teaching them. Conversations that drift into criticism of the preacher aren’t usually productive, so be prepared to steer the conversation back to the Bible.
5. Ask application questions. Here is the heart of the discussion. Most of the work of observation and interpretation should be completed by the preacher during the sermon. Your small group provides a great setting to go deep on application. The sermon may include several application questions. Use these questions as starters, but follow the conversation naturally into other areas of application.
Here are several ways to think about application. The two directions of application are Inward and Outward.
Inward - How is God calling us to change, become more Christ-like? Outward – how is God calling us to change how we live with others? And the three spheres of application: Head, Hands, Heart.
The Head – everything you think and believe, the Hands – everything you do, and the Heart – who you are, what you desire, your character, your identity, this is about what’s on the inside, not behavior.
6. Ask about obstacles to application. We can dream up all the applications we wish—putting them into practice is the difficult part. Once the group discusses a few concrete applications of the passage, ask what might get in the way of the changes you’re proposing.
7. Pray! Real change in our lives doesn’t happen because of a sermon, an insight, or a small group discussion. The goal of meeting in a small group is transformation. We need the Holy Spirit’s powerful, transforming work to help us glorify God. Before your small group adjourns, be sure to commit your applications to God.