Being a small group leader can be both rewarding and daunting. As group leaders, we are shepherds of our people, called to care for and guide them towards growth in their relationship with the Lord. While it isn't up to us to have all the answers to difficult questions, it is our responsibility to point them towards the place that does.
Scripture promises to be sufficient for all we need in life (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The problem is knowing where to begin studying and how to encourage others to do the same. Below are four simple steps to help you and your members dive deeper in your study of scripture.
First, take a moment to survey the big picture. Consider what comes before and after the passage you're studying. How does this passage relate to the chapter or book as a whole?
Take some time to consider who, what, when, where, why and how. Also, look for words or themes that tend to repeat. Finally, what questions come to mind as you look over this passage?
In this stage, we take all the pieces we've discovered from observation and put them together to come to an understanding of what the author was trying to say to the original audience. Work carefully to avoid bringing a 21st century view to the text. Allow the text to shape your view of the 21st century.
Ask two questions about the passage as you work to allow it to transform your heart and mind. First, what does this passage reveal about my sin? Second, how does this passage point to Christ's redemption?