My wife loves to decorate. This is especially true when we’re hosting a family meal as 12 or so people crowd in around a large oval table. In the middle of that table is a centerpiece. Because she loves flowers, that centerpiece is often made up of flowers from our garden. And usually the flowers are so tall they’re the unavoidable center of attention. There’s no getting around a well-chosen, inescapable centerpiece. When a small group gathers, the centerpiece of the experience should be the Bible. Please know, I’m not suggesting placing a 50-pound King James on a table in the center of the room. I’m talking about being certain the small group discussion remains focused on the Word of God. In order for this to happen, you might want to consider the following suggestions:
Start each group meeting reading a passage of Scripture.
Before starting the Bible study time, pray that God would aid the group in finding out what God is saying and that opinions would be overridden, if necessary, by the truth found in God’s Word. When the conversation becomes a series of opinions verbalized, recalibrate the group back toward God’s Word. You might even say something like, “All of these thoughts are super. But just so we don’t miss what we’re after, let’s search to find out what the Bible says about this issue?”
Remind the group often that God is the ultimate authority on all issues.
We find out what He has to say about things in the Bible. Let several ideas circle the conversational runway, but be certain the truth found in God’s Word is what lands.
Rick Howerton has one passion — to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.” He is pursuing this passion as the small group and discipleship specialist at Lifeway Church Resources.