Essential Practices for the Small Group Leader #1: Personal Time with God

If you are a small group Bible study leader, Sunday School teacher, cell-group leader, etc., there are some basic, essential practices that you need to follow if you wish to be effective.  I’ll share my list over a series of posts.

CB006514The first and foundational essential practice is the personal time you spend with God in prayer and reading the Bible. This should be separate from your time spent preparing a Bible study lesson.


When we prepare a Bible study lesson, we approach scripture with an agenda. That is, we have to put together a lesson plan for our target audience (the group) that must be shared within a certain time-frame on a particular date (the deadline). To do this, we have to narrow our focus to specific themes or priciples with specific application. Certainly, a teacher can (hopefully) benefit personally from such preparation, but it forces the preparation agenda on your personal time with God. Such a limitation isn’t healthy in the long run.

Our time with God should be flexible, allowing God to direct our thoughts, our growth and our actions as we seek to know Him. The best way to do that is to keep one’s devotional time and preparation time separate. Yes, that requires discipline to take the time to do both. I believe it’s worth it.

Much has already been written about how to have a personal time with God, so I’ll be brief. My suggestion is that you set aside a specific time and place where you can be undisturbed. Bring your Bible, a notepad or journal, and any devotional reading material you find helpful. Enjoy the freedom of reading scripture without any agenda other than allowing God to speak to you, and you alone! Write down those special insights you receive as you spend time with the Lord in prayer and study. You’ll find that as your intimacy with God grows deeper, you will become a better teacher. But more important than that, you will gain a greater sense of peace, wonder and joy as you get to know and love Him more deeply.

Explore posts in the same categories: Teaching - Preparation

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