Summary: This step-by-step meeting plan for small groups or cell groups is easy to follow and will help you lead a successful small group. Whether you are studying the Bible or another book, it will help you structure your meetings, have icebreakers, generate discussions, and assign homework. For Christ-centered small groups and all types of small groups.

Summary: Meeting plan for church groups, home groups, cell groups, and small groups.

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Step-by-Step Small Group/Cell Group Meeting Plan

Seven Steps for Christ-Centered Small Group Meetings

Doug Britton, MFT

Small group members listen as they follow seven-step meeting plan

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25)

Introduction to a seven-step small group meeting

You know that something wonderful can happen when a group of people gets together to study what God has to say. Yet you might feel intimidated at the thought of leading a small group. If so, you aren’t alone. I have led groups and taught classes hundreds of times. Before beginning many of them, I thought I wasn’t up to the task. Yet time after time, I prayed for God’’s help and he came through.

Related: Benefits of small groups (cell groups)

Whatever the topic you are studying, this easy to follow seven-step meeting plan can help you lead great small group Bible studies (or studies of other books). May God bless you as you lead your group.


Your first small group meeting

Introduce yourself and tell a little about your life. Ask everyone to introduce himself or herself. Discuss ground rules such as:

  • Speak courteously and respectfully.
  • Read the chapter you will study ahead of time.
  • Keep everything said in the group confidential.


The seven steps for a small group meeting

Step 1. Start the meeting with prayer.

Ask God to bless each person and to help everyone be open to what God says as you study.


Step 2. Have an icebreaker (optional).

Ask everyone a fun, easy question.

Related: Small group icebreakers


Step 3. Read the memory verse as a group.

If the book you are studying has a memory verse, read this verse out loud as a group. Encourage everyone to memorize it.


Step 4. Review key points in the pages you are studying.

Read the bold-faced text or headings that introduce points you think would be most useful for your group to discuss. Explain how they affect you personally. Ask group members to share what they got out of these points.

Related: Prevent small group disasters


Step 5. Ask questions to generate group discussions.

Ask questions about what you have read. Include factual or doctrinal questions as well as personal application questions.

Related: Ten open-ended questions to ask in any type of small group study

Related: Questions to ask in any small group Bible study


Step 6. Assign homework.

Ask the group to read the next chapter before your next meeting.


Step 7. Close in prayer.

Ask for prayer requests, then pray for everyone to grow in the area you studied and for each prayer request. One person could pray for the group or members could pray for each other.


Your last small group meeting

When you complete a study, ask if the small group would like to study another book.

Next: Evaluate your small group leadership skills

How to Lead a Christ-Centered Small Group

Growing as a leader, solving common problems

First Things First

Learning about God's nature, becoming a disciple

Who Do You Think You Are?

Enjoying God's love and discovering your purpose in life

Victory Over Grumpiness, Irritation, and Anger

Bible-based steps to handle difficult situations with grace

In the Bookstore

First Things First


Understanding God’s nature

Who Do You Think You Are?


See yourself as God sees you

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Copyright © 2013, 2016 Doug Britton. (Permission granted to print for personal use.)

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible verses are from the 1984 New International Version.

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