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

Summary–How to lead a small group: Meeting plan for church groups, home groups, cell groups, and small groups. Practical how-to-lead tips for small group leaders.

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

Seven steps to lead Christ-centered small group meetings




Doug Britton, MFT

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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, or you might not know how to lead 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 shows you how to lead small group. It 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. Also silently pray, asking God to help you lead the group.

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 chapter or 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

Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, MFT

Doug Britton, Bible-based Marriage and Family Therapist, has helped hundreds of thousands of people as a therapist, clinical director of a treatment center, seminar speaker, radio cohost, and author of over twenty books that show how to apply God's truths in your daily life. (Visit

Copyright © 2020 Doug Britton. Permission granted to print for personal use. (Scripture verses are from the New International Version, copyright © 1984.) See reprint policy.

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Icebreakers to get your small group talking

Evaluate your small group leadership skills

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