Simple 3 Step Approach to Lead a Small Group

Leading a small group doesn't have to be complicated...

Look at the simplicity of how the apostles approached leading small groups. They discipled believers by visiting people, writing letters, and praying for them.


We can do that too.


The best way to mentor others and lead a small group is by giving them your time. Meeting weekly for encouragement and loving accountability is powerful and effective for your growth as well.


You do not need to be an expert.


We have a simple approach to help you lead a small group with an intentional focus on disciple-making.*

How to Lead a Small Group in 3 Easy Steps

Divide your group’s time into the following three parts, and invite the Holy Spirit to take over:

1. Past


  • What are you grateful for from this past week? 
  • What is a concern?


One person prays and invites God to lead this time together.



Review the goals set from the prior week to lovingly hold each other accountable.



Establish a mission when your group first meets. Then review the group’s mission and vision (e.g., enjoy God and exalt Him. Or, be a disciple who makes disciples.)

2. Present


Read a passage of Scripture twice in different translations, if available.


  • What do you learn about God?
  • What do you learn about people?
  • What does God want you to know, value, or do?

On occasion, consider using this time to learn a disciple-making training tool, like the ones we have on our resource page such as how to share your testimony or how to abide in Christ.


If you use a tool to lead your small group, be sure to practice these tools together before moving on.

3. Future

Set Goals:

Invite everyone to pray silently, asking God how we should respond.



  • How can you act on what you learned?
  • Who will you train with this passage?
  • With whom will you share the gospel?

Record & Share Goals:

Each person in the small group sets and can record their goals in their journal or phone. Then spend some time letting everyone share their goals with the group.



Have one person close the meeting in prayer.


God made us to have community with one another.

Lead a small group well—use our simple 3 step approach to lead a small group or a weekly gathering |

Leading a small group helps you grow authentic relationships and gives you a community of believers who can go through life together—both the good times and the tough times.


Whether you lead a small group in your church, at a coffee shop, inside your home, or online, this simple approach takes any away stress since there is no preparation or expertise needed. By using this simple outline, anyone can serve as a leader.


That’s the point. Be a disciple who makes disciples. Unleash group participants to lead their own small group, so others encounter Jesus.

3 Steps to
Lead a Small Group

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Use the past, present, and future as a group to stay focused on God’s mission for all of us—know God and make Him known.


By keeping it simple, you can focus more on encouragement, learning from God’s Word, and helping each other be disciple makers for Jesus.


*All In Ministries combined its “Past, Present, Future” approach to weekly gatherings with #NoPlaceLeft’s 3/3rd approach to small groups. 

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