Small groups build community. Your  Sunday morning worship service may be warm and welcoming, and yet nothing brings people closer than sharing in a small group.

In this video, women’s minister Julie Woodruff of Long Hollow Baptist Church describes why small groups are so important to our spiritual health.

One quote in particular stands out to me:

“If you are aiming at community, you will miss it every time. But if you have a mission, community will happen.” 

In other words, we don’t have Bible studies for the sake of the fellowship. We meet with a purpose, for the sake of the mission, and the fellowship follows. That mission is the discipleship described in 1 Thessalonians 2:8. Community is a natural outcome when we meet to study God’s word and share our lives with one another

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 

~ I Thessalonians 2:8 (ESV


She lists several traits of successful leaders. I won’t list them all here, but I want to highlight a few:

    1. An effective leader loves people.
    2. An effective leader is growing in his/her walk with Christ.
    3. An effective leader is well-trained and prepared.
    4. An effective leader is transparent.

Julie Woodruff offers great wisdom and best practices in this short video, and if you’ve ever been involved in a small group, you’ll agree with the ideas she lists.

As the ministries at your church prepare to launch fall Bible studies, consider the mission. What can you do to help make your small group effective?