Guiding by example.

What does it mean to guide your small group by example?

Hannah Hartmann · 4 min read
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9)

Self-examination isn’t fun. Who enjoys criticism or a long hard look in the mirror on our worst day? If you tried to hold a magnifying glass over my heart, I would run! But God knows everything about our worst features, and still He calls flawed people to step out in service.

We must see our weakness to rely completely on God’s inexhaustible strength and glorify Him within our hearts and community. As a small group Guide, you have the privilege of pointing God’s people back to His Word amidst life’s joys and hardships. But to guide Bible study by biblical example, we need to continually check our example in light of the One who called us.

Guide your small group by example and self-examine two things:

...your relationship with the Lord

...your relationship with your community

1. Relationship with the Lord

A genuine heart for service flows out of a relationship with the Lord. Dependence on Him grows in time spent with Him, and love for God becomes the true motivation to guide others. So how’s your relationship looking? Is it...


Do you immerse yourself in His Word beyond prepping group Bible study? Is it brightening your everyday? Your small group involvement cannot overshadow your personal devotion. Set aside quiet time for you and Him alone; God has every ability to grow your passion for Him and to make your passion contagious to your group members!


Do you hide any of yourself from Him? Nothing about you surprises God. He’s called you and prepared every challenge as a Group Guide to sharpen you. Do you take comfort in His personal design? Personal confidence in your Creator preserves you amidst imperfect people.

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Do you delight in speaking with God? He’s faithful whether we’re fervent or failing, but sometimes we forget prayer is His gift of communication - anytime we confess, praise, give thanks, and ask - God makes His nearness known. Communication with God always transforms your words to others.

“...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matt 20:28)
2. Relationship with your community

A biblical servant leader is called to love those the Lord has also called and loves. Read that again. Then, let’s self-examine in light of Jesus - the ultimate servant leader example who walked amidst humanity. He...

Professed the Truth

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” (John 6:47)

In Jesus’s ministry He spoke the truth of His deity and gospel “openly to the world,” even to His death (John 18:20). Do you speak the truth of Scripture into your community? Christ's truth doesn’t change with our opinions or emotions. When your small group discussion falters, or conflicts arise, do you ask the Holy Spirit to help you guide back to the Word?

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Protected His Own

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd. He assures us no one may snatch His sheep from His hand; He mightily secures those He loves for eternity. In your small group, are you taking good care of one another as God’s sheep? You cannot give salvation or protect someone’s eternal future, but are you guarding each another’s confidence, listening intently, laying down irritation for patience, and returning to your post out of love for the true Shepherd?

Pointed to God

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” (John 6:38)

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When Jesus shared the gospel, He always pointed to His Father as the one to whom glory and power belonged. He spoke of His Father’s will and work as “My food...” (John 4:34) Biblical service begins and ends with God’s sovereignty. Every moment of guiding your small group lends an opportunity to honor Him, praise Him, and point to who He is. Can you relish the fact it’s really not about you and all about God?

To guide your Bible study by Biblical example,

... examine your relationship with the Lord

... examine your relationship with your community, and

... point to Him and away from yourself in everything – He is the only example we need to promote.

Want to learn more?

Want to make your WordGo Gathering a great place for identifying and growing God-given abilities in others? Or perhaps you’d love someone to come alongside and facilitate with you? In this blog series, we’ll explore strategies for developing and discipling one another. Join us!

... How to identify new guides

How to set clear expectations

How to encourage well

How to empower one another

How to equip others

How to aim for expansion