The Spirit-filled small group

The source of your small group’s power will determine its impact

Hilary Foye · 4 min read

Ever been in a power outage?

Depending on where you live, blackouts might be a rare or daily event. But we know that without electricity, some of the things within your home suddenly become useless. Your computer might be state-of-the-art, and your TV might have every channel going, but without a power source, these capabilities are completely irrelevant.

No Christian can accomplish anything for God without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. He is the power source of our witness and ministry. He weaves our individual personalities, gifts, and passions together to form colourful and vibrant communities of faith that demonstrate the gospel in word and deed.

Yet, when we become used to guiding a group or participating in discussion, it can become so easy to stop relying upon the Spirit’s leading and trust instead in our own training, experience, or personal charisma.

Consider six ways your small group can remain “strengthened with power through his Spirit” (Acts 20:31) as you study God’s Word together, and grow into the calling He has for you

1. Prayer

“…We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us...” (Rom. 8:26)

We know praying for one another is instrumental to seeing God’s growth, but perhaps you’ve found yourself overwhelmed about who or what to pray for. The good news is that no Christian has ever prayed alone; when you do not know how to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes on your behalf; translating and transforming your wandering words and thoughts before the Lord.

When someone in your small group feels lost and weary, through the Holy Spirit’s power you can offer strength, support, and clarity through your loving prayers for them.

2. Presence

“…he will give you another advocate to help you…” (John 14:16)

No Christian has ever been without the Holy Spirit’s presence and help. This word ‘advocate’ can also be translated as “Comforter”, “Counselor", "Friend", “Helper”, or ‘One who is coming to stand by you.’

Can you take special note of the times you’ve experienced the present help of the Holy Spirit when feelings of fear, failure or loneliness threatened to control you? Now, how can you be present with your small group members to comfort, counsel, offer truth from God’s Word, and stand by them in times of difficulty?

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3. Participation

“… the gifts of the Spirit are “given for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7).

Do you want your Bible study to be a place where people feel empowered to participate? When the Spirit comes, He illuminates the Word to bring life, growth, depth, enrichment, and holy relationships. No Christian was ever meant to serve God on their own. We come together to benefit and to invest; to build up and to be built up.

How can you thank God today for the gifts other Group Members have that you don’t? And what blessings has God given you that you can invest into others - for their good, and God’s glory?

4. Potential

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion...” (Phil 1:6)

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Self-confidence promises us much but only feels good until we inevitably mess up. No Christian should place confidence in their own abilities. Instead, we place our trust in God who draws His potential out of us. Only the Holy Spirit can sanctify and refine us, burning off the impurities in our lives and bringing us forth as His gold.

God will perfect and complete the salvation work He’s begun in each person in your small group. Your role? To place your confidence in His ability to finish the saving and sanctifying work He’s started. Who in your group is feeling discouraged? How can you confidently assure them God has promised to realise His potential in them?

5. Passion

“And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there…” (Acts 20:22)

Spirit-inspired passions compel courageous action. Want to see your small group step into the fullness of God’s purposes? No Christian is without a God-given mission. Help one another cultivate your unique God-given passions and direct them in wholehearted service. Whether it’s intercession, hospitality, mercy, or service, let what fires your group up fire your group forward into purpose.

6. Power

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

No Christian is without God’s power to do what He has called them to do. If you’re ever tempted to live or lead in your own limited strength, remember the Holy Spirit:

prays with you and for you

… is your ever-present comfort and help

… gives you gifts for the common good

… is the Perfecter of your group’s potential

propels passion into purpose

… is your only true power source for witness and service!

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Want to learn more?

Want to make your WordGo Gathering a great place for identifying and growing God-given abilities in each other? Or perhaps you’d love someone to come alongside and facilitate with you? In this blog series, we’ll explore two more 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 guide by example

How to equip others

How to aim for expansion