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Small Group Resources

Practical tips, video resources, and encouragement for a healthy small group.

5 Tips for Multigenerational Small Group Leaders

Here are five practices to help your multigenerational small group thrive.

When I was in my late twenties, I joined my first multigenerational small group.

I’d spent my whole life in stage-of-life groups with people like me—guys with similar interests and struggles. Those groups made connecting with other Christians easy, but this new group was a challenge. I felt I had little in common with the retired empty-nesters and college students in my living room. I struggled to ignore the chaos of the toddlers playing on the floor. And I had no clue how to counsel married couples.

But I hadn’t simply joined the group; I had been asked to lead it.

The people in my small group watched movies I’d never heard of, inhabited various corners of social media, held opposing political views, and even had different ideas on how to live the Christian life. How was I going to lead this group, much less help them build friendships with each other across their diversity?

I was facing the big challenge of multigenerational groups: connection. Because we gravitate to people like us, diversity can feel uncomfortable. But if we stick with the tension of getting outside of our bubble, we can find the richness of the body of Christ in all of our unique gifts, experiences, and wisdom.

Every group is different, and leaders can try many strategies to help their group form good, lasting relationships. But, as the leader, you need a strategy to help people overcome feeling disconnected from other group members.

As a start, here are five practices you can try out to help your group thrive:

1. Create a welcoming atmosphere.

Leading a healthy small group is like gardening: we can prepare the soil and water the seeds but only God can make the seeds sprout and grow. You can’t force friendships, but you can create a place for them to grow.

Think about the times you have felt most welcome in someone else’s home—what did they do that made you feel comfortable and appreciated? You don’t have to throw a dinner party; sometimes people just need to be asked about their day. Find the person standing on their own and strike up a conversation with him or her. Or if there is a young mother in your group, think about setting aside a space for her infant to sleep or nurse. A little consideration can make everyone who visits your group to feel valued.

2. Be curious.

The people in your group have a wealth of experiences and wisdom—far beyond what you as a leader have on your own. Instead of worrying about what you need to teach, think about the questions you can ask the people in your group. What do you want to know about them? What insights do they have that would bless the rest of your group? What have they learned about God and his faithfulness

If you have a hard time thinking of good questions, that’s okay! Most RightNow Media Original series come with free study guides full of great questions so that you can worry less about preparing lessons and focus more on the people in your group.

3. Spend time together outside of your small group.

Everyone is busy, and it can feel like a struggle to make it to small group every week. But if you want your members to share their lives with each other, you will need to spend time together outside of your small group meeting. Don’t make it too complicated—you could get coffee with one person in your group each week or coordinate group lunch after church on Sunday. The more casual interactions you have with people in your group, the faster you will build meaningful relationships with them.

4. Serve together.

Every church has different goals for their small groups, but we all share the same mission: to make disciples and build God’s kingdom on earth. And nothing brings a group together like working as a team. Talk to your group about the causes and groups of people God has called them to serve. What need can your group meet? If your group has little kids, consider partnering with a local non-profit that can be flexible in the way you serve and are open to family friendly projects. Or find a place to serve as a group in your local church—if you get stuck, ask your pastor or other group leaders for ideas.

5. Be patient.

No one wants the relationships in their group to remain shallow. Getting together week after week to talk about news, sports, or the weather is, quite frankly, boring. We want our groups to be hubs of deep community marked by friendships, support, guidance, prayer, and evangelism. But meaningful friendships don’t happen overnight. It can take months (or longer) for a group to feel like a community. Don’t get discouraged when relationships don’t progress as quickly as you would like. In time, God will weave people together in ways you had not imagined. Don’t give up.

The first few months of your small group will be the most challenging as people push through awkwardness and build friendships with one another. In my group, some of the most unexpected people—people who did not immediately click with one another—ended up best friends and were in each other’s weddings. They’ve built families alongside one another, leaning on each other’s wisdom and support.

Building a community is difficult, but it is far from impossible. With a little intentionality, a little time, and a lot of trust in God, the members of your group can become some of the most important people in your life.  

Qualities of an Effective Small Group Leader

The best small group leaders are far from perfect, but they do share some traits in common that you can easily add to your own life and small group leadership.

So, you’re about to lead a small group, maybe for the first time, and you’re sure your pastor made a mistake in asking you to lead this group. You may be feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and a little anxious at the thought of someone asking a question you don’t know the answer to. How can you, a normal person, lead a small group?

For some reason, we often think Bible study leaders have to be the smartest person in the room, armed with quick, charming, and compelling answers for every question. Good leaders host their small group in a pristine home or know the coolest place in town to chat over coffee. They’re stylish, funny, brilliant, put-together, and BFFs with Jesus. Now, we know small group leaders aren’t all of those things but—for whatever reason—we are sure we have to be that kind of leader. 

The truth is you don’t have to be perfect in order to be effective. You don’t even need to be perfect in order to be a great small group leader. The best small group leaders are actually far from perfect, but they do share some traits in common that you can easily add to your own life. 

Great small group leaders are guides, not gurus.

Take a second to answer this question: What makes small group leaders different than the people they are leading?

Many of us think leaders are gurus—perfect, all-knowing, wise ones who know the Bible inside and out and can answer any question. But gurus make really bad small group leaders. They tend to make group meetings all about themselves, their knowledge, and their insights. It’s pretty hard to focus on Jesus when the leader is making the group about themselves. 

The most effective small group leaders are guides. They have a map, know what trail they are on, and know where they are headed. Their leadership is not about getting everyone to focus on them but on avoiding dangers and making progress towards their destination. 

Your small group time is not about you; it’s about Jesus. Your responsibility is to keep people focused on him, becoming more like him, and making him known. 

But what if you don’t have the answer to a tough question? A guru would be threatened because it would challenge their status as the all-knowing leader. But a guide? Guides aren’t threatened because they have the “maps” of God’s Word, the support of church staff, and an abundance of great resources for answering tough questions at their fingertips. Guides actually become more helpful when tough questions come up.

If you don’t know an answer, be honest: “I don’t know, but I will try to find an answer for our meeting next week.” Which brings us to the second quality of effective leaders.

Great small group leaders are prepared.

It’s like legendary basketball coach John Wooden said,

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” 

Being prepared doesn’t mean you have to outline your meeting minute by minute, but you should know what you are going to cover in your group that week. Take time to look over the Bible verses, study questions, and any resources you will be using. Preparation will look different for everyone, so find a method that works best for you.

The most effective small groups aren’t thrown together last second; they are the result of a prepared leader prayerfully thinking through the time they are about to spend in God’s Word. After all, if you are a guide, you need to know your map!

But being prepared does not mean you have to teach your group because… 

Great small group leaders see their groups as communities, not classrooms.

You don’t have to be a seminary professor or pastor to be a great group leader. You simply need to facilitate conversation. Think of your group as a community rather than a classroom. Your goal in the group is to help the church grow in spirit and in truth, not ace a Bible quiz. 

Ask an opening question and wait for people to start talking (it’s okay to endure a little awkwardness). If your group starts running down a rabbit trail, gently point them back to the topic at hand. Ask open-ended questions. Try to get everyone involved in the conversation. At the end of your time, talk about ways to apply what you are learning. 

More often than not, you will learn from the people in your group. They will see things you missed. They will have ideas you wished you’d thought of. But for a great small group leader, being a part of a community headed towards Jesus isn’t about being in front—it’s about leading people to Jesus. 

Starting out as a small group leader can be daunting. But most of our anxiety comes from thinking we have to be spiritual gurus. Once we realize that we are guides, the anxiety to be perfect starts to slip away. When we prepare well, we will build our confidence. Shifting our role from “teacher” to “member of the community” will take away our self-imposed performance pressure. 

Great group leaders are normal people, just like you. No matter your background or leadership experience, if you guide people to Jesus you’ll be doing exactly what you’re supposed to do. 

Are you a first-time small group leader? Check out our series 6 Tips for a Great Small Group with Bill Search or reignite your small group with the Embark series with Robby Angle.

If you are looking for resources to help you lead a small group, we have a library of great studies to help you get started, complete with questions to help you facilitate conversations.

Video Bible Studies for Men

It’s important for Christian men to look to the Bible as a guide for their lives. ‍We provide churches with access to video Bible studies for men.

In a culture that daily redefines masculinity, it’s important for Christian men to look to the Bible as a guide for their lives.

At RightNow Media, our goal is to provide churches and their members with access to a library curated with the latest teaching for men’s Bible studies from popular teachers, including series like Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman and 33 The Series from Authentic Manhood. Below are five video Bible studies that are perfect for your men’s group—and if you're looking for more ways to deepen your faith as a man of God, check out our men's Bible study roadmap and follow along throughout the year.


Be a Godly man with Joby Martin

God has created men to have an incredible strength. But today’s culture has hijacked masculinity, distorting strength into passivity and abuse. In this five-part video Bible study, Joby Martin, pastor of The Church of Eleven22, invites men to embrace God’s definition of masculinity and step into his calling upon their lives.

Stepping Up with Dennis Rainey

Unpack what biblical manhood looks like and what it means to be a godly, courageous man in today’s world in this men’s video Bible series. Featuring teaching from Matt Chandler, Voddie Baucham, Tony Dungy and more, viewers will dig deeper into what it means to step up and live a courageous life.

Shaken with Tim Tebow

Most of us have been on the receiving end of rejection, a broken dream, or heartbreak. And while this is not an easy space to go through, when we are grounded in the truth, we can endure the tough times. In this powerful series, Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow passionately shares glimpses of his journey and what he’s learned along the way, building confidence in his identity in God, not the world.

7 Challenges Men Encounter with Vince Miller

Daily it’s getting more challenging to be a man. Our present culture is redefining manhood and confusing men in their pursuit of biblical manhood. Discover how to respond to today’s culture by rejecting passivity and investing in the eternal purpose found in Jesus. Let others see masculinity and manhood through the lens of Christ in your life with these seven characteristics and become a better man, husband, father, and leader.

Play the Man with Mark Batterson

In the church today, many men find themselves confused about what it actually means to be a man. Our culture does little to help. The result is a generation of men who struggle to embrace their responsibilities, roles, and the purpose for which God created them. In this series, Mark Batterson highlights seven virtues of manhood to offer clear insight into what it means to be a faithful man of God.


Five Video Bible Studies for Women

Discover your next women’s group Bible study curriculum with RightNow Media’s video library of women’s content.

In a culture that daily pulls women in different directions, it’s important for Christian women to look to the Bible as a guide for their lives.

At RightNow Media, our goal is to provide churches and their members with access to a library curated with the latest teaching for women’s Bible studies from trusted teachers. Through licensed content and our partnership with IF:Gathering, we have thousands of Bible studies for women. Here are five video Bible studies that are perfect for your women’s Bible study—and don't forget to check out the women's Bible study roadmap to follow along with throughout the year.


Nice with Sharon Hodde Miller

God never called us to be nice. We live in a culture that prizes niceness as one of its highest virtues. Niceness keeps the peace, wins friends, gains influence and serves our reputations well. But it can also take the teeth out of the power of our faith. In this five-session series, Sharon Hodde Miller explores the seemingly innocent idol that has crept into our faith and quietly corrupted it and the fruits we bear. Cultivate a better “tree” and reclaim your credibility as a follower of Christ.

Miracles of Jesus – An IF:Gathering & RightNow Media Original

Miracles of Jesus explores all four Gospels with teaching from Jennie Allen, Bianca Olthoff, Jada Edwards, and Sadie Robertson. Discover the ways Jesus healed, provided for, calmed, and resurrected the people he encountered. This seven-session study is about believing in the power of God who can accomplish anything. There’s nothing too big or too small for us to bring to him.

The Struggle is Real with Nicole Unice

We often believe that when we follow Jesus, life should get easier. And when it doesn’t, we dell ourselves we’re failing or stuck or abandoned by God. But this simply isn’t true. In this six-part series, Nicole Unice explores why life’s a struggle and what to do about it. With God as the hero of the story, a hard day has a new meaning. Our lives can be defined by redemption instead of struggle.

Every Good Gift with Ann Voskamp

How natural is generosity to who you are? The Bible has a lot to say about hospitality, generosity, and stewardship. We have a cloud of witnesses globally, nationally, and locally who provide incredible testimonies of generosity. Tethered to biblical accounts of giving, this six-session series with author and speaker Ann Voskamp explores examples of offering hospitality, time, money, spiritual gifts, and empathy to the glory of God.

The Dream of You with Jo Saxton

Let’s be honest: the life you lead isn’t what you’ve always dreamt. You can scrub the surface of your life until it gleams and still never address the fact that somehow you lost sight of who you really are and what you’re living for. In this six-session Bible study, author and speaker Jo Saxton examines biblical figures and shares her personal story as she invites you to turn to the one who knows you intimately and loves you deeply.


Video Bible Studies for Teens and Youth Groups

Teenagers are influenced by the online content they consume. That's why we provide churches and student ministries with positive, biblical content for teens.

Today’s teens can find their value in how many followers they have on social media instead of in God. They can focus on having influence rather than on what’s influencing them.  

At RightNow Media, our goal is to provide churches and student ministries with access to a library curated with the latest teaching for youth Bible studies from premier teachers. Including series like Not A Fan: Teen Edition by Kyle Idleman and a number of RightNow Media Originals, we have thousands of options for your Bible study. Here are five video Bible studies that are perfect for your youth group or student ministry—plus check out our youth Bible study roadmap to make curriculum planning a breeze.


Finding Truth with Francis Chan

Christians today face all kinds of challenges when it comes to understanding who they are and what they’re meant to do. There’s no shortage of options that claim to offer “truth.” If we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves chasing after popular opinion all the while neglecting the unchanging truth found in Scripture. In this four-session youth Bible study, pastor and author Francis Chan invites students into the power that comes from anchoring their identity in Christ.

Different with Jonathan Evans

Today’s world tells teens to walk around life with a mirror in front of their face. They question their looks, persona, and acceptance nonstop, thinking that one more post on social media might gain people’s attention. But God offers an alternative mirror. When God rules over our lives, he flips everything upside down. In this youth Bible study, Jonathan Evans will walk students through the parables in Luke to teach what it looks like for God to rule our lives.

Jesus Changes Everything with Nick Hall

Teenagers often feel trapped. They’re stuck in the same habits, depression sets in, and they wonder about their purpose. The lie that nothing will ever change pulls teenagers deeper into the rut. But Jesus offers us a way out. In this four-part youth Bible study, Nick Hall talks to students about how a relationship with Jesus changes everything—our identity, relationships, habits, and mission.

This is the Day with Tim Tebow

Have you ever felt stuck? Sometimes life feels rigid—as if nothing could ever really change. Maybe we’re afraid of taking a step of faith. Or maybe we’re too injured from the past to move forward. No matter where you find yourself, you can make the most of today. In this inspirational series, Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow shares stories from his life to illustrate what it means to seize each day for God’s glory.

Dream Big with Jennie Allen

What do you want to be when you grow up? It was an easy question to answer when they were little, but life gets complicated for teen girls. When they get stuck in drama, discontentment, sadness, and shame, how can they even begin to look ahead to the future? In this four-part Bible study, Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering, inspires teen girls to throw off everything that holds them back and be energized by God’s dream for them. Dreaming big starts now.

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