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The Power of Encouragement: How to Unlock Potential in Your Small Group Bible Study


“…let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds…” (Heb 10:24)

Think back to when you first took the brave step to start your own group Bible study. Did you feel unsure of yourself? Who or what encouraged you to take the plunge? Perhaps it was a promise from Scripture, guidance from a church leader, or affirmation from a trusted friend that made all the difference. 

Encouragement is a wonderful way to draw out the strengths of those around us. And now that you have some valuable experience of initiating a Bible study, you can play a part in unlocking your small group’s potential

Here are four ways you can encourage well:

1. Call out what you see in them

“Therefore encourage each other and build one another up…” (1 Thess 5:11)

Often, people think of leadership as a formal position, rather than a natural outworking of what God has already placed in them. So, whether you’re approaching someone about co-facilitating gatherings, or even starting their own Bible study group, tell them why you think they’ll be great at it. Maybe you admire their consistency and integrity. Perhaps you’ve noticed their willingness to help out, or how well they facilitate conversation. Don’t hold back; call out the qualities you see! 

2. Tell them what they do well

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe … she has been a great help to many people, including me.” (Rom 16:1-2)

We cannot underestimate the impact of commending someone when they do something well. Positive feedback inspires enthusiasm and an encouraged person will always aim higher than a discouraged one. 

Remember that genuine, direct expressions of praise always carry more weight than a vague, ‘Good job’: 

“‘I loved the sensitive way in which you led the prayer time,’ or, ‘I appreciated how gracious you were in dealing with that controversial moment,’ or, ‘I was impressed by how you included everyone in the discussion.”  

Get specific!