Home Small Group Leaders Articles for Small Group Leaders A Small Group Path to Worshipful Submission

A Small Group Path to Worshipful Submission

Train your leaders to plan small group worship with care so it doesn’t seem like a waste of time but rather an integral part of group members’ spiritual health. When God commanded us to observe a Sabbath as part of submissive worship, he certainly didn’t consider that a waste of time. We fear that taking a day off from work will put us behind. But God can do more with six days than we can do with seven. All other time devoted purely to God is equally meaningful and will renew us in ways we never thought possible. I myself struggle to believe this. But if I worked and rested my way, instead of God’s way, I’d trash my marriage, my kids, even my ministry.

We encourage small groups to enjoy the path to worshipful submission in numerous ways, both in group meetings and in members’ lives seven days per week. Some groups may celebrate the Lord’s Supper, delving deep into related Scriptures and prayer, so that members aren’t limited to the brief experience in weekend services. Some groups also use:

  • Scripture meditation. Someone reads a Scripture passage, then members silently dwell on the meaning and application of the teaching before sharing how it spoke to them.
  • Video. The large selection of worship on video provides many options to play before or in response to Bible study.
  • Singing. If your group has the talent, go for it. (If my small group sang, that would be our last meeting and the video would go viral!)
  • Communion. This is powerful if your church polity allows it.


This article on the path to worshipful submission is an excerpt from Steve Gladen’s book “Planning Small Groups With Purpose”

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Steve Gladen has been on staff at Saddleback Church since 1998; he currently oversees the strategic launch and development of small groups at Saddleback as well as the staff of the Small Group Network. He has focused on small groups in several churches for almost 20 years. Steve oversees 2,500 adult small groups at Saddleback and loves seeing a big church become small through true community developed in group life. He has co-authored several books, including 250 Big Ideas for Small Groups, Building Healthy Small Groups in Your Church, Small Groups With Purpose, Leading Small Groups With Purpose, and Don't Lead Alone. Steve does consulting and seminars championing small groups and what it means to be Purpose Driven in a small-group ministry.