How to Launch a Small Group Bible Study

There are so many different types of small groups and Bible studies to choose from today; it gets difficult to know which direction to go.  That can be a blessing and a challenge all at the same time. Here are a few tips for choosing the right Bible study for your small group and getting it started.

  1. Pray! Is God asking you to start a Bible study? And is this the right time?
  2. Talk to your pastor or another staff person to determine support for starting Bible studies if you are considering your first women’s Bible study at your church.
  3. Talk to women and share your vision.
  4. Determine the levels of spiritual maturity represented in the women and assess the most prevalent needs of these women.
  5. Decide which needs you should address first and choose the best Bible study to meet these needs.
  6. Determine the best time and location.
  7. Talk about it, publicize it, and share your excitement about the Word of God with many women.
  8. Set clear goals for this Bible study.
  9. Share the class goals, guidelines and expectations at the first meeting. Talk about attendance, homework (and if there is any), and accountability among the members.
  10. Divide into smaller groups if necessary.
  11. Pray with and for your small group.
  12. Develop community among the members as you help them get to know and love each other. 

As you keep the focus on the Bible, and not on opinion or culture, you will have the joy of watching the Holy Spirit bring transformation into the lives of women!

For more women’s ministry helps and ideas, check out Women Reaching Women, Transformed Lives, and the Leadership area of our blog.

JUN_6416Chris Adams, Senior Lead Women’s Ministry Specialist at LifeWay, has helped pioneer women’s ministry as we know it today. When she’s not consulting, speaking, and training women’s ministry leaders, you can find her reading or spending time at the beach. Chris has been married to her husband, Pat, for 41 years. Together they have twin daughters, seven grandchildren, and a 7-pound Yorkie named Mo.


  1. says

    Love this! I’ve been teaching a women’s Bible study for awhile now, and talking about homework and scripture memory have been very important in getting a grasp in how much time time the women can devote without it being overwhelming and feel like work. I want Bible study to be something each woman looks forward to, enjoys, and needs.
    These are all great tips! Thank you:).

  2. Chris Adams says

    So glad this was helpful, Jennifer. Thanks so much for all you are doing to get women in the Word!

  3. Jana says

    Hi Chris,
    Thank you so much for this…I am just in the process in gathering a whole bunch of things to walk a path I have been called to. How do I find a mentor that will take me under their wing to mentor me on this path. Of course I have God guiding me right now feel like I need to step out and ask someone to take me by the hand and guide me to start something that is going to take me to how God want’s to use my life.

  4. Chris Adams says

    Jana how exciting god is leading you and growing you to serve and lead women. If I were you I’d look in your own church for a woman doing what you feel god is calling you to do . Watch her, ask her if she would share how she learned to serve and lead. Ask her if she would be willing to help you develop your own skills as you follow the call god places in your heart. I bet she will be honored you think she could impart this kind of wisdom in your life.

  5. Trish J says

    Thank you Chris! I am leading my first ever ladies book/bible study (10 of us) in my home. Its a very popular Christian author and speaker and going quite well with all the ladies joining in the conversation and completing their study material each week. My church and discipleship pastor have been a big help. I have watched/listened/& talked to other respected Christian friends at my church and in my community to gain knowledge and tips to stay motivated for God to move among us. The question I have is: how do you “gently” guide the conversation back to the topic when a couple ladies consistently get sidetracked? I’m sensing that there is frustration and need the words to say that are appropriate without offending anyone. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
    I’m certainly thinking your books would benefit me. God bless you, Trish

    • Chris Adams says

      That is such a common problem and if I were you, I’d make sure you’ve trained your small group leaders ahead of time to set the guidelines the first session! That they will direct the discussion to keep on task, though at times chasing a rabbit can be beneficial, mainly if it continues to get off course it is frustrating because you have said the purpose of this study is to get through the Bible study and the material. So, they could set up a time outside of class to further discuss the “rabbit”. Yes, I believe especially our book Transformed Lives could be helpful regarding Bible studies as it gives you info you might use to train your small groups leader and some of it deals with this kind (and other) issues you might face in those small group. It’s essential that we don’t assume our small group leaders know how to lead their groups well! Thanks so much for investing in the lives of women!

  6. Toni says

    Just the list I needed. I’m working to start a bible study group for our MOPS moms on our summer break. This is a good list of things I need to think about and do. Some of them I had thought of and some I hadn’t. Thanks!

    • Chris Adams says

      So very grateful this was timely and helpful as you start your studies with MOPS moms! I pray it is a spiritually transforming time for all of them!

  7. Judy Espeseth says

    Appreciated your tips. I have led sm. women’s groups for years and love it.
    Presently our Pastor has asked my husband and me to lead a small group couples study because our young Mom’s are so limited in their free time we thought this way a wiser way to go to reach them. These would be young couples with small children. Do you have any recommendations for bible studies for this kind of a group? It needs to be to the point and focused on the word of course. It will be different levels of knowledge of God’s Word so a bit tricky. Any ideas?
    Loving our Beth Moore DVD studies.
    Judy Espeseth/elder/ First Presbyterian Church Hollister, CA 95023

  8. Susan Junot says

    Chris – I’ve been asked to lead a short women’s Bible study this summer for my church. It will be about 4-5 weeks. Can you recommend a good study for that length of time?

    Thanks & God bless you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *