Making Scripture the Centerpiece of Every Small Group Bible Study


My wife loves to decorate. This is especially true when we’re hosting a family meal. When our family gets together twelve or so people crowd in around a large oval table. In the middle of that table is a centerpiece. Because she loves flowers, oftentimes that centerpiece is flowers she has taken from the flower garden and oftentimes. the flowers are so tall that they’re not only the centerpiece, they’re the unavoidable center of attention.

There’s no getting around a well chosen and inescapable centerpiece.

When a group gathers, the centerpiece of the experience should be the Bible. Please know, I’m not suggesting placing a fifty pound King James on a table in the center of the room. I’m talking about being certain the small group discussion remains focused on the Word of God. In order for this to happen, you might want to consider the following suggestions.

  • Start each group meeting reading a passage of Scripture.
  • Before starting the Bible study time, pray that God would aid the group in finding out what God is saying and that opinions would be overridden, if necessary, by the truth found in God’s Word.
  • When the conversation becomes a series of opinions verbalized, recalibrate the group back toward God’s Word. You might even say something like, “All of these thoughts are super. But, just so we don’t miss what we’re after, let’s go searching to find out what the Bible says about this issue.”
  • Remind the group often that God is the ultimate authority on all issues and that we find out what He has to say about things in the Bible.
  • Let a lot of ideas circle the conversational runway but be certain the truth found in God’s Word is what lands.


  1. Amen Rick! Too often we, as leaders, can inadvertently teach members of our small group that the source for wisdom and insight is some well known author. We can tend to follow a popular book, focus on its message, and apply the writer’s teachings to the point of communicating with those we’re leading that God’s word is a secondary or even Tertiary reference. Our fellow small group members can become “people followers” instead of relying on the Bible for direction and teaching. We do a disservice to those we lead if we lead them away from the inspired truth of Scripture.

  2. Thanks so much for this. You and I resonate with one another. In fact, I believe one of the reasons some churches are in the situation they are is in because the church leadership promotes the latest Christian book as a “must read” without ever promoting daily Scripture reading. ONLY the words of God found in Scripture are perfect, living, take us directly to the heart of God.

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