Sermon-Based Small Groups (Part 2)

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This fall, we launched our first sermon-based small group study and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Behind the movement of multi-site churches, sermon-based small group studies are one of the fastest growing trends in the American church. Clearly this approach is working in many churches across the country. The question is why?

In this second part of a two-part blog, we want to share some of the feedback we have received from small groups. We reached out to various small group members and asked three questions:

  1. What have you enjoyed the most from sermon-based small groups?

  2. In what ways has this type of study changed the way you come to church on Sunday?

  3. How has it impacted your group?

“It takes a disaster to keep me from church! It’s the only way to start the week. Through sermon-based small groups I have grown in greater appreciation of the sermon and greater clarity in understanding the text.”  

–Judy Roseth

“Sermon-based small groups connect both aspects of ministry (small groups and preaching) and illustrates to the group how church ministry works as a whole together.”

Kevin Hines

“Becoming familiar with the sermon text during the week adds depth and richness to the service.                                                                                     

–Lisa Rogers

“Knowing the text, coming with questions and hearing the pastor’s thoughts makes the sermon an active learning environment rather than a passive learning environment.” 

–Cody Podor

“I’ve seen really good discussion in my small group. Going through a passage of Scripture has forced us to ask our own questions rather than follow questions provided for us.”

Justin Biehl

“I am more immersed in the Word throughout the week both preparing for small group discussion and anticipating the sermon”.                                                                      

–Vicki Olsen

“I’ve enjoyed reading the passage prior to Sunday because I feel more equipped to dive deeper into God’s Word each week. I come each week excited to hear the passage”. 

–Larry Ray


“I like sermon-based small groups because the more time you spend in the same passage of Scripture, the greater the sense of conviction will likely come out of it”. 

–Garrett Lowe

“I’ve enjoyed the depth of discussion. The variety of sharing has been refreshing and different each week. I’m sure this is the Holy Spirit at work.” 

–Matt Matlik

“Sermon-based small groups helps me drive the sermon home each week”. 

–Jody Findley

“I’ve seen the group discussion increase as our group has taken on more ownership to prepare with questions and comments from the text. As leaders in the 20s small group, this has been awesome to see growth in this area. We’ve also seen growth in our group making daily time in the Word and not just reading Scripture to check the box, but actually processing what is read and preached.”                                                        

–Hannah Swarens

“Discussing the passages with our small group has not only opened my heart to look at the Word from other perspectives, it has really allowed me to get to know my small group members in different ways as they walk us through their own thought process.” 

–Kristen Milharcic

“In a sermon-based small group, there is a longer-term commitment to Scripture since chapter by chapter discussion builds the overall storyline of the Bible. This makes it easier to go back to earlier discussions or look ahead and not feel confined to a list of questions.” 

–Dave Carlson


While there are many positive outcomes that happen through small groups, the reason we have small groups is to help our church grow in spiritual maturity. Spiritual growth and becoming more like Jesus is always our number one priority. To grow spiritually, we need to be gathering around and applying God’s Word.

When we study God’s Word as a small group, we can challenge, deepen and strengthen the faith of one another as we grow in our love for the Lord and learn how to handle life biblically. We believe the Bible is trustworthy, sufficient and carries the final authority over our lives. This means we want to be people who engage with God’s Word and press the truth of God’s Word into everyday life. We want to be a people who turn to Scripture first and Scripture most.

From accessibility and application, to increasing church involvement and transforming power of engaging God’s Word, more people in small groups are gathering around God’s Word than ever before. Though there are many facets of small groups, sermon-based small groups are a powerful force today. We’re not just a church with small groups, we’re a church of small groups. As we anticipate the future, we are not exclusively committing to sermon-based small groups, but we are planning to develop this model of small groups in our church.

This semester, we are excited to continue sermon-based small groups as we begin this study on the attributes of God. This study is designed to help you grasp the greatness of God as you learn about His character according to Scripture. God’s attributes inspire awe and reverence, but they also remind us about His personal and relational nature. We want to know God, so we can grow in our love, worship, trust and obedience of Him. He alone is worthy of our attention.

Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:2–3).

If you are not in a small group and want to join one, you can register here. Small group starts the week of January 19. If you haven’t already, make sure you stop by the resource table in the church office and purchase your sermon-based study guide for $5.