How to Actually Start your First Amazingly Successful Small Group

Helpful Resources, Practical Tips

Crew nights, circles, pods, huddles… No matter what your church calls them, small groups have become an integral part of the Christian walk. They enable us to grow as we learn about Jesus together, go through life together, celebrate the highs and endure the lows, together.

Like me, you’ve most likely attended several small groups since you’ve become a Christian. Some were probably so great, you look back on them with fond memories and wish you could go back. Some were so bad you made up excuses at least every other week so you wouldn’t have to show your face. Cleaning out your closet on a Tuesday night realllllly was important, am I right?!

Even if you absolutely loved the girls in your group, without proper leadership groups can go bad faster than the 3 dollar avocado you JUST unloaded from the grocery store.

Small groups have the potential to be life changing when thoughtfully and intentionally led. Aren’t sure how to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. After fumbling my way through a good ten small groups, I’ve made all the mistakes for you and compiled a list of the “good to know,” highlights needed to knock it out of the park as you start your first successful small group.



The In’s and Out of Hosting your First Small Group

Know your why:

Small groups are a community oriented way to disciple girls, in a group setting, with the purpose of helping them take one step forward in their walk with Jesus. This is a way to fulfill the Great Commission. 

On a practical level, small groups give you the opportunity to develop your speaking and leading skills in a safe environment. There is no greater training ground than a consistent small group.

Small groups are not second best to speaking on stages. Stages come and go but relationships are built around the table.


Choose an amount of weeks beforehand and ask the girls to commit to that amount up front. If you are new to starting a group try 6-8 weeks total. Choose a day of the week, time of day, and location and be consistent. Even if only one person can attend, keep the meeting and send out the notes to the rest of the group. Both parties understanding what they are getting into will help your group thrive!

  • On your end:

    • You are committing to staying consistent 

    • Clearly communication expectations up front

    • Preparing your portion of teaching with excellence each week 

      • Having visuals, props, or handouts 

    • Starting and ending the meeting on time

    • Creating and stewarding a warm and welcoming culture

    • Making sure the group is balanced and no one takes over

  • On their end: 

    • You are asking them to commit to a certain amount of weeks at a specific place and time.

    • You are asking them to be engaged, open, and participate with the group.

    • You are asking them to commit to purchasing and reading the material. 

    • You are asking them to be a team player and contribute to snacks if needed

    • You are asking them to be respectful of the culture and community they have been invited to 


Choose a reliable place to host a small group. Below are a few options and some pros and cons to each.


Lay out a clear path for your group to run down. There is not necessarily a wrong way to structure your small group but there are better ways in order to make sure you are using your time effectively.

  • Hour Sample Structure

    • 10 mins welcome 

    • 15 mis teaching

    • 30 min discussion

    • 5 mins praise reports and prayer request

  • Add an hour by grabbing dinner together or playing group games

Engaging and Facilitating Discussion:

As the leader of the group you need to be ready to lead. This means asking questions, eliciting responses, addressing misconceptions, and/or praising your attendees.

  • You will also need to lay out the culture of your group. Do you want everyone to speak at some point? You will have to communicate that. You will have to let them know how much time you want them each to share. Ex: During the 30 minute discussion we will give 1-2 minutes to each girl to take turns sharing their perspective.

  • What happens if one person has a hard time letting other girls speak and doesn’t know how to stop talking? You will have to pull her aside after the FIRST time she does that and bring some clarity to her. 

  • If there are girls who are more shy, you may have to call on them or ask them pointed questions to get them to speak up. Some may speak so quietly that yu literally will have to tell them to speak up. Reassure them this is a safe and encouraging space. 

  • Make it known and repeat it often that whatever is shared in the group is not to be discussed outside of the group time, especially among other girls in the group privately. If you allow gossip or slander in your group it will cause major drama and possible trauma. Set the tone, in a loving way, that you are a group of girls who fiercely protect and pray for one another instead.


Choosing curriculum is very important and can make or break your group. Choose a curriculum your audience can understand and that goes along with your intended outcome of the group. Be aware of the cost when choosing a book to make sure each girl is able to purchase in order to participate.

Here are my top three go-to books to teach from when I do small groups:

Make the Ask:

As a leader starting a small group, it can be stretchy or even scary to ask people to join your group. The more clear you are on the expectations and the benefits of the group, the better. 

Pray for God to highlight the right girls and then ask. When you hesitate, be quick to address the reason with Jesus. Is it fear of rejection? Ask Him to identify your fear and to give you courage to step out. Remember this is all for Him anyways. He will be with you every step of the way. 

Who to ask: 

  • Leaders: When making the asks, pray about asking 1-2 girls to come alongside you as leaders. These will be girls who take on roles within the group to help carry the load (different roles outlined below). 

  • Ask girls who you believe in or see great potential in. 

    • People are moved by vision. When you set a vision for someone and help them see who they are able to become, they are usually pretty keen on jumping in to be part of what you are doing. 

    • Even if you don’t have a great relationship with them yet or they don’t see it in themselves yet. Let them know you are starting a group and you see a gift of leadership in their life you’d like to develop. 

      • This is what we call multiplication. 

      • As you are leading, use your time wisely to teach others to lead as well.

  • Attendees: Set a number you’d like to have in your small group. 8-10 is usually a great starting number to keep it intimate. Get the leaders you’ve asked to help you bring in the remaining girls. 

    • Example: You ask Mary and Rochelle to be your leaders.

    • Mary asks Erica, Tammy, and Jasmine

    • Rochelle asks Loresha, Erin, and Stella

  • All of the sudden you group is full. Your leaders will be more invested when you teach them to make the ask because they are a part of filling the group. 

  • Fill in where they are lacking. If they each get only one girl, then you pull in 3-4 more. 


Once you make the ask, think through different roles you can delegate to the group member to help them carry the load. When you are leading, it is important to delegate so you can stay in this for the long haul. That means giving up control and not trying to do everything on your own.

  • Logistics – someone who can take on starting a text/whatsapp feed and then texting the group weekly for reminders, announcements, and attendance. 

  • Set up and clean up – someone to make sure everything is set up before the group gets there. 

    • Commits to coming 15-20 early to help straighten up your house

    • They are keeping their eyes peeled for what you may practically need to help the group run smoothly so you can focus on leading

  • Snacks aka MVP

    • This person can provide snacks and be responsible for gathering funds or can reach out and coordinate with the other girls to each bring something to contribute

    • If meeting for an hour and then going to dinner together, be sure to grab a reservation beforehand. This is excellence. 

  • Life of the party – we all need the social girl who helps the group have fun, laugh, and hang out outside of the small group. She helps everyone come up for air when things get too deep

  • Spiritual gal – we all need that one girl who loves to ask for prayer request and keeps things on a spiritual note if we get derailed

Please note: The girls WILL make mistakes. They will drop the ball. They will make excuses when they make mistakes and drop the ball. This is a great opportunity to lead through having discussions and calling them up. You must train people and not only trust them. Do not micro manage but do put the work in to lead.


Leading is hard work but once you step out there and begin hosting a small group, you will be rewarded in ways you never thought possible. Partnering with God is extremely fulfilling and satisfying as you are doing Kingdom work that lasts forever. Your work will be rewarded and reflected for all eternity! 

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

If you feel God has called you to speak, in any capacity, we want to support you via our community and training. Come learn how to grow in your confidence so you never doubt yourself again! Check out our four-day, hands on, and interactive training, The Echo Weekend.

The best way to develop your voice is to invest in your voice. Every time you invest in your own voice, your family, your community, and your world improve. I believe in your voice! This is a weekend you do not want to miss!!!



I didn't come from a ministry background, but when I married my husband in 2010 with an Interior Design degree from LSU and no seminary training, he welcomed me into the ministry. In 2012, a prophetic couple told me that I had the anointing of Lydia, and God wanted to use it to funnel millions through the Kingdom by starting online courses and classes. At this time, I had NO dream or even thought of Let’s Echo, but I received the word from the Lord. 

Today, I'm witnessing that prophetic word coming true. You are a prophetic word fulfilled and a dream come true! 

The Preacher Girl Club empowers women to use their voice for Jesus through our online coaching community, practical courses, and leadership resources. Our members collaborate, speak at each other's events, write content together, and start ministries side by side.

If I can preach, so can you! 

Meet your biggest hype girl, Amie, Founder of Let’s Echo!