There are so many reasons for using subgroups in Bible study. Relationships can be developed. They make good prayer groups, lead to more conversation, and much much more.
Subgroups can be used as care groups. They can be used to aid icebreakers. They can be used to lead to deeper discussion and understanding during examination of the Bible passage or to provide accountability and encouragement during application of God’s word. And they can be useful between sessions for prayer, announcements, checking on commitments, and much more.
Size of Subgroups
They can be pairs, triads, or quads. They can be larger, but in most cases conversation breaks down if the subgroup grows larger than 6-7. In other words, in groups larger than 6-7 you will have more often have people who don’t talk.
Subgroups can be used in classrooms, in homes, on Zoom, on the phone, or in a restaurant. Some subgroups will be spontaneous and organic. They will occur naturally out of affinities or relationships. Some will happen as a result of intentionality and assignment.
The group leader, outreach leader, or member care leader can make assignments to subgroups. These can be for discussion during class or between. They can be the same assignment for all groups or different for each group. They can be group work or individual work. In other words, subgroups are amazingly versatile as a teaching tool.
My class often grumbles when they hear that the class will be using groups, but conversation is always greater, learning increases, and engagement is higher. Any method used all the time can become boring, but with so many ways to use subgroups, boredom can be avoided.
As you plan your next lesson, think about ways you could incorporate one or more subgroup. When you plan your next fellowship or outreach project, how could they help with brainstorming, planning, assignments, and more? As you work to improve relationships and communication, how could they help? Make disciples. Be creative. Be revolutionary!