For Small Group LeadersGroup Host Guide
Starting Your Own Immerse Group
Starting an Immerse group can feel intimidating. It can be difficult to know where to begin. We are here to help answer questions and give you a good footing to host a Bible-engaging, life-changing Immerse small group.
As a host, your role will be different from a traditional Bible study leader. Rather than leading the discussion, teaching, or providing the “right answers,” your main responsibility will be to simply facilitate conversation and help the group run smoothly.
The Immerse Group Host Guide is designed to help you become more familiar with how Immerse works and provide some best practices for guiding the discussions your group will have during Immerse.
How Immerse Works
The ideal Immerse group consists of 8-10 people. Many church small groups do Immerse together, but it’s also a great opportunity to gather a group of friends, coworkers, or neighbors who wouldn’t normally join a Bible study.
Group members read the assigned reading on their own time and then meet together once per week, planning to spend 60-90 minutes in discussion.
Be sure to honor your group members’ time by setting a specific start and end time. If people want to continue talking then use your judgment to give them options for where to continue the conversation.
Even though you are the “host,” the meeting doesn’t need to take place at your home. We recommend choosing somewhere that is comfortable, quiet, and free of distractions. Snacks and refreshments are great during or after discussion time. Some groups like to share a meal together before discussion.
Best Practices for Group Hosts
Encourage your group to stick to the reading schedule. There will inevitably be days when they can’t find time to read, but they should try not to fall too far behind.
If a group member hasn’t finished the reading in time for the group discussion, have them skip ahead to the current week rather than trying to catch up. They can always go back later and read what they missed.
Some people may want to search for answers on the internet during the discussion. While this can be helpful on occasion, try to keep it from becoming distracting or disruptive. Encourage group members to stay engaged in the conversation; they can look things up later.
Try to keep the conversation moving. If a question or issue gets to be too difficult, don’t get bogged down. Table the topic, contact your pastor or trusted spiritual resource for assistance, then come back to it the following week.
Sometimes one of your group members will have something specific they want to talk about at the beginning of the meeting. If so, great. If not, use the discussion questions on the Quick Start Guide insert to get the conversation started.
Emphasize respect for others. If you’d like, share these rules for good conversation with your group at the beginning of each meeting:
- Don’t dominate the conversation.
- Listen carefully to others.
- Respect others and what they share, even if you disagree.
- Try not to interrupt—you will get a chance to speak.
At the end of each discussion show the video trailer for the upcoming week’s reading. You can find these on the Resource pages here at ImmerseBible.com. These videos are a great way to get your group into the right mindset for what they’re about to read.
“Our Immerse Group is Like Family.”
Elizabeth, Chapel Springs Church
Share Your Stories!
Tell your pastor and other group leaders about the discussions and discoveries your group has. Your can also share with other Immmerse users around the world by submitting your own story.