Is it more spiritual to avoid prep?
We've all heard stories of people who say "I didn't have time to prepare my Bible Study, but God's Spirit really came through and the Bible Study went fabulously!"
This leads us to avoid prep.
Why do the hard work of prep if you don't need to?
But God can work during your prep time. He's not chained to your weekly meeting. He's at work in you and your people before the Bible Study. And you need him to be at work in you afterward.
Providing focused time for prep opens you up a little more to God's work.
When should we break out the commentary?
Wait until after you've done your own study before breaking out the commentary. If you break out the commentary first, it'll be hard for you to see anything other than the commentary.
And an over-reliance on commentaries communicates something to the people you're leading. It communicates that the Bible can't be understood without professional help. And if that's true, we don't need to be leading Bible Studies.
What else do you think Small Group leaders should know about prep?