Presentation on theme: "Small Groups Five Purposes. Introduction Sessions Objectives Answer the question, “Why are small groups important today?” Enlighten you on the five."— Presentation transcript:
Small Groups Five Purposes
Sessions Objectives Answer the question, “Why are small groups important today?” Enlighten you on the five purposes of small groups Encourage us to move from an attitude of ‘doing’ to ‘being’ in our small groups Provide some suggestions for use in taking your small group to that next step
ACTS 2:42 "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (DISCIPLESHIP) and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer (WORSHIP). 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need (MINISTRY). 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts (FELLOWSHIP), 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (EVANGELISM). "
Why Small Groups? Why community? To worship God, to be transformed in to the likeness of Christ and to go forth carrying His mission as ministers of reconciliation to the world.
Five Elements of Biblical Community Worship Fellowship Discipleship Ministry Evangelism * Picture taken from Saddleback’s Conference Notes
WORSHIP Acts 2:43 “…everyone was filled with awe.” Hebrews 12:28 “since we are receiving a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”
At the heart of worship is a surrender of your entire being. “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” WORSHIP BEGINS IN THE HEART IN RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL AND JESUS CHRIST
Worship How? MUSIC Colossians 3:16 PRAYER TESTIMONY Revelation 19:10 COMMUNION 1Cor. 10:16-17 “cup of thanksgiving” -Our basis for biblical community -Thanksgiving (Psalms 100:4) -Confession (James 5:16) -Need to teach people how to pray
Worship engages a sense of “being” Worship transitions and transforms us Worship repositions us to hear from God Make space for worship at every gathering (if you aren’t doing a meal together- do this first) Create a safe and sacred space to worship Remind people of Emmanuel (‘Immanu’el) “God is with us”
Break out 1. Fill in your worksheet spaces if you haven’t done so already 2. Take a few minutes to discuss with your table group one of these questions: Which of the aspects of worship would fit your small group at this time? What risks am I being called to take in worshiping God in community? Share a testimony about God’s goodness in your small group with your table. “
DISCIPLESHIP “They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching” Acts 2:42
Goal of discipleship is not to impart more knowledge…..it is to see people’s lives transformed. “ Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 -Knowledge lived out will bring transformation Integrate all of the spiritual disciplines in your time together: Praying together Reading the Word together Listening to God together Serving one another in words and action Serving your community Discipleship will be both EXPERIENTIAL and INFORMATIVE
Disciples Making Disciples Know who Jesus is Exodus 3:13 “teach me your ways so that I may know you” John 17:3 “ Now this is eternal life; that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Know what Jesus taught Follow the example of Jesus Understand scripture and how it pertains to our lives
STUDIES AND TEACHING “Loving God with all of our mind” Individualized and Practically relevant teaching Bible Study Themed studies Rick Warren: “Only 5% of what is taught Sunday morning will be remembered. A balanced plan of study Christian Life Profile Indicator (CLPI)
Mentoring as discipleship Encourage everyone to have a mentor - Learning happens in the context of in depth relationship can offer experiences and wisdom Spiritual “Parenting” for spiritual maturity Who are you mentoring? Who is mentoring you?
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"(Proverbs 27:17) Personal Mentor should be: More experienced in life Further along in their faith Exemplifies qualities you admire and respect Of the same gender Responsibilities of a Mentor Encourage Hold accountable Give wisdom through scripture or own experiences Pray for their mentee Foster an environment for openness and transparency Care for their mentee
Assess Group Growth - Spiritual Health plan as indicator for future small group planning - Will show individuals areas of improvement and areas in need of some intentional reflection and discipleship - Do this personally and as a group once or twice a year
Break out 1. Fill in your worksheet spaces if you haven’t done so already 2. Take a few minutes to discuss with your table group one of these questions: Who is mentoring me? Who am I mentoring? How has the discipleship portion of your small group been both experiential and informative? Is the teaching you are doing or experiencing leading you to know more about who Jesus is, what he taught and how he lived? “
FELLOWSHIP “They devoted themselves to the…..fellowship, to the breaking of bread…” Acts 2:42b
Fellowship in a small group: Is a place to belong and be known ! Is not a one time event! Can be messy! Will take a reorientation of our lives!
Suggestions for creating authentic community: Eat a meal together when you gather Call one another throughout the week Invite one another to join you in whatever you are doing throughout the week. “Play” together Say "yes" as often as you can unless you have a really good reason not to. Volunteer/ serve in your church or community as a group Bring meals to one another when needed. Take turns babysitting each others kids. Don't ignore problems, deal with them lovingly! Share your testimonies
What if fellowship began with gratitude for the people in community with us?
MINISTRY “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need” Acts 2:45
Ministry is Service to: Serve people by: Our Spiritual Gifts “Understand God’s Design for you in the Church” (Network by Bugbee and Hybels) Through Spiritual Disciplines Prayer, Words of encouragement, wisdom, time….. Ministry of Helpfulness Bonhoeffer “Life Together” Never pass by a need when it is within your power to do something Our resources, talents, experiences finances, belongings, past experiences, unique abilities Our Small Group and The Church
Leaders: Be willing to model a life of ministry first. Help people determine their gifts Encourage people to use their gifts to minister to others in your group and beyond Find opportunities to gather together to serve one another and the church.
The Heart of Ministry…. Generosity Compassion Servant hood Obedience Courage Faithfulness
Break out 1. Fill in your worksheet spaces if you haven’t done so already 2. Take a few minutes to discuss with your table group one of these questions: What are some of your talents, resources, experiences that you can bring to your group to serve them? In what ways could I make more time for people in my small group outside of our weekly/ bi weekly gathering? As a small group leader, how could I set an example in my small group? “
EVANGELISM “He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2Cor. 5:19-20 “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” “And the Lord added to their number daily, those who were being saved.” Acts 2:47b
Understanding Evangelism: Evangelism has eternal significance and is the only purpose (of the five) you can't do in heaven. Evangelism is sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who don't know Him. Evangelism involves the privilege of working with God and representing Him to others. Evangelism is a responsibility that all Christians share Recognize their will always be a tension to do evangelism in groups. (Randy Wollf)
Evangelism is: Missional The spiritual maturity of the disciple should move them beyond themselves and in to intentional mission in their neighborhoods and community Pray for people Serve people in your neighborhood Partner with those in your small group to serve those God has laid on their heart We are all missionaries, right where God has us. (Esther people – for such a time as this) Relational Develop intentional and personal relationships with people in your life that don’t know Christ. (not because you are trying to “evangelize them” but because you have shared interests and you genuinely like them.) Be authentic and vulnerable in your relationship. It’s ok not to have it all together and for others to see weakness
Evangelism is………. continued Incarnational Be a presence wherever you are We are the Church -- GO to where the people are The One who lives in us wants to connect with the one who is in front of us. Leonard Sweet “Key is not to take Jesus to the culture, He is already IN the culture! We need to discover where He is already at work in people’s lives and join Him in the effort.” “Evangelism is not show and tell but shut up and listen!” Hear the “Jesus story” in their life. We have lots of opportunity to share– do we recognize it when it pops up? Attractional (don’t shoot- let me explain ) Small groups that become authentic gospel communities will attract people First church “enjoyed the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily.” People that won’t go to church will attend a small group if it is accepting, authentic and loving
Equipping for Evangelism Eradicate the fear of Evangelism Provide training through books, studies and testimonial examples Teach people to hear where God is at work in someone’s life Encourage, don’t force Celebrate people’s efforts Foster a small group environment that is in awe of Jesus Christ
Some final thoughts: All of the elements are interconnected Not all of the elements may be present at every stage in the group- that’s ok All the elements are useful for discipleship Small groups can transform an individual in to more of the likeness of Christ and stir in them a desire to live out the mission of God. At the heart of biblical community is a place to be together to worship God
Actions Steps Exercise: Take the next 15 minutes with your group and begin to look at who you are as a group and who you would like to become. Use the “Actions Steps Exercise” On the left, write down who you are today as a group (perhaps in terms of the 5 purposes of a small group). On the right side, write down how you envision your small group developing more in the 5 areas of community. (You can use your worksheet to help you with this.) Lastly, in the arrow, write down a few ways you can begin to reach your desired goal as a small group. Don't feel the need to finish it now- take it home or back to your small group and continue to work through it.
Finally…. Please take a few moments to pray with one another and for each other as we close up this session.
A prayer for you….. “ Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:12-17