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INTERNATIONAL PASTORS AND LEADERS CONFERENCE OF THE WESTERN WEST AFRICA EPISCOPAL DISTRICT CLASS LEADERS TRAINING SMALL GROUP DISCIPLESHIP Presented by.

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1 INTERNATIONAL PASTORS AND LEADERS CONFERENCE OF THE WESTERN WEST AFRICA EPISCOPAL DISTRICT CLASS LEADERS TRAINING SMALL GROUP DISCIPLESHIP Presented by Rev. Dr. Richard M.Gadzekpo Pastor: Mt. Pleasant A.M.E. Zion Church 3664 Grade Road, Rockford, Tennessee 37853

2 INTRODUCTION: THE LAST COMMANDMENT Matthew 28:19 & Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, 20 and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.

3 INTRODUCTION: SMALL GROUPS One of the most effective ways of making disciples is through holistic small groups; Providing personal support and reassurance to individuals — especially in settings where people can speak openly and honestly without fear of rejection.

4 BIBLICAL EXAMPLE Jesus started his ministry of making disciples of all nations through small group (Mark 3:13-14) The Disciples of Jesus also fulfilled the mandate of making disciples of all nations through small group (Acts 2:46, Acts 8:3,Romans 16:3-5)

5 HISTORICAL EXAMPLE In 1742, John Wesley started the Class Leaders System, where every member of the church is placed into a class over which is appointed a class leader whose responsibility is to provide sub pastoral oversight. It became part of the constitution of the church in 1744 when the rules for the United Societies were drawn up.

6 HISTORICAL EXAMPLE The A.M.E. Zion Church since its inception in 1796 has preserved the Class Leaders System. The Book of Discipline of the A.M.E. Zion Church stipulates that the design of organizing members into classes and holding of class meeting is … to establish and keep up meetings for …instruction…encouragement…admonition…that shall be a profitable means of grace.

7 TWO MODELS OF SMALL GROUP DISCIPLESHIP Cognitive Model – Evangelist Small Group Fellowship Behavioral Model – Class Meeting

8 THE EVANGELISTIC SMALL GROUP FELLOWSHIP A cognitive model of ministry that places emphasis upon helping the non-churched to become Christians and members of the Church

9 HOW IS SMALL GROUP FELLOWSHIP EVANGELISTIC? Three Necessary Components - AID: 1.Attraction: Straightforward invitation 2.Inclusion: Helping them to belong 3.Discipleship: Helping individuals grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ

10 TWO PARTS OF SMALL GROUP FELLOWSHIP 1.Time for Sharing Evangelistic Concerns List of the un-churched Forming group’s evangelistic concerns Pray for names listed Look for ways and invite prospects Discuss ways and means with group 2.Time for Witnessing

11 WHAT IS WITNESSING? Witnessing is telling people in your own words, your own way what you know about Jesus Christ from your own life!

12 HOW TO BEGIN SMALL GROUP FELLOWSHIP Recruit a leader Leader gathers a core of two or three who are definitely interested Core group and leader invites another eight to ten people Decide time, frequency and meeting place Have first meeting Divide after eight or ten sessions and start another group

13 DEVELOPING A BIBLE STUDY FOR YOUR SMALL GROUP FELLOWSHIP Gathering and Call to Worship Prayer and Singing Introduction of Guest Study Time Singing/Soloist/Silence Witness Time Sharing of needs and concerns Praying Time

14 DEVELOPING A BIBLE STUDY FOR YOUR SMALL GROUP FELLOWSHIP Evangelistic Concerns Closing Selection Closing Prayer and Benediction Fellowship

15 ISSUES TO CONSIDER How often to meet Where to meet Refreshments Child care What to study

16 THE CLASS MEETING A behavioral mode of ministry that places emphasis upon practicing the truths that we learn from sermons, bible studies, etc.

17 DISCIPLESHIP Discipleship is about: Growing in our relationship with Christ Sharing our lives and concerns with others in the group Caring for each other in the group DISCIPLESHIP CAN BE EVERYTHING WE DO AS CHRISTIAN PEOPLE

18 THE CLASS MEETING Three important features of class meeting include: 1.Getting Acquainted – Connecting as a group 2.Reviewing the nature of the group – if nature of meeting is not made clear it creates difficulty in keeping the meeting on task 3.Securing the members commitment to the ground rules of the group.

19 GROUND RULES These commitments should be secured at the first meeting and be reviewed from time to time: Priority – members to make every effort to attend Prayer – members to pray regularly for the group Confidentiality – Not divulge personal concerns to those outside the group even after the group ends.

20 GROUND RULES Punctuality – members begins and ends on time Personal devotion time – members to engage in bible study and prayer between group meetings No advice giving unless counsel is requested – pray for and encourage those who share needs but refrain from giving advice unless requested

21 GROUND RULES No argument – members agree to disagree agreeably Personal needs – Confess personal needs and not those of others in the group Affirmation and vulnerability – members seek to provide an atmosphere of affirmation understanding that those who are ridiculed may never share again

22 COMPONENTS OF A CLASS MEETING 1.Gathering – Brief period of fellowship 2.Sharing – Sharing life with each other 3.Praying – Praying for one another 4.Sending – Sent by the Holy Spirit and by group to work and witness.

23 SHARING To give structure and help in meaningful sharing, the following is recommended: How am I coming along in my prayer life? How am I progressing in my personal study of God’s word? Are there areas of struggle or specific needs which I desire the prayers of the class?

24 SHARING To give structure and help in meaningful sharing, the following is recommended: Are there areas of victory or blessings through which I see God at work? What progress am I making in learning to share my faith with others? In what ways have I been able to meet a need in the lives of others.

25 HOW TO BEGIN SMALL GROUP FELLOWSHIP 1.Leader invites members to first meeting 2.Decide with members about time and meeting place 3.Have first meeting

26 GUIDELINES FOR HOLDING MEETINGS Trust God Pray Remind the group regularly of its ministry vision Facilitate and guide discussion Watch the time Keep conversation on the subject Be personally vulnerable Encourage listening Guide the long-winded speaker

27 GUIDELINES FOR HOLDING MEETINGS Encourage the quite, shy person Be sensitive to the emotional hurt Involve everyone in the group Help members learn to pray aloud Follow up on an absent or distressed members Establish and maintain the group commitments Develop new leadership Practice the “double focus” of ministry, focus on both individual and group as a whole.

28 REFERENCE Behavioral Model - For the PERFECTING of the Saints A Handbook on Holistic Small Group Discipleship Copyright ©2013 By Dr. Darryl Brewster Starnes, Sr. (96 th Bishop in Succession of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church)


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