In Romans 12:2, Paul says, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”
This verse describes the purpose of small groups: to be the environment where God transforms us. The problem is that many of us–even those who call ourselves followers of Christ–are still conformed to the world. The Message puts it, “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” That’s what happens when we thoughtlessly (without even thinking about it) and unwisely immerse ourselves in TV, movies, magazines, etc. That’s why Scripture warns us constantly to “Be on guard!”
This morning I met with two guys who are partnering to help equip and develop leaders at Northeast: Steve Hendricks and David Holdcraft. We talked a lot about worldviews. The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry defines worldview as
a set of presuppositions and beliefs that someone uses to interpret and form opinions about his humanity, purpose in life, duties in the world, responsibilities to family, interpretation of truth, social issues, etc.”
How do worldviews affect small groups? Greatly! First, it’s vital that a leader has a worldview shaped by Scripture. That’s why we need to be in God’s Word daily, so that it, and not the world, influences our own lives and leadership. Second, I’ve often seen statements made in small groups that come from a worldly rather than a Biblical understanding of life. When these kinds of statements go unchallenged, it can perpetuate that worldview. Of course, we must speak the truth in love.
Small groups living in authentic community are, I believe, the very best places to shape our Christian worldviews, where God can “change the way we think” about life and the world around us. David Holdcraft leads a ministry called Reasons. “Professor Dave” will be weighing in on this subject in the future. I’m looking forward to what he has to say.