A Great Small Group Is … (It may not be what you think)

Today I want to show you a way of small group life that is best of all.

A great small group is patient and kind with one another.

The members of a great small group are not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.

In a great small group, people do not demand their own way.They seek God’s way. They look not to their own interests but the interests of others.

People in a great small group are not irritable with one another, and they keeps no records of being wronged.They confess their sins to each other, pray for each other, and forgive one another.

A great small group does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

A great small group ... rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Click To Tweet

A great small group never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

A great small group is known more by how they love one another and the world around them than what they study, who leads the group, where and when they meet, how many people are in the group, or even what the group has accomplished.

A good small group is the body of Christ where each person is an important part of it, where each person uses the spiritual gifts they have to carry out God’s mission.

But a great small group is not about the group members or even their gifts. A great group overflows what God has poured into them.

And God is love.

A great small group overflows what God has poured into them. And God is love. Click To Tweet

If a small group is known for the depth of their discussions but don’t love other people, they are just making a lot of noise.

If they are known for their superior knowledge of the Scriptures, their pure and sound doctrine, and a mountain-moving faith, but don’t love others, they might as well not even meet.

If a small group is known for their sacrificial giving, serving of others in need, and their evangelistic zeal, but they do all this without truly loving others, they miss the point.

If a SG is known for deep discussions but don't love others, they're just making noise. Click To Tweet

A good small group is faithful, has hope, and loves.

And the GREATEST of these is love.

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Thanks to the apostle Paul and the Holy Spirit for inspiration! 1 Corinthians 13.

On a scale of 1-100, how is your group doing at love? Why? Scroll down and comment!

How to (and NOT to) Love your Trick-or-Treating Neighbors

What does it look like to “love your neighbor” on All Hallows’ Eve?

This is one day of the year that many of your neighbors come to your house. So why not treat them with love rather than just candy?

Maybe the best way to discuss how to love your neighbors today is to list a few ways not to treat them. Don’t be Ned Flanders. People too often see Christians’ actions on days like this as tricks; we act like we love them, but they clearly see our ulterior motives. They perceive that we are not treating them with love at all. It’s all a big trick.

Here are 7 trick-or-treat tips for real Christ followers:

  • Love your neighbors with no strings attached. Don’t hand out Halloween gospel tracks (or political fliers!).
  • Love your neighbors extravagantly. Don’t be cheap, chintzy, or corny (nobody likes those little bags of candy corn!) with your treats.
  • Love your neighbors by being there. Don’t be that Christian couple on the street who turns the lights out but keeps the TV on and ignores trick-or-treaters.
  • Love your neighbors relationally. The thing we have to offer our neighbors is a relationship—with us and with God (see 1 John 1:3). So take time to look at each child and parent, smile, make an encouraging comment about their costume, engage them for a moment because you care for them. Don’t miss the opportunity to love each kid and parent with a warm attitude and kind words.
  • Love your neighbors boldly and wisely. An authentic follower of Jesus is unafraid of professing his name, but is also wise. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” … “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (Col. 4:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:15, emphasis added). Don’t confuse boldness with rudeness or disrespect.
  • Love your neighbors appropriately. I wish I didn’t need to mention this one, but be careful not to take the previous points overboard. You can be the light of the world without being weird, inappropriate, and culturally insensitive. Don’t make the treat exchange or conversation awkward.
  • Most importantly, love your neighbors with God’s love. Pray before trick-or-treaters arrive at your door, that he will work through you in a way only he can to spread light. Allow him to overflow from you. He is able to do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within you (Eph. 3:20).  Don’t take matters into your own hands.

Agree or disagree with me on any of these tips? Want to add your own tips to this discussion? Scroll down and click the box below to comment! 

Are Small Groups Deceiving Themselves?

What are the purposes of vision and mission statements? Are they important? Should a small group have vision and mission statements?

I’ll answer those questions in a moment. But first I’d like to share a series of mission-related tweets I posted a couple days ago:

 

Maybe I was in a sarcastic mood, but I think this is important. Jesus and his early followers often spoke in big-vision, missional terms, but they didn’t leave those statements on the table. They actually lived out the vision and mission daily. So should we.

The problem isn’t that we’ve forgotten our mission as the church or as small groups. It’s that we simply choose lesser missions. We choose comfort. We choose to study the mission rather than doing the mission. We choose us over them.

The problem isn't that we've forgotten our mission. It's that we choose lesser missions. Click To Tweet

We spend more time and energy on reshuffling the already committed than we do on seeking the lost. We spend lots of energy on connecting Christians into groups that are ignorant about or ignoring the mission to which we have been called.

We have become experts at discussing God’s mission. We have learned how to observe God’s Word, interpret it, and apply it. We know how to facilitate discussion, ask good questions, lead prayer times, and care for one another. Those are good things.

But do we do what the Word of God says? If not, we’re deceiving ourselves (James 1:22). None of that matters if we are not going into the world around us and making disciples, being Jesus’ witnesses, being ministers of reconciliation, preaching the gospel.

How do we do this?

Begin with prayer, asking God to give you the opportunities; but don’t make prayer itself the goal or the new vision. While you wait on God’s answer to your prayers, go and serve and love. God will most likely answer your prayers as you are doing those things he has already called you to do. He’ll put people in front of you who you can tell about him, share the gospel, and administer reconciliation.

Develop vision and mission statements and put them into action plans. Take those why statements and be very specific and tactical about the what, when, where, who (and whom), and how.

Go. That action is often in opposition to gathering, but you can do both. You can huddle together to encourage, learn, pray, support, otherwise minister to one another, and plan. But then you quickly break the huddle to go out and carry out God’s mission.

Change the mindset of your group from gathering to going, from huddling to healing, from sitting to serving, from meeting to ministering.

I’d love to help you carry out this plan. A big part of my vision involves partnering with God and his church to revitalize Christ’s mission in and through radical community. How can I partner with you in that?

Question: What’s keeping you from carrying out the mission God has given your group or church? Please respond to this post by clicking the Comment button below.

The Secret to Open AND Authentic Groups

I recently read a tweet and blog post that assumes an either-or viewpoint toward small groups. You must choose, the author says, between being an open, outward-focused, welcoming, numerically growing group (or class) and living in authentic, accountable, abiding community. You can’t have it both ways.

This often-repeated reasoning emerges from the idea that if a group desires to grow in radically real community—the kind in which people open up and share their whole stories, confess readily, love sacrificially, and hold each other accountable—it cannot regularly invite and welcome new people. And of course, the opposite is true, they say: If you desire to reach the lost, invite new people, and grow in numbers, you can’t dive into the deep end of community life; instead you must offer a lighter version of community.

This line of reasoning overlooks two vital points, a biblical one and a practical one:

Biblical View

The Bible is abounding in both-and examples. The Godhead, our foundational model of radically real community, is, of course, both authentic/accountable/loving and missional in nature. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are both inward- and outward-focused.

I’ve heard the argument that Jesus’ discipleship group was an intentionally closed small group, and for about three years it certainly appears to have been so. Yet Jesus constantly sent these men in his group outward on mission. While the 12 apostles stayed constant, many other followers traveled in and out of this grouping. The group was a great example of both-and.

Perhaps the clearest example is the early church, as described in the familiar Acts 2:42-47. Look at this passage verse-by-verse. Which of these verses are inward-focused (building authentic, accountable community) and which are outward-focused (reaching out, serving, growing numerically)?

42: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. [inward]

43: Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. [outward]

44: All the believers were together and had everything in common. [inward]

45: They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. [outward]

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, [inward]

47: praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.[outward]

This pattern of focusing inward on developing community and then outward on mission is repeated throughout the New Testament. It’s simply who they were. In fact, the addition of new people came out of the overflow of their deep community life with one another.

Practical View

One of the reasons people often believe in the either-or lie is that they mistakenly view small group community only as a meeting. They think in terms of everything, inward- and outward-focused, occurring within an hour-and-a-half gathering once a week. With that mindset, the either-or dilemma makes natural sense. But true small group community is more than a meeting! It’s a way of doing life together. It’s the context, or environment, in which we carry out the mission of making disciples.

While small groups do have weekly gatherings, much of what makes a small group great happens outside of meeting times, and that takes both intentionality as well as spontaneity as group members do life together. Phone calls, texts, visits, lunches together, serving together, praying for one another, recreating together—all these occur between meetings in a healthy, life-changing group.

Small Group Overtime

One secret to making this happen is what I call “Small Group Overtime” or “the Meeting After the Meeting.” Every group meeting is open to new people, and members regularly invite friends and neighbors to come along with them. But let’s say group members want to discuss matters of a deeper, more personal, more confessional or accountable nature. What do they do? After the end of the “official meeting,” several group members can slip into the next room to huddle up and talk and pray for one another while several other members stay with visitors to talk and eat. This can happen naturally and without much fanfare, but sometimes the members who stay in the room can casually mention that the other members want to discuss more personal issues and support one another. That communicates to the new person that this is a safe place as well as a very caring place.

But remember, Small Group Overtime is not the only time group members can or should care for and support each other. Loving one another is a 24-7 value, not a once-a-week program.

What other ideas do you have for transitioning your group’s mindset from a once-a-week meeting to a group of friends who are doing life together 24-7?

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10 Tips for Making Your Group Less Scary and More Welcoming to New People

10 Tips for Making Your Group Less Scary and More Welcoming to New People

You may not realize it, but visiting a small group for the first time can be intimidating. Here’s are 10 ways to make it easier for a new person to fit in.

The first time I attended a small group meeting, I drove around the block several times before finally getting up the nerve to walk up to the door of the host home. This was one of the scariest experiences of my life! I didn’t know what to expect and wondered if I’d fit in. Over the years, I’ve loosened up and I’ve also learned how to make groups more inviting and accepting for new people. Here are ten ideas:

  1. Pay attention to inherent inviting rhythms. When is the best time to invite a friend to your group? If your group is in the middle of a six-week study, will it be awkward for new person to join you? Instead, perhaps you could wait for the beginning of a new study. Is there “stuff” going on in your group that needs to be worked out before inviting a new person? For instance, if you’re in the midst of a group conflict, it may not be a good time to ask someone new to join you! Or if you’re working through a tender issue, such as a couple’s serious marriage problems, deal with that first.
  2. Make it natural. People balk to invitations that feel forced or unnatural. Instead, try these steps:
    • Pray for your friends you’d like to invite. Ask God to open their hearts and to give you opportunities to grow your friendship.
    • Invite your friends into your life before you invite them into your group. Spend time together.
    • Introduce them to a couple other people in your group. Find common ground between your friend and another member of your group. Go to a ballgame, movie, or out to lunch together.
    • Before you invite them to an official group meeting, extend an invitation to a fun group event. This is a great way to break the relational ice in a more natural social setting.
    • Talk about your group, why you like it, and how it’s helped you grow. Share this in the natural rhythms of conversation. Don’t force it!
    • When you sense the time is right, simply ask your friend to join you the next time you meet. The best time to do this is at the beginning of a new study topic that would be of interest to your friend. By this time, your friend may be waiting for an invitation!
    • When they agree to come, tell them what to expect. Think about what you would want to know before coming to your first meeting, such as what to wear, what to bring, what you’ll be doing, how long the meeting will be, and so forth. If they have kids, be sure to tell them what arrangements the group has for them. If the group does not provide child care, perhaps offer to help arrange something with them.
  3. Pick them up. It will reduce their anxiety (and assure they don’t back out) if you offer to drive them and walk into the host home together.
  4. Have a plan for when new people show up. Be prepared to do something fun and non-threatening when a new person joins you the first time. Your group may be at a good-friend or even family level in your relationships, but the new person is probably at best an acquaintance with most of the other members. So plan some entry-level activities. Don’t expect them to jump right in to the existing group dynamic. Watch out for things like insider jokes.
  5. Be authentic. A tension exists between having a plan for when new people show up and being authentic. Just walk this tightrope the best you can. I’ve found the best way to break this tension is to talk about it. Say something like, “Ellen, we’re really glad you’ve joined us tonight. This group started two years ago with Bob and Donna and Heidi and me. Jim and Jenny joined us a couple months ago . . .” (This shows Ellen that new people joining the group is normal.). “We’ve become pretty good friends and well, we have our idiosyncrasies, too. You know, everybody’s normal till you get to know them!” (Laughter is a great icebreaker.) Then explain what you’ve been up to as a group and where you’re going. But don’t make a long speech detailing every aspect of your group. Your guest will figure stuff out as you go. Encourage members of your group to be themselves. Your guests will find out soon enough who you really are.
  6. Be normal. You’re a Christian small group, so your guest will expect you to talk about spiritual things. But it’s also fine to talk about sports, work, kids, movies, and so forth. Talk about what each of you is passionate about. If you have been praying for this person, it’s OK to let them know that (without getting overly serious about it).
  7. Introduce everyone. When a group starts, we usually introduce ourselves and tell our stories. When new people show up, it’s like a new group to them. The rest of the group may have moved past history-sharing icebreakers, but these are very helpful when a guest joins you. “Where did you grow up?” “Who was your best friend growing up?” These and other such questions can help get everyone on the same page faster.
  8. Explain (almost) everything. If you had never been to a small group, what would you like to have explained? Of course, don’t overdo this, but take a moment during the meeting to clarify what you are doing and why. By the way, what seems normal to you may seem odd or confusing to a non-Christian. Be careful not to be condescending!
  9. Don’t assume that a guest will or will not read, pray out loud or not, or engage in conversation. Just ask.
  10. Have fun! Almost everyone likes to be part of something fun and as Christians we should be known by having a sense of joy. People will come back to a group that is learning and growing together from God’s Word and is fun, too! (See +Ben Reed‘s article, “5 Easy Ways to Make Your Small Group Fun.”)

Most institutions exist for the people who are already in them. But not the church, and not your small group! You exist for the people who God has put in each of your circles of influence so that you can make an impact on their lives. Be like Jesus, who came “to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders” (Matthew 9:13).

Talk with your group now for how you can make your group less scary and more welcoming, because, as John Wooden said, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”

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5 Vital Secrets for Getting Your Group to Invite Others

How do you get small group members to invite people to their groups?

I spoke at +Greenwood Christian Church this past Saturday, particularly on the topic of moving small groups from good (comfortable, focused mostly internally) to great (costly, missional). We spent time talking about the importance of members inviting people into their groups as part of carrying out Christ’s mission of going and making disciples.

I’m following up with leaders from that workshop (and addressing any other small group leaders who want to make a difference) with 5 specific principles you can use to help your group members, even the shyest ones, invite people to your group. I’ll follow up this post with other posts to provide more ideas and to discuss the ramifications of this.

  1. The Leader Must Go First! Don’t go to your group with the ideas below until you have done these things yourself. As a leader, you must first be an example, a model, for those entrusted to you (1 Pet. 5:3).
  2. Don’t Do Anything Else Until You’ve Spent Time with God. Every strategy you use, every word you say, everything you do must flow out of your relationship with God. Be like Jesus who often withdrew to out of the way places to spend time with his heavenly Father (Lk. 5:16) and did nothing on his own but only what the Father showed him to do (John 5:19; 7:16; 8:28). Remember that God is already working in people’s lives and hearts, so partner with him (John 6:44). When you spend time with God, he will pour into you everything you need and overflow out of you into the lives of others (John 15:1-17).
  3. Lead with the Same Love, Tenderness, and Compassion as Jesus (Phil. 2:1-2). How do you see other people as you go through your day? How do you respond to people who attend church services or other events? When Jesus saw crowds of people he responded with compassion. He saw them as harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt. 9:36). “Be like-minded, having the same love” (Phil. 2:2).

    NOTE: IF YOU’VE TAKEN THESE LAST 2 STEPS, THE NEXT 2 WILL COME NATURALLY.

  4. Change the Way You Think About Weekend Services and Other Church Events. You attend worship services to praise God, receive vision, and be equipped for your mission as a Christ follower. Those are all great things. But add one more vital element. Instead of sitting with your usual friends in your usual seats, make yourself available for God to use you to reach out to people who are like sheep without a shepherd. Prayerfully look for new people or people sitting by themselves and ask if you can sit next to them. Look for opportunities to talk and get to know one another and possibly invite them to your group. Trust that God will lead you to the right people and that he is already working in their lives. You may be amazed at how he works in and through you as his ambassador.
  5. Change the Way You Think About “Ordinary” Days. When you are regularly abiding in Christ, he will overflow out of you into the people who are around you during your “ordinary” days. He’ll make your days extraordinary in ways you can’t even imagine, if you let him. Ask God whom he wants to love and care for through you. Ask him to give you opportunities to invite people you interact with (people he has put on your path) to your small group. Keep your eyes open for how God is working and your heart compassionate for those harassed and helpless people who surround you each day. God will do abundantly more than you can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within you (Eph. 3:20)!

 

“We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.  We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.” -1 John 1:3-4, NLT 

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Rock ‘n Roll Advice to Get Your Small Group Back Where You Belong

Maybe you’ve never considered this, but Rock n’ Roll has provided small group leaders with quite a bit of wisdom. Over the last week, I’ve been posting #rocknrollwisdom as my Small Group Leadership TIPS of the week on Twitter, my Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and LinkedIn. The genesis of all real wisdom comes from the Creator, who uses all kinds of means to get our attention.

How many R&R titles can you find?

Many groups have forgotten The Heart of the Matter. They Come Together for fellowship and to Read the Book, and that’s Fine as Fine Can Be, yet God is simply a Spirit in the Sky, and Jesus is Just Alright. They may say I’m a Believer, but the Lost? Dream On! Love your neighbor? “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” they ask. When a visitor happens to show up, their attitudes are, “Hey You, Don’t Stand So Close to Me!” Ain’t It a Shame? Yes, It’s a Plain Shame!

God Only Knows what he can do in and through your group, so Don’t Stop Believin’ in him. Say a Little Prayer and tell God, “I’ll lead this group Anyway You Want It.” In fact, instead of leading under your own Authority and Power, lead as if you’re Livin’ on a Prayer.

Small Group Leaders, it’s time to Shake It Up! Yes, continue to Faithfully Shower the People You Love with Love. But Let Your Love Flow to people outside your little group as well. Invite new people to your group. Tell them, “You can Come as You Are, yes Just the Way You Are,” and then Let ‘Em In and welcome them with Open Arms.

Now here’s a little Caution when you tell your group there’s Gonna Be Some Changes Made … Changes in Latitudes (because you’ll need to Get Off your comfy couches to actually do what the Bible says) and mostly Changes in Attitudes. Be the Leader of the Band, the Leader of the Pack, and tell your group members to Walk This Way. It may not be Easy, but Keep on Rollin’ with the Changes and Don’t Look Back. It may Feel Like the First Time you’ve actually lived as a group on God’s mission!

Make Christ’s mission to Go Now and reach lost and Lonely People Urgent for your group. It’s really A Matter of Trust for the people in your group, so Don’t Fear the Reaper. Remind your group that with God, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. No Way. Ain’t No Stopping Us Now! So until you’re climbing that Stairway to Heaven and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Keep the Fire. Yes. Keep the Fire Burnin’ over the Long Run!

As Always, Always and Forever, Love is the Answer. When Times Gettin’ Tougher than Tough, remember, you gotta have Faith. It may be true that You Can’t Always Get What You Want, but if you try sometimes well you might find you get what you need.

Keep on Rockin’!

I’m sure I’ve missed a few pieces of #RocknRollWisdom. Add yours in the comments!

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Three Facts American Small Groups Can Learn From The Best Practices of Other Countries – Part 3: Guest Post by Ralph W. Neighbour

Ralph NeighbourToday is part three of a three-part series by guest blogger, Dr. +Ralph Neighbour. Please see Part 1 here. See Part 2 here. 

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FACT 3: OVERSEAS BODIES OF CHRIST HAVE HARVEST EVENTS
 
When we began to develop the Faith Community Baptist Church in Singapore, we threw away the traditional church calendar with all its programs. Our motto was, “This one thing we do!” With no apologies, we focused on equipping every home cell to become harvest-focused.
We began by calendaring three harvest events a year: Christmas, Easter, and August.
At Christmas, the harvest event was held for several nights in the 12,000 seat Indoor Stadium. On Good Friday, we had each home group share a lunch with a special focus on the death and resurrection of Christ. In August, we had a theatrical performance and created tickets for reserved seats. We learned over 5 years that the size of the harvest was about the same for each event.
Growth Cycles
Overseas cell churches in many nations have used versions of the calendar shown in the above diagram. It begins with the conversions in a Harvest Event, whom are gathered for a retreat lasting 1½ days for orientation. They are then placed in a home group I like to refer to as a “Christ Body” and are assigned to a “Young Man” (1 John 2:12-14) for mentoring in a Triad. Each Triad in the group is led by a spiritual “Father” and is helped to grasp basic core values. The next step is to help the converts overcome the strongholds through a second weekend retreat where the focus is on deliverance. Then a special period begins for the group: a third retreat launches preparation to cultivate in the households of new believers.  This can last for many weeks (at least seven). During this time the group meets to pray and plan for focusing on home visits, following Jesus’ mandate in Luke 10. After relationships have deepened between the group and the unreached, the group meetings follow even more intensely the pattern of 1 Cor. 14:24, ff.
Investigational Bible studies take place in personal discussions with seekers. This culminates in the next Harvest Event.
I have written an equipping track that is used for each part of this sequence. It is available in English at www.touchusa.org, but is also in Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Spanish, Chinese, etc. in other parts of the world.
In Singapore, we found that it took three cycles for the entire congregation to become acclimated to the schedule of the calendar. After 25 cycles (5 years), we had grown from 360 members to more than 7,000 in 700 home cells.
Dion Robert in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, has just celebrated his 40th year since planting his cell church. He now has 229,000 in the hundreds of churches that have been planted in more than two dozen nations. All use their own version of this cycle of Consolidation, Foundation, Penetration, and Cultivation.
Obviously the missing pieces in the American small group movement involve either weak or no focus on these areas. What can be done?

 

Three Facts American Small Groups Can Learn From The Best Practices of Other Countries – Part 2: Guest Post by Ralph W. Neighbour

Yesterday, we began a three-part series by guest blogger, Dr. +Ralph NeighbourPlease see that post before reading this one. 

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FACT 2: OVERSEAS BODIES OF CHRIST HAVE HARVEST FIELDS
“As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you” (John 4:35).
The core values of overseas groups are:

 

  1. Every believer is a priest. A priest is a connecting link between Christ and a person who needs His presence.
  2. Every small group is a priesthood.
    They are to practice “prophesying” as defined in 1 Cor. 14:3 and 14:24, ff.
  3. Every small group has a special mission field that must be exposed to Christ.

 

I have observed that a universal contrast between American churches and overseas churches who have cell/small groups is their core values.
In America, small groups seem to exist as “holding tanks” for congregations who are not equipping, nor expecting, each member to be a priest empowered by Christ and to reveal Him in their communities. There is a fuzziness about the purpose of groups. Some are for “discipleship” or “Bible study” or to keep members “involved,” but few have an awareness that their primary task is to be used by Christ to harvest unbelievers.
Overseas, groups are formed on a conviction that all believers function as priests, that all groups contain Christ’s presence and power and that Christ dwells in His new body to draw all men to the Cross. He does this by energizing the body members to edify, exhort, and console one another. The observation of this by searching unbelievers reveals His presence, leading to repentance and salvation. Thus growth takes place as new believers are added to the groups.
There is a great sensitivity overseas to the responsibility of each believer to see his relatives and friends as a personal mission field, and the total of these persons connected to the group, as their “mission field.” Each group will list the total number of unbelievers and focus on how to jointly connect to them. Half nights of prayer for them are common. Group meetings will be planned to invite them as guests, where they are allowed to observe the members ministering spiritual gifts to one another. As the guests begin to share their own burdens, they are embraced in love as they surrender to Christ’s Lordship.
Thus, the stark contrast between American groups and overseas groups is the intentional ministry of the second group. They see themselves as vessels containing the Godhead, accepting the responsibility of exposing Him to guests by manifesting ministry gifts to one another.
Spending at least equal time being in the households of the unbelievers as spent in group meetings will take place in certain seasons of the group’s calendar, leading to a harvest point for the entire congregation. 
This is the third fact we shall discuss in Part 3, tomorrow.

 

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the Week: February 29 – March 4, 2016

Small Group Leadership TIPS of the past week as Tweeted, posted on the Small Group Leadership Facebook page, and posted on LinkedIn.

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Monday, 2/29: Lead your group for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Everything else will flow from that.

Tuesday, 3/1: The Greatest Commandment is a command 4 your grp. How are you loving your neighbors as Jesus defined them?

Wednesday, 3/2: The Great Commission is your group’s commission. So pray, discuss, & plan. Then …GO!

Thursday, 3/3: Spend time with Jesus and allow him to saturate your mind and heart with his love and wisdom.

Friday, 3/4: Make every day #March4th Day. GO and make disciples… #greatcommission

All Small Group Leadership TIPS

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