by Steve Gladen
The key to health is balance. This is true in everyday life as well as group life. Balance of the Biblical purposes ensures group health.
FELLOWSHIP: Ask one or two people to share how the Lord worked in their lives during the previous week. It is always inspiring to hear what God is doing in people’s lives. These stories will encourage group members to consider how God is working in their own lives. These stories are just as important for the people in your group who are not yet believers. They need to know that God is active in our lives in very real, very personal ways.
DISCIPLESHIP: Have group members talk about the person in their life who has had the greatest spiritual impact on them. Why was that person such an important influence? What was it about that person’s character, words, or actions that sparked spiritual growth?
MINISTRY: As a group, list people who serve in your church. You might want to group them by ministry. Then spend some time praying for these faithful servants. Afterwards, ask each group member to choose one or two different people from the list and write them a note of encouragement on behalf of your group. Provide paper and pens so that the note writing definitely happens.
EVANGELISM: Find a family in the community who needs some work done on their home. Gather for a Saturday work party and help with yard work, housecleaning, or painting. Have someone in the group (or someone from another group) bring lunch over for you and the host family to enjoy together (You may want to work just in the morning and call it a day after lunch). Explain that this project is an act of love from your small group and church.
WORSHIP: It’s harder to forget God’s abundant blessings and it’s easier to avoid the sense that he is distant when we keep a prayer journal. After all, that sense that God is far away usually comes because, like the Israelites, we forget all that God had one in our lives and in our group’s life. But writing down our prayer requests, and later noting when and how God answered our prayers, helps us remember God’s faithfulness. Of course, we know that he never leaves us or forsakes us, we are forgetful creatures. Periodically ask group members to bring their journals to the small group meeting for a night of sharing.
For more ideas like these read 250 Big Ideas For Purpose Driven Small Groups. More next month!