Introduction to Small Groups


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Introduction to Small Groups

  1. 1. Holistic Small Groups are the single most important element for healthy growth .
  2. 2. Holistic Small Groups Within Small Groups, Christians can find intimate community, practical health, and intensive spiritual interaction. Members study and discuss scripture with others and apply biblical insights to the everyday issues of life Small Groups have universal validity. They are not just a passing fad. Small Groups are the very essence of the true life of the church of Jesus Christ.
  3. 3. Small Groups help us fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission The Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 37, 39) Love the Lord your God with all our heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Worship), Love your neighbor as yourself. (Ministry)
  4. 4. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations ( Evangelism ), baptizing them in the name of the ‘Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ( Fellowship ), and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. ( Discipleship ).
  5. 5. What are the elements of a healthy Small Group? <ul><li>Discipleship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching…” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fellowship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ They joined in fellowship and “ate together with glad and sincere hearts… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Worship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Everyone was filled with awe…” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ministry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ They gave to anyone as he had a need…” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evangelism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved…” </li></ul></ul>Balance keeps the group on course to fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission 5 elements (Acts 2: 42-47)
  6. 6. Discipleship is relational and it takes time. “ So Paul stayed there for the next year and a half, teaching the word of God.” Acts 18:11 He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach ….” Mark 3:14
  7. 7. UNHEALTHY (unbalanced) HEALTHY (balanced) FIVE PURPOSES BALANCE SMALL GROUPS Fellowship Fellowship Discipleship Worship Ministry Evangelism Discipleship
  8. 8. <ul><li>The goal of discipleship is transformation; not </li></ul><ul><ul><li>just information. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spiritual growth is more </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ caught than taught” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discipleship is not about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>running a meeting but </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>developing people. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. SERVANTHOOD <ul><li>“ TO GO” boxes for ministry include ready made </li></ul><ul><li>ideas for ministry. A group leader picks up the </li></ul><ul><li>idea or actual materials and it is already planned </li></ul><ul><li>and ready to roll out. </li></ul><ul><li>Send Small Groups out to do random acts of </li></ul><ul><li>kindness, such as raking leaves, painting and </li></ul><ul><li>visiting nursing homes. </li></ul><ul><li>Some groups may find they have a “specialty” </li></ul><ul><li>for serving and their group will be designated. </li></ul><ul><li>Celebrate and affirm servanthood! </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Front line for support, care and discipleship </li></ul><ul><li>New Testament / Early church principles </li></ul><ul><li>Building blocks of the church </li></ul><ul><li>Great place to learn doctrine </li></ul><ul><li>Way to live life </li></ul><ul><li>Life transformation happens in the context of small group </li></ul><ul><li>People are God’s plan A </li></ul>Small Groups
  11. 12. <ul><li>Eight Quality Characteristics of a Growing Church </li></ul><ul><li>Empowering Leadership: Lay people are discipled and trained for ministry. </li></ul><ul><li>Gift-oriented Ministry: Members know their spiritual gifts and are actively using them. </li></ul><ul><li>Passionate Spirituality: Living “on fire for Jesus Christ” as evidenced by meaningful prayer life and daily walk with the Lord. </li></ul><ul><li>Functional Structures: Not bound by traditionalism, e.g. decisions that are not always based on financial implications. </li></ul><ul><li>Inspiring Worship Services: The Holy Spirit is evident…independent of any particular worship style. </li></ul><ul><li>Holistic Small Groups: Single most important element for healthy growth. </li></ul><ul><li>Need-oriented Evangelism: Use existing relationships with the unchurched or under churched as we meet their needs to draw them to our congregation. </li></ul><ul><li>Loving Relationships: Members must feel genuinely loved and cared for. </li></ul>Natural Church Development by Christian A. Schwarz