by Steve Gladen
Looking for some tips to help balance your small groups? Pass these suggestions on to your leaders:
FELLOWSHIP – Have group members share a brief account of their spiritual journey. These stories are a great way to get to know each other better. The stories can also prompt group members to extend compassion, patience, and love to one another.
DISCIPLESHIP – Ask the entire group to read the same passage(s) during their daily quiet time this week. For example, you might consider having them read John 17 each day for five days. Encourage them to read slowly and to take notes on what they observe and what insights God gives them. The next time your group meets, read that passage out loud and ask people to share some of their thoughts with the group.
MINISTRY – A servant does whatever needs to be done. So talk to your group about taking on a project at your church that no one else really wants to do. After the group has agreed to get their hands dirty, contact your pastor or a staff member to determine what project to tackle. Depending on the project, this could be a great opportunity to involve your kids in ministry as well.
EVANGELISM – Invite some seeker friends to enjoy a barbecue with your group. Encourage each group member to invite at least one friend. Keep the time together light and fun. Make sure to be sensitive to them as you plan your evening. This would probably not be the time, for instance, for thirty minutes of prayer! Your guests will undoubtedly notice your camaraderie and perhaps be curious about your group. If they seem interested, invite them to check out the group at the next meeting.
WORSHIP – Plan a group prayer walk. Pick a route and have your group pray together as you walk. Notice your surroundings as you walk and use what you see as direction for your prayers.
For more ideas like these read 250 Big Ideas for Purpose Driven Small Groups. More next month!
Steve Gladen is Pastor of the Small Group Community at Saddleback Church and founder of the Purpose Driven Small Group Network.