by Steve Gladen
Looking for some tips to help balance your small groups? Pass these suggestions on to your leaders:
FELLOWSHIP – Put together a scrapbook that traces the history of your small group. Include pictures of regular meetings as well as holiday parties, service projects, church events, and whatever else you’ve done together. The scrapbook is a great way to see how your group has grown and reached out to others. Be sure to review the book together anytime your group is about to give birth to a new group, or gathers with a group that had spun off earlier.
DISCIPLESHIP – Bring a plant to your group and set it in the middle of the room. Talk about the similarities between the growth and health of a plant and the growth and health of a Christian. Also ask, “Who is spiritual fertilizer for your growth? Who is it that makes you want to grow in your knowledge of the Bible, grow to become more like Christ, or grow in your Christian service in the world?” At the end of the group meeting, give the plant away to someone who has contributed to the growth of other group members.
MINISTRY – In 1 Corinthians 12:18 (NLT) we read, “But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it.” And every single person who is part of the body of Christ is important. Have your group select a person who works faithfully behind the scenes in your church. Write notes of encouragement letting that person know that even though his or her service is often unseen, it does not go unnoticed by you, or more importantly, by God.
EVANGELISM – Your group can reach around the world with Christ’s love by sponsoring a child in a developing country. Your monthly support will provide the child with food, clothing, and education. As a group, take time to pray for and write letters to the child as well. Contact World Vision at www.worldvision.org or Compassion International at www.compassion.com for more information.
WORSHIP – Have someone in the group slowly read Psalm 23 aloud, and emphasize the personal pronouns in the passage. In the first line, for example, the reader would say, “The Lord is my shepherd.” Encourage group members to close their eyes and try to picture in their minds the rich images of these verses. Silently worship Jesus, your shepherd!
For more ideas like these read 250 Big Ideas for Purpose Driven Small Groups. More next month!
Steve Gladen is the Pastor of the Small Group Community at Saddleback Church and founder of the Purpose Driven Small Group Network