With the kids back in school, fall is a great time to reenergize and focus your adult small groups. Why not give them some tips for balancing the biblical purposes?
Fellowship – Find a road map of any state. Not letting the members see which state you have chosen, read the names of obscure towns. See if group members can guess which state you are looking at. Then ask members where they are on their spiritual journey. Give them the following options and have them explain their choice:
- In the fields
- Lost in the woods
- Enjoying the country
- Comfortable in the suburbs
- Commuting and missing out
- Living in the Big City
Discipleship – Have your group sit in front of a fireplace or a camp fire. While everyone gazes on the flames, read 1 Peter 1:7 (CEV). Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns. Ask people to share a time when they have been “through the fire.” In what ways did these difficult times produce spiritual growth?
Ministry – God wants your group to be salt and light in your community. So, as a ministry project, select someone in local government whom your group could serve in some way. What could you do to bless and encourage a firefighter, a police officer, or the mayor? You might take a plate of cookies to the fire station near your house.
Evangelism – It’s really okay to say, “I don’t know” to people you are witnessing to or talking with in your small group. If you don’t know the answer to a question, tell the one asking, “Good question! I’m guessing that, in the last two thousand years, someone has asked that question, and I’ll try to find the answer for you.” If no one in the group knows the answer, ask for a volunteer to research the answer. If no one offers, do the research yourself and get back to the group and/or the seeker the following week.
Worship – After hearing prayer requests and praying about them together as a group, assign group members to go to the homes of those members with special prayer requests. During the home visit, see how those members are doing, offer various kinds of support, and pray with them.
Steve Gladen is the Pastor of Small Group Community at Saddleback Church. His latest book, Small Groups with Purpose: How to Create Healthy Communities, is now available.
For more ideas like these, read 250 Big Ideas for Purpose Driven Small Groups.