2 biblical truths that guide small group ministry

February 26th, 2015

“What curriculum should our group meetings follow?”

“How often should our group meet?”

“What is the role of a group leader?”

There are a million and one decisions to make when leading a small group ministry.

For answers, you could copy another church’s practice, but there are at least two problems with that.

First, it probably won’t work as well for you as it does for them. Their practice is shaped by their context and is based on who God made them to be. You probably don’t live in their city, and even if you do, you are not them. So their answers probably won’t fit your questions.

Second, someone is eventually going to ask, “Why do we do it that way?” You need to have an answer other than, “So-and-So Church does it that way, and they’re growing”. If you don’t have a better answer than that, it will leave people unconvinced and dissatisfied.

Even basing decisions on what will get the most people into groups can lead to a dead end and stalled momentum.

The best answers to the questions about small group practice are based on scriptural values. Here are two key biblical truths that can guide you in the building of a solid small group ministry foundation.

Truth #1: A disciple is one who hears and obeys Jesus.

Jesus clearly defined the kind of disciples we are to make:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

Ultimately, the goal of your ministry is not to get a lot of people in groups. The real goal is to make disciples who hear and obey.

So when making decisions on curriculum options and meeting frequency, a key question to ask is, “Which approach will best help people hear and obey the God’s word?”

Truth # 2: Discipleship happens in a relational context.

When Jesus started making disciples, he said, “Follow me.” He didn’t say, “Listen to me teach,” or “read my books.” He invited the twelve into community. His disciple making was personal.

The New Testament gives us at least 50 “one another” statements: “Love one another,” “bear one another’s burdens,” “forgive one another,” and so on.

In order to grow in our faith, we must be with “one another.” As Ralph Moore said, “No relationship, no discipleship.”

So when making group ministry decisions, consider “What will promote true community and interpersonal influence?”

You may come up with structures that look similar to those of another church, but the key is you will have built your ministry on scriptural foundations, not trending fads.

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