It’s a new Community Group trimester and a new year. When you get to the end of the group trimester, in what ways will you and your group members have grown or changed?
While we must rely on God to change hearts, he has given us tools and resources to help us grow.
Here are 3 ideas to help you and your group members grow this trimester, so several months from now you can look back and see how God has been at work.
1. Set A Growth Goal
No one drifts toward spiritual maturity. God changes our hearts as we make plans and work with Him to become more like Him.
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Begin each trimester by setting a growth goal with your Community Group members. It could be to get baptized, read a chapter of the Bible daily, invite your neighbors over for dinner, pray for 10 minutes a day, serve in the community, or to increase your giving to church. Write your goal on a 3x5 card, put it in a place you’ll be reminded of it consistently, and ask each other regularly about your progress.
At the end of the group trimester you can look back and see clearly the progress each group member has made related to their growth goal.
You’ll find a list of growth goal ideas in this week's sermon discussion questions.
2. Read The Bible together using “Plans With Friends”
One of the 3 purposes of Community Group is to help your group apply the Bible to their lives. We can’t apply what we don’t know, and it is hard to really know the Bible if we are not reading it regularly.
YouVersion, the Bible App, recently released a new feature called “Plans with Friends”. You can select a Bible reading plan, talk about it with your Community Group, then send them a link to invite them to read it with you. From there you can track each other’s progress and share notes on what you are learning as you read.
My Community Group tried a 25-Day Bible Reading Plan leading up to Christmas. I loved it! We had a guy in my group who is yet to believe or embrace Christianity reading along with us. I loved watching the checkmarks every day indicating he read God’s Word!
Find out more about “Plans With Friends” here: http://blog.youversion.com/2017/11/youversion-bible-app-announcing-plans-with-friends-2017/
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” - Hebrews 4:12
3. Get Together Outside of Group
Community Group meetings are generally the starting place for relationships to be formed, but when we begin to do life together outside of group we often see the most change. As we go from being an acquaintance to a friend, as we go from sharing about our schedules to sharing about our hearts, as our trust develops and our relationship deepens, we then have a platform to say hard things and to help keep each other accountable.
This last year I began inviting the guys in my Community Group to get together every other Monday morning at 7:00am for breakfast or coffee to discuss a book together.
Though not every guy can make it, our gatherings are an opportunity to catch up, develop deeper friendships, and also help each other grow in our faith through discussing a helpful resource together. We grow in both knowledge of our faith and application of it.
Whether you do a book discussion together or just hang out with your group members outside of group, God uses those connections to give us the relational capital to challenge each other to greater love for and obedience to Christ.
“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13
Thanks for helping your group members grow in love for Jesus!
Do You Have A Question?
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Community Groups Pastor
Life is better connected!