The first purpose of Community Groups is to apply the Bible!
We don't want our church to just be hearers of the Word, but doers.
That is why we encourage groups to set aside the largest portion of discussion time for application questions from the sermon each week.
But here is the problem, our Community Group members often don't get specific. When application questions are asked, group members give generic answers:
"I need to read my Bible more."
"I need to go to bed earlier."
"I need to be nicer to my husband."
"I need to spend time with my unbelieving neighbor."
"I need to trust God more."
"I need to stop going to those websites."
"I need to be more careful with my spending habits."
"I need to start serving."
Maybe you are thinking, "Those don't sound generic. Those are good specific answers."
While it's true they have specified the issue, they have not specified the plan to address that issue.
That is often where the rubber meets the road.
It's one thing to identify a weakness, it's another thing to share your plan to address your struggle and ask for accountability in following through.
It's been said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Most of our group members will never get to this stage of application unless it is both encouraged and modeled by you, the Group Leader.
When you tell your group members,
"I want to get better at reading my Bible this year."
You should also share with them your plan...
"I plan to get up at 6:00am, go to my dining room table, and read through the Gospels, 1 chapter a day."
When you tell your group members,
"I want to stop yelling at my kids."
You should also share your plan...
"I am going to memorize James 1:19-20 about being quick to listen and slow to speak and become angry."
"I am also going to pray for God's help and reflect on this verse each morning before I open the bedroom door and each evening before I come in the front door."
It starts with you modeling it, but you should also encourage it.
When your group member shares something they want to work on, gently encourage them,
"What is your plan to accomplish that goal?"
We encourage group members to set "Growth Goals" each trimeter. It's one thing to set goals, but without a plan and accountability from fellow group members, we'll likely keep sharing the same goal each trimester with no progress.
So, what's your plan? How can you help your group members not just identify areas of needed change, but to actually take steps to apply the Bible?
Check out some of the resources below for additional thoughts on helping your group members apply their faith.
How do you get your group members to change? Try these 3 ideas.
We all set goals, and specifically around particular times of the year. When setting goals we need to seek God's perspective on how to balance the past, the present, and the future. This study considers the human approach to setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, and considers how God's idea of "goals" are quite a bit different than we might first think.
Goal setting and spiritual growth are part of what it looks like to be a follower of Jesus, but growth is not the goal. So what is?
1 tool that can change the dynamic and effectiveness of your group prayer time.
Before you ever start talking about what you want to do to make a fresh start, the first thing to know is who you want to become. In this episode, Craig Groeschel will show you six steps anyone can take to become a better leader.
God has given leaders to the church to equip the saints for the work of ministry, building her up in the faith and knowledge of God (Ephesians 4:12).
But how does the Bible define spiritual leadership? What characteristics are essential in leading biblically? And what is the ultimate goal?
In this short essay, John Piper answers these questions by explaining the true marks of a spiritual leader. Saturated in Scripture, and loaded with practical illustrations, this booklet will be instructive and challenging for anyone in a position of Christian leadership, as well as for anyone aspiring to lead spiritually.
Access the past breakouts and large group talks from previous Group Leader Trainings.
Northridge Discipleship & Counseling Training (March 2 - May 18)
This ten week training will teach you how to compassionately and skillfully use God's word to help people grow and change for God's glory, whether through casual conversations, mentoring, leading a group, discipleship, or counseling.
Community Groups Pastor
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