Community in the Body
One of my favorite aspects of “I Am a Church Member” is the opportunity our Sunday morning Small Groups have to reflect upon and apply the theme from the previous week of the sermon series. As I reflect upon the overall discipleship goal of our church (that we become and build disciple-makers to the glory of God) I continue to marvel at the awesome way that small groups of 8-24 people can accomplish that mission.
Yes, as we gather together in our weekly service to worship, pray, give, and respond to the preaching of His Word, God does transform us into the image of His Son. Yes, I am incredibly supportive of church members who seek spiritual mentors to help them grow in Christ and those who seek to be spiritual mentors in the lives of others. But there is something special about the fellowship of a group of people whose names and lives you are familiar with and with whom you are moving in the same spiritual direction.
We encourage all of our leaders to give attention to these five descriptors of effective Small Groups (Biblical, Social, Missional, Prayerful, Visionary). The visionary part is usually the most confusing of the five. It simply means that our desire is to see Small Groups grow and multiply as our members experience genuine Christian community and are equipped to become servants and leaders resulting in Kingdom growth. This is why our church has more classroom space than we currently need! Even our largest small group rooms reach full capacity at about 24 people. Two classes of 12 people with “leadership teams” of 4-8 people are sufficient to start a small group.
We also really enjoy sending leaders into other areas of ministry, like our Rooted Young Adult Ministry, our Student Ministry Leadership Team, and our Children’s Ministry. So, even if the title “Small Group” isn’t your preference, please pray about serving your Small Group in the area of prayer, guest follow-up or coordinating a mission project for the purpose of becoming and building disciple-makers.