Some of Forefront's finest leaders at a recent party
Create an environment where God is active. Pray for a small group where people change. Keep your group purposeful by creating an environment where participants can experience authentic community and spiritual growth.
In January we ended our discussion on AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY with this:
Be Focused on Restoration (We do what we do because we want to see lives changed.)
When our aim is only to study God’s word we risk becoming legalists.
When our aim is only to socialize we risk walking away just as empty as we came.
When our aim is only to serve others we risk being exhausted and burned out.
When our aim is only for vulnerability and imperfection we risk drowning in a pool of brokenness rather than leading people to the life found in Jesus.
But when our aim is restoration we get all of the above (studying, socializing, serving, vulnerability and imperfections) thrown in; in fact, each can actually be what God chooses to use to bring about the restoration He hopes for in all of us.
Tonight our focus is going to be on seeking and pursuing life-change within our groups; while the list could go on for pages we’re going to focus on 4 ways to pursue life-change.
1. Be a Disciple
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
What I’ve learned over the years is, if I am spending time connecting with God during the week like I need to, I can’t help but speak the gospel clearly. It just pours out of me. If we aren’t standing in the grace and power of Jesus during the week, there’s no way we can lead our church, small group, or ministry team. We can’t lead where we haven’t been.
-What is one thing God has taught you lately, something God has spoken to you via prayer, Scripture, meditation, or through others?
-What practices are you currently engaged in to draw closer to Christ?
“You can’t lead where you haven’t been”
2. Have a Clear Vision
If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves, but when they attend towhat He reveals, they are most blessed. (Proverbs 29:18)
What is it you want to accomplish in your group? Where do you want people to go? What are you hoping will happen within a 3-month or 9-month period of time? Does your group know this?
“Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!” (Matthew 6:19)
-What is God teaching me? -In what areas does our group need to grow? -What is a problem we need to pursue?
Here is what I’m hoping for my group:
-Relationally (Authentic Community) ________________________________________________________ -Spiritually (Spiritual Growth) ______________________________________________________________
3. Create Space to Care
The true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest. Professional competence is not enough to be a good leader; good leaders must truly care about those entrusted to their care.
-Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last
5 Ways to Create Space to Care for those in your group
Friendship, intimacy, and vulnerability happen in the unstructured, unhurried world of margin.
4. Ask Good Questions
For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)
*Practice writing down four open-ended questions that will lead to authentic discussion.