Saturday, March 20, 2010

Small Groups as an Enabler of Discipleship

(I am writing some stuff for our church and thought I would share my thoughts here)

In everything we do as a church, we function to expand the kingdom by making disciples. This purpose focus our community and gives us a way to reflect upon whether or not we are “doing church” according to the way Jesus has directed us to “do church”. The same purpose directs our meetings in small group and in our 1x1 discipleship relationships.

Even more foundational than the purpose of small groups is the faith that motivates our meetings as a church and as small groups.

We believe that the kingdom is within reach. we believe through faith in Jesus Christ that people can find a path to an abundant life. We believe that Jesus provides the way to live a life of righteousness, peace and joy in the holy spirit. We believe this is expressed in joy-filled families, love filled life long monogamous marriages, and lifelong mutually supportive and fulfilling friendships.

We believe that these are the outcomes that the discipleship process delivers for people . These outcomes of health lives and healthy loving relationships glorifies God.

We believe that discipleship is the process to deliver these fruit and these kingdom experiences to people that they may from the heart have a testimony of the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their life. These kingdom testimonies are the fuel of our mission. It is through our testimonies of the joy and satisfaction that Jesus has given to us that we are compelled to serve Jesus by sharing His compassion and grace with others.

Small groups are a central part of this discipleship process and our understanding of how Jesus taught us to make disciples informs the way we will do small groups. So in summary, the following beliefs inform how we do small groups:

  1. We believe that the kingdom is available
  2. We believe the kingdom is experienced through discipleship
  3. We believe small groups are a central place to implement and model discipleship and
  4. We believe discipleship, the application of the teachings of Jesus, is about:
    1. Heart Management (Matt 5-7) - inward
      1. in small group
      2. 1x1 relationships
      3. in devotion
    2. Encouraging devotion - upward
      1. In small group
      2. in devotion
    3. Leading in service and the gifts of the spirit- outward
      1. as a congregation
      2. as individuals
      3. in 1x1 relationships
      4. as a small group

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