Discipleship. Spiritual Formation. Christian Formation. Spiritual Transformation. Missional Discipleship … Have you heard these terms and wondered what each meant?
A metaphor that has helped me understand and lead small group ministry is this: Growing a small group discipleship ministry is like growing a garden. Small group coordinators and leaders must ask gardening questions. How would you answer these questions about your small group ministry?
Looking for a way to mobilize more people in evangelism in 1999, a few of us at church stumbled on to the Alpha Course. We were drawn to it because it offered a simple way to involve people in bringing the Gospel to their friends. We got a small pilot group together, followed the instructions, and went for it.
Alpha is a practical introduction to the Christian faith, where guests can explore the meaning of life and ask questions in a non-threatening, relaxed setting. The traditional Alpha course is 10 weeks long and includes a day or weekend-long retreat half-way through the course.
Ferns and small groups are both fractals. Fractals are complex forms made up of simple repeated patterns. Small groups are formed by repeating patterns or values. What patterns are you building into your small group? Are they positive or negative?
Imagine small group leaders and teams standing as scarecrows over our groups and ministries to guard against Satan’s assaults. Farmers place scarecrows in gardens because the farmer expects birds to go after his seeds. It is naïve of us to not be ready for Satan’s attempts to wreak havoc in our Christian communities.
On April 15-17, thousands from the CRC will be gathering to pray for our denomination at the 2013 Prayer Summit and in homes and churches across North America and around the world. Your small group can participate in this growing movement by hosting a “Watch and Pray” event in the comfort of your home or join by using the daily Prayer Guide.
Just before Jesus’ death he prayed, “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21) What did Jesus mean by oneness? What is our picture of Christian oneness?
Growing a discipleship ministry is an ongoing process, much like growing a garden. Good gardeners are aware that they need to cultivate particular practices in order to develop a healthy, vibrant garden. If they faithfully plant, water, fertilize, etc., they will yield a good crop. Maybe.
If you were going to plant a garden, what would you do? I have asked this question many times at small group discipleship training. The first answers usually are: dig, plant, water. What else: weed, fertilize, pick. What else? Buy seeds. What kind of seeds will you buy? Oh, we have to decide what we are going to grow!
The Bible League of Kenya developed a partnership with Coffee Break to share the materials and method in order to encourage small group Bible discovery. Most often, ‘Bible Study’ in Africa means teaching. People learn about the Bible through teaching in sermons, Sunday School and small groups.