Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
What do you think is the best way to intentionally help people grow spiritually in a small group? Does it include curriculum/studies? Go straight from the Bible? Mentoring? Encouragement? Accountability? Other things?
Western-Modern culture has spent centuries championing "information transformation"; while this has merit, there is a better way... A post-modern culture (and Christ's example) evidences "relational transformation" as the true catalyst. This is why I love that our church's term for discipleship is "pursue God in relationships"
I believe that true discipleship involves 5 distinct connections:
* Connection with God (Prayer, Worship, etc.)
* Connection with People (Relationships)
* Connection with Truth (Scripture, Biblical worldview, etc)
* Connection with Character (Maturity)
* Connection with Ministry (Service)
Phil, we are actually working on this at present and hope to have something in people's hands first of the year. We have learned over the years that small groups and faith formation does not equal Sunday school in church buildings. Increasingly, our off-site small groups are taking the place of our Sunday school on Sunday morning. These groups are much more likely to happen in people’s homes or in coffee shops and at the beginning or end of the workday rather than on Sunday. But it all takes place in a response to a call to pursue God in relationships, a call to follow Jesus on his terms and so become his brothers and sisters—sons and daughters of God.
Phil Miglioratti said:
Dennis, can you tell us more about your congregation's approach? Resources?
We welcome posting/linking to whatever the Holy Spirit has to offer through your ministry ,
All of the above... I know, that's not the answer you're looking for. For me the key is "intentionally" and having a plan. There are times when curriculum is the best approach, and other times when using the Bible (like an Inductive Bible Study/ Discovery Bible Study method) is the way to go. Mentoring, encouragement, and accountability should come as the result of being a part of the Small Group, with the goal of helping everyone mature in Christ, and become a disciple-maker.