The #ReimagineFORUM @ Discipleship.Network

Equipping Your Reimagine Journey

Are you being a good steward of your small group (or church, ministry, family, business ...)?

I've written about this before in reference to how you are discipling and shepherding the group God has put under your care (1 Peter 5:2). That's vital to leading a healthy small group or anything else. But there's even more to it than that.

How are you using all the gifts and abilities and passions of the people entrusted to you?

Today I went back and looked again at Nehemiah 3, which tells about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem under Nehemiah's leadership. This whole chapter is a list of all the groups and individuals who worked on the walls and the gates. Nehemiah demonstrated his leadership by his ability to get people involved in the work. We do not know exactly how he "recruited" all these people, but we can see that he inspired them by the meaningfulness of the work. He got a wide variety of people involved: men and women, people of all ages, people who had a variety of skills and experiences. He involved priests and other religious and civic leaders. Nehemiah had a strategy: he had people working specific parts of the wall and gates, often right in front of their own homes. This was wise stewardship of their time, but it also gave them ownership of their parts of the wall.

Nehemiah had a task of building a wall, but his most important responsibility was to build up the people in the process.

If the walls of Jerusalem were that important, how much more significant is the work we do of making disciples of all nations?

Are you using the gifts and abilities and passions of the people in your small group, or are you trying to do all the work yourself?

How are you building up the people in your group, family, ministry, church, business?

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Comment by Michael Mack on February 17, 2011 at 9:51am

Thanks for your comments, everyone! I'm currently writing a new book titled 7 Vital Signs of a Healthy Small Group, due out this Spring from TOUCH. I'm working on the chapter about healthy community and am right in the middle of a section in which I say that healthy community takes GUTS: it's Genuine, Unconditional, Tangible, and Sacrificial. This discussion reminds me about the Unconditional part, which is so difficult for us to carry out. Loving one another "as is," no matter what, without any conditions, does not come naturally to us in our culture today. But it is what we are called to do. One of the things I keep saying in this chapter is that we need to relearn how to live in healthy community (like the early church experienced). Somewhere along the way we lost that, and we need it to be God's church. I'd love to hear more stories and experiences about this. Good stuff!

Comment by Margie Williamson on February 17, 2011 at 8:40am

Donna, your perspective is very real. I remember a time when I was serving as a youth minister that a several teenagers came by my house to let me know something that was unacceptable that a member of the group had done. They thought she should be "kicked out of the youth group" for her actions. We talked about Christian love and forgiveness and respect. However, what I realized later was that they were testing me and my ability to keep what was said within that small group dynamic. It was a wonderful time of teaching for both me and for them about what it means to hold the trust group members give as precious. It is so easy for Christians to share things they should not, justifying it as a prayer concern, instead of realizing how it tears apart any trust that can be built in a group. Trust builds walls; distrust tears them down.

Comment by Donna Lynn Easton on February 16, 2011 at 8:49pm
Interesting post...if I learn one thing in being in this network ...Is always be ready ...ready to see another point of view on a Bible story/verse etc.It started me thinking back on your "small group" blog. For me my first one built even more walls than I already had up before I was 'born again' . And at the time I didnt learn anything except be even more careful who you trust..Being a christian means "squat". I look back on that time 12 years later and I can now see huge growth in my life , I am now 15  years old and I am striving forward .And I will admit I am a builder of people, family and yes walls {not always the good walls}.As much as I cling to the cross I also sling at it as well. Thanks for the blogs Michael, I do appreciate them.


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