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The Relational Small Group-Chapter 10

I am a member of 2 small groups that encourage and mentor each other, but they are both outside of the church. For 26 years I have hosted a support group made up of women who have been affected by addiction of one type or another. I started it as a means to incorporate the values of Al-Anon (a support group for families of alcoholics) with the power of the Bible and our faith in Jesus. My other group is made up of women who have each lost a child.  It was started 24 years ago when our son Blake was killed in a car accident.  After reading Chapter 10 of this book, I feel inspired to make improvements within both groups.

1. To use the Bible more exclusively, instead of relying so much on Christian books.

2. To be more of a shepherd and to create an environment where women shepherd one another. To make calls during the week to those who are overwhelmed with life and especially call on those who have fallen away.

3. To use more of a Q & A model to promote discussion that is honest and  authentic.

4. To promote holding each other accountable to grow as disciples of Christ. To not step back from confrontation in the face of sin, but to do it in love.

I am also a member of a new ministry, “Missing Peace”. We formed this group to be a source of care for church members and those outside the church who are touched by addiction. Our hope is to educate the church about preventive measures, to break down the stigma that addiction creates, and to hopefully become a church known for its acceptance and celebration for members who are in recovery. What a wonderful place to adopt these methods of making disciples who make disciples.
AA and Al-Anon have been successful at this for many years. Their meetings are their small group. Part of their program is to choose a sponsor who can guide them through the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.  These steps were taken from the Bible.  If sponsoring is done correctly, this one-on-one relationship guides them to:

Steps 1-3  Admit their powerlessness and need for God, and to turn their will and their lives over to Him.

Steps 4-7   Make a written inventory of their shortcomings and good qualities and speak them to another, asking God to remove their sins.

Steps 8-9  Make amends to others.

Step 10  Continue to take their own inventory and when they  are wrong promptly admit it.

Step 11   Pray daily and at all times, turning everything over to God.

Step 12   Carry the message to others.

A good sponsor is to model how to get along in their families, the workplace and with God.  This method is successful enough to free millions of men and women from the devastation  and power of addiction, but their program does not lead to salvation. How much more powerful could the method work within the church using the power of God’s Word and offering the hope of the abundant eternal life which starts on this side of heaven!

How about Session (notes from Session discussion)?

If goal of all gatherings is discipling…
and all ministries are moving us towards this or towards other discipling ministries…
what about session?
are we doing this? are we discipling and equipping other disciples?

Yes… could do better…

Need to shift communication:
there’s not good communication bw session and congregation… all doing own things, not all on same path in same direction or we’re not aware of being on same path and in same direction
we used to put condensation of session minutes in presbyteer… we could put it on website. people want to know but we don’t have a way to let them know.

Most of us are in small groups, let’s look at that in session:
how about we break into small groups for the first 30min and do our discussion there?

How are we doing (notes from Session discussion)?

If our mission is to equip disciples who are making disciples, how are we doing?

Need to train leaders/shepherds who disciple
Need to have common language/culture shift

Reframe existing programs to discipling programs

We are doing well w teaching and relationshipping, but are not intentional enough at discipling.
Need to state this as a goal, figure out how to do it, and get to work on it.
Need to develop new leaders and a new mindset of “we all need to be in small groups being discipled and discipling.”

Need to develop biblical worldview, big picture (teachers) and application to life (coaches).

In the Middle of the NIght

It hit me at 1:30 am…remember how everyone was abuzz with leaving the denomination?  Information came from the pulpit, town halls and small groups met, elders and/or other leaders visited Sunday school classes plus much more.

That is the feeling and atmosphere we need to have, now that it can be focused on “making disciples who make disciples.  I think it would be wonderful to exhibit energy and excitement and have lots and lots of different resources/communication for folks.  The questions and the scorecard mentioned in the book are, of course, helpful and a great way to measure if we are folloing our vision. 

Remember that Mateen said he utimately became a Christian because he “wanted what his friends had”?  I think that is what we would want people to think about us (members of First Pres).

Let’s open our hearts and minds and get the creativity flowing!  Oh yes, and “be vulnerable”. 😉

reply to “missed class”

Wes has posted our new schedule in the “Comments” section with a link you can just click on to view it.  Hope that helps.

FPC Edmond
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