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Showing posts from February, 2010

In the School of Christ (Christ's Call to Discipleship)

Currently, I'm trying to post a few times a week summaries of chapters from books I've read over the past few years. These are the books that have really informed my thinking on discipleship and small groups. Hopefully, they'll provide a good opportunity for you to think through some of these same thoughts.

Today, I'm looking at chapter two from the book Christ's Call to Discipleship by James M. Boice. This chapter is entitled "In the School of Christ".

Boice begins this chapter by suggesting that discipleship is really an activity in which we are going to the "school of Christ." This school is unique, thought, because not only is Jesus our teacher, He is also the content. Boice is building on the truths from Matthew 11:28-30 which begin with the expression, "Come to me". This chapter addresses what it means to truly come to Jesus, suggesting that the core objective of coming to Jesus is learning what it means to know him.

The differe…

Songs of the Kingdom: LIFEgroup Questions from Psalm 19

If you were asked by a stranger to describe yourself in just three sentences, what types of things would you reveal about yourself?

What types of things do you think God has revealed about Himself? Why do you think He chose to reveal those things?

What would we know about God if He hadn’t revealed himself? What would our world be like if God had chosen to hide Himself from us?

What does Genesis 1 teach us about who God is? How does His identity as creator make God different than us?

In Genesis 2 and 3, God teaches Adam and Eve. In what ways do you think of God as teacher?

Read Psalm 19:1-6. What can we learn about God from viewing nature? What are the ways that nature gives evidence of God?

Read Psalm 19:7-11. What are some of the benefits of reading God’s Word?

What do you think it means to:
“revive your soul?”"be made wise?”“give joy to the heart?”“give light to the eyes?”
Read Psalm 19:12-14. What do you think is the end result of spending time in God’s Word?

What do you think i…

Building Relationships With Each Other

Here are some simple ways to build community in a small group. (this is a modified post that was borrowed from Josh Harris who borrowed it from Michael Hyatt).

Ask open-ended questions. These are questions that lead people to elaborate and give us some insight into them as a person. For example,


* What is your idea of a perfect vacation?

* If you could design your ideal job, what would it look like?

* What is the best book you have read in the last 12 months and why?

* What is the most important lesson you learned from your father?

* When is your very favorite thing about your spouse?

* If you were by yourself, and could listen to any music you want, what it be?

* If you could spend a day with anyone on the planet, who would it be?

* What it is like to be your friend? or to be married to you?

* If you were suddenly the President of the U.S., what would you do first?

* Looking back over your life, what would you describe as your proudest moment?

Ask a secon…

Space to Belong.

Currently, I'm trying to post a few times a week summaries of chapters from books I've read over the past few years. These are the books that have really informed my thinking on discipleship and small groups. Hopefully, they'll provide a good opportunity for you to think through some of these same thoughts.

Today, I'm looking at chapter three from the book The Search to Belong by Joe Myers. This chapter is entitled, "Give Me Some Space."

In this chapter, Myers identifies four spaces within which we relate.

According to Myers we have these four different kinds of relationships with people. Each circle represents a higher number of relationships with a lesser degree of intimacy requiring a lesser amount of effort, but also meaning a lesser amount of meaning from the relationship.

Myers suggests the key in this model is to strive for balance as opposed to moving. Rather than trying to force everyone in the church to develop intimate relationships with everyone else…

Songs of the Kingdom: LIFEgroup Questions from Job 1

Who is the most righteous person you know? Why do you think of them as righteous? How do you think they got to be that way?

Read Job1:6-11.

What do you think it means to be "blameless" and "upright"? How would you define each of those words?

Why do you think God called Job "blameless and upright"? What did Job do to deserve such a description?

Satan suggested that Job was only righteous because God had blessed him so much. Do you think some people only follow God because they've been blessed? What happens to these people when the blessings go away? How can you avoid being this kind of person?

Why do you think God was willing to let Satan test Job? Was God confident that Job would pass the test? Why or why not?

What does this teach us about God?

What does this teach us about Job?

Do you think God would have this same confidence in you? Why or why not?

Satan's attack on Job included the destruction of his property, his ability to earn money, and th…

Chronicles of the Kingdom: LIFEgroup Questions for 2 Samuel 7

What is one "great thing" you dream of accomplishing? Do you think it will happen? Why or why not?

What are some of the things that keep people from accomplishing their dreams?

Give an example of a time it might be good to not accomplish your dream.

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-3. How would you summarize the great thing David wanted to do for God?

Even though Nathan initially agreed with David that his idea was good, God stepped in and altered the plan.

Have you ever felt like you were trying to do right and people were supportive of you, yet things just weren't working out? What did you do?

How can you know whether or not God wants you to do something?

Read 2 Samuel 7:8-11. Make a list of all the things God had done for David, and the things He promised to do for David and Israel.

What do you think God means when he said he would make a house for David? (look at verse 16 for more information)

When Nathan told David of God's response do you think David was disappointed that he did…

Why Small Groups? Take This Group and Own It

Currently, I'm trying to post once or twice a week summaries of chapters from books I've read over the past few years. These are the books that have really informed my thinking on discipleship and small groups. Hopefully, they'll provide a good opportunity for you to think through some of these same thoughts.

Today, I'm looking at chapter three from the book Why Small Groups, a collection of small group essays compiled by C.J. Mahaney. This chapter, by Greg Somerville, is entitled, "Take This Group and Own It."

The big idea of this chapter is that a successful group is a group in which the members of the group take ownership of the group instead of simply relying on the group's leader to "make it happen." Somerville suggests three questions the members of a small group should ask themselves as they consider whether or not a healthy "ownership culture" exists in their group:
Do you think of your group as YOUR group?Do you OWN your group …

Chronicles of the Kingdom: LIFEgroup Questions for 1 Samuel 16

Who is your favorite (have everyone answer two or three of these):
Movie StarAthleteNews PersonTV actor/actressReality TV characterAuthorPolitician
Fictional CharacterCelebrity What makes this person "impressive" to you?

Read 1 Samuel 16:1-7.

Why do you think Samuel though Eliab was God's chosen king? (verse 6) What criteria do you think Samuel was using in his thought process?

Why do you think God rejected Eliab?

Verse seven says that "the LORD looks at the heart." What do you think that means?

How do you feel about knowing that God is looking at your heart right now? Is he impressed with you? Why or why not?

What kinds of things do not impress God? (Read Proverbs 6:16-19) Have a few people give practical examples of these things.

What kind of heart does impress God? (Read Galatians 5:22-26) Have a few people give practical examples of these things.

What kind of people should impress us? What kind of people should not impress us? Have you observed times when pe…

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a New Small Group

Who can start a group? ANYONE!

The following are six questions to ask yourself before you start a group. Thinking through these questions will help you get started on the right foot.

What will this group do?
Before you invite someone to join a group, have an idea of what the primary focus of the group will be. This doesn’t have to be set in stone, nor does it need to be perfectly detailed. Likely, once the group gets going you’ll work together to figure out the specifics. It will help, though, to be able to say, “This is a group that will be focused on prayer (or Bible study, or missional service, etc…).

Who will be a part of this group?
Make a list of people you want to invite to join you. Or partner with a few others, and everyone invite a few people. Remember, you’ll likely start small, but if you are an inviting group of people growth will happen.

How will I invite people to this group?
A face-to-face invite is always best. However, you may want to prime the pump by sending a…

Christ's Call to Discipleship: A Review

Currently, I'm trying to post once or twice a week summaries of chapters from books I've read over the past few years. These are the books that have really informed my thinking on discipleship and small groups. Hopefully, they'll provide a good opportunity for you to think through some of these same thoughts.

Today, I'm looking at chapter two from the book Christ's Call to Discipleship by James Montgomery Boice. This chapter is entitled, "The Call to Discipleship."

Discipleship is the purpose for small groups. Different churches may use different terms, and some churches may suggest that the primary goal of small groups is something different like "community" or "fellowship", but all will agree that community and fellowship are being done for a greater purpose, and that purpose is discipleship. We want to help people be like Jesus, and that's why we do small groups.

James Boice's book on discipleship is a classic treatment of th…