Skip to main content

Developing a Balanced Focus in Your Group



I have always been a strong advocate for balanced groups. I believe groups are best aligned for growth when the members of the group share a formative, caring, and missional focus. The following ideas might make it easier to begin developing that kind of shared focus.

1. Build authentic relationships. Caring for one another and forming one another will happen much more effectively if everyone in your group feels comfortable with one another. Spend time every time you’re together asking and answering questions about each other. Good questions can often launch your group into fruitful inter-personal discussion. Consider using the following questions with each other over a several week period:

· Who are your heroes?

· What are your strengths?

· What unique skills do you have?

· What are your most important beliefs?

· What things do you value?

· What is the mission of your life?

· What things always keep your interest?

· What do you dream about doing?

· What are the key events of your life?

· What is something we need to know about you?

Modify the questions for your group, or use completely different ones. The key is to spend time getting to know one another a little bit better.


2. Set aside time for "Gift Discovery". Allow time on a regular basis to talk about the gifts and talents you see in each other. Discuss how each person might be able to use their gifts to serve in the church as well as to serve those in the world around them. Encourage each person to commit themselves to serving, and hold one another accountable for the commitments made. A healthy group will also use this opportunity to help people realize when they are over-committed or perhaps serving in a venue they are not gifted for.

3. Encourage application. When you study the Bible, take time to talk about how the truths will practically impact people's lives. Allow each person the opportunity to discuss the things in their life they need to change. Take time as a group to follow up on commitments made.

4. Talk about being missional. Schedule time when your group can get together to do something which will show Christ's love to your community. Take time to call Rescue Missions, Habitat for Humanity, thrift stores, or local schools to discover opportunities and schedule a time for your group. If you can’t set a time when you can serve together, take a week off from your meeting and use that time to get out and show Jesus’ love.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Discussion Questions for Easter

Have several people ask the question, “What’s the most important thing you’ve ever done?”
Ask other people, “What do you hope to accomplish in the next several years of your life?”
Tell your class that today you’ll be talking about “life mission” or the one most important thing you do that drives everything else. Tell them that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is the defining moment in history, so it should be the defining moment in our lives.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. How does the resurrection impact some of the crucial beliefs of Christianity? 
How would Christianity be different if there was no resurrection? How would you be different without the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. What are some specific ways that the resurrection gives us hope?
If you had been a friend of Jesus when he was on earth, how would the resurrection have impacted your life? 
How do you think his followers then were effected by the resurrection?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:58. What do you t…

4 Answers You Need About Every Member of Your Group

The following is a blog post by Rick Howerton (you can read the whole thing here). It's a great reminder of what is REALLY important for small group leaders to be thinking about. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the details of planning, growing, and leading our groups that we forget our primary job is to help disciple these friends of ours. Rick suggests four questions we ask ourselves about our group members:
1. Is he or she a follower of Christ? If a small group leader realizes that a group member has not yet crossed the line of faith and become a Christ-follower, the leader needs to 1) make the most of every opportunity the Holy Spirit creates to voice the gospel to that group member, 2) watch the group member closely during group meetings and capture a transformational moment when it occurs, 3) carefully answer any question the group member has and bathe that answer in the person and story of Jesus. 4) Integrate the Gospel into every group conversation when it is possib…

20 Questions to Build Group Connections

Here is a great exercise for a new group. The instructions are pretty simple. Go around the group giving each person the opportunity to choose one question and answer it honestly. Anyone can follow-up with an opinion or clarifying question (no critiquing each other's answers, though). Once a question has been answered, no one else may answer that question.

If your group is larger, you may want to alter the rule and allow each question to be answered 2 or 3 times. Ideally, each person should end up answering 3-5 questions.

As the leader, pay attention to the conversation. Let the discussion run its course as this is how people in the group build their relationships with one another. You can use these questions, modify them or create your own.