Growth, Relationships, and Faith

Simply put, one of the key points of having Grow Together groups is to “grow together” in Jesus Christ. That means growing in our understanding of what the Bible tells us about God, faith, and the gospel of Jesus Christ (the story of his birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension – and eventual return); and how that all applies to how we live out our lives on a day-to-day basis in a world that needs our example as light in the darkness. That’s a long-winded way of describing “becoming devoted followers of Jesus Christ” – our mission.

It should be every group’s goal to approach that growth through learning/studying using various methods, such as books, small group specific materials like DVDs series, or even just straight-up Bible study (perhaps following the current sermon series). Learning is one way in which we grow in our faith, encounter transformation, and become devoted followers.

But faith (and life in Christ) is more than just a cognitive process – faith is always relational.

Our need for relationships is echoed throughout Scripture. We see it first and foremost in the Trinity – three persons in one God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It is in this image that God made us, saying, “Let us make mankind in our image, our likeness” (Gen 1:26). We’re designed for relationship. God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen 2:18)  [emphasis added – both times]. Likewise, one of the first things Jesus did when he began His earthly ministry was to gather disciples around Himself (a larger group from which He later selected the 12 Apostles; Luke 6:13). When Jesus sent out 72 disciples to go before Him, He “sent them out two by two” (Luke 10:1). Relationships are God’s plan for everyone.

So, as group leaders, one of our goals should be to try foster an environment that helps build relationships within your Grow (or Serve) Together group community. An important aspect of group meetings is always learning about Jesus Christ and how we our lives can reflect His perfect love in the world and our own community. But it’s not just all about learning (though that is very important).

Small group meetings should be structured so that they have both a learning component and a social (relational) component (whether before or after the learning time or both). Use this relaxed time for people to catch up about doing life together. This will help provide an environment that helps build Christian relationships that leads to transformation; that is, becoming devoted followers (disciples) of Jesus Christ.

Remember, we were never meant to do any of this alone.

In Christ…

Tim Revis

Group Life Deacon

trevis@firstdecatur.org
217.725.9089

 

 

 

One thought on “Growth, Relationships, and Faith

  1. Janie Kane says:

    Hi, Tim!

    You are such a gifted writer and I love reading your blogs! Thank you for reaching out to small group leaders. I thought you might like to know that the F4 Leader small group has expanded to now being Children’s Ministry Small Group. As you know, Brandy Ray is now DZ director. She has been in our small group as an F4 leader. I had to fire her from her F4 responsibilities. She kept spending too much time in DZ! Ha! So, as both a way to grow our group and keep The Ray Family in ours, that’s what we’ve done. No new DZ leaders just yet. We haven’t specifically focused on making that happen, but I suspect we will. Also, what we have been using as our topic lately (and I totally love it!) is our upcoming F4 lessons. So, whatever we’re going to be teaching in F4, we dig deeper, on an adult level, into scripture, Bible stories, how it relates to our lives, how it relates to what it means to our F4 kids, etc.

    As for an update on the situation Jen and I brought to you a while back. She brought it up as a prayer request. It was received…not very well. Tammy dropped out. However, over the summer, she offered to babysit all of the kids at my next door neighbor’s pool during our study, so, there you go. Joe continues to teach us and lead us and does so with a great deal of knowledge and enthusiasm. We’re not a perfect group by any means. Well, we’re kind of weird, actually, but we’ve been at it for a couple of years….Anyway. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blogs and give you an update on our group.

    God bless your ministry & Lord, help me with mine! ; ) Janie

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