Hello all, it’s that time of year again where you will begin receiving weekly emails from me regarding your Grow Together group or class. I know it’s pretty exciting stuff, but please try your best to contain your excitement. 🙂
To get things started this year, I want to take a minute to recap some of the important information we covered in our leader huddle on August 16. While we covered a lot of material that evening, there were two thoughts that really stuck out to me.
- The first is that Groups and classes do not guarantee discipleship. Yes, the goal of any group or class is discipleship (to help each other become more like Jesus), but unless we are super intentional about the way we lead our groups/classes, they can easily become about camaraderie rather than transformation. Question: As you plan to lead your group or class this year, how are you intentionally leading the people in your group to be more like Jesus?
- Story: I was chatting with one of our small group leaders last week and he mentioned that following the huddle he asked each person in his group to share how they have become more like Jesus in the last year as a result of being a part of the group. It led to a great discussion in his group. As you begin a “new year”, I would recommend a similar conversation for your group or class. Not only could it lead to great conversation, but it would serve as a reminder to your group/class why you meet.
- Secondly, we need to remember that Loving God and our people is primary. This is a reminder I need often. As a leader, there are many things we could invest our time in: organization, preparation, communication, care, study, managing the clock, etc. While all these things are good and necessary, our primary role as leaders is to love God first and then genuinely love those we lead. If we love God well and love our people well, the rest will fall into place. Question: What would it look like for you to love the people in your class/group well as you begin the school year?
As I mentioned at the Huddle, we will be beginning the school year with two back to back studies that align with our weekend series.
The first study is a 5-week study in the book of Genesis called “In the Beginning”. This study corresponds with a curriculum change for the children and students in our church. As of this coming weekend, our Family Ministry Team (birth-12th grade) begins a curriculum called The Gospel Project, (click on the link to explore) which is a three-year journey through the Bible. They will be spending the entire first semester in the book of Genesis.
To help highlight this change, we will be journeying through the book of Genesis throughout September. This coming weekend (Sept. 1 &2) is an introduction to the series. There is no study to accompany week 1 of the series. The four weeks after that (Starting Sept. 8/9), I will be writing curriculum that will be used following each weekend in classes and groups. That curriculum will be available here on the blog by the Thursday before each weekend. We would love for each class and small group to join us by using this curriculum following each weekend. So, for the sake of clarity, the sermon on the weekend of the 8th/9th would be discussed between the 9th and the 14th.
The second series will be starting the weekend of October 6/7. We will also be writing curriculum for these four weeks. This series is a Part 2 of the Tell Me More series we did last fall. This time we are focusing on who God is and how that plays out in the trinity. Again, we would love to have your group and class join us during these studies.
As I close out this week, I want to say thank you so much for making an investment in the lives of the people in your groups and classes. Thank you for helping them become more like Jesus. Thank you for making transformation a priority in your context. As Bobby Harrington wrote in his book “Discipleship that Fits”, “Deep personal transformation happens in close relationships with just a few, because only a few people can earn the trust it takes to be vulnerable, open, and honest in life-on-life situations.” Thank you for investing deeply in your “few”.