Sunday, October 12, 2008

Small Group Plan

Had a good ride on the Katy Trail. I rode my bike from Sedalia to Kirkwood. I rode Thursday thru Tuesday 242 miles

A good time of exercise, camping, Bible reading, praying and planning.

Monday I thought I would read James and I stopped along the Katy trail to get into the Word. As I opened my Bible to James my heart was not in reading it and I picked up a book by Smith Wigglesworth and started reading the next chapter. Guess what the next chapter was on. James 1

From reading that chapter and then going over the 1st chapter of James I came to see more clearly that spiritual growth does not come from learning but from going through trials.

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

We grow, (become perfect and complete) when we go through trials with all joy. We do not become complete when we understand doctrines. It is like my riding a bicycle. I can't ride my bicycle if I don't eat. But I don't get stronger by eating. I get strong by riding. It is the same in the Spirit. Studying the Bible is like eating. But we don't get strong by studying. We get strong by serving God through trials.

But how do I rejoice in trials? Love of Christ Jesus gives my heart new life which is able to serve through difficulties. This love is beat down by the trials of life.

This is why we are told to continue in Church.
Hebrews 10:23-25
23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;

24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Considering our Saturday night group. This is what is on my heart to do.
Make disciples and encourage them to continue on in the love of God with good deeds.

How is this done?

Small groups is where I am being led by God. And outreach is where small groups are generated. That is why I jumped at the chance for evangelistic outreach.

Here is my plan for small groups and discipleship and growth into more small groups.

There are 3 levels. Taken from Ephesians Sitting, Walking and Standing (A book on this from Watchman Nee)

Sitting (level 1) Taught on John and Ephesians 1-3
Walking (level 2) Taught on Ephesians 4,5
Standing (level 3) Taught on Ephesians 6

These 3 levels also are talked about in 1 John 2:1,12-14
Children - Free from sin,
Young Men - Overcome the evil one, Strong, Word of God abide in you
Fathers - Known God from the beginning (long time in the faith) have spiritual children.

Level 1 would be for new converts that would have a leader take them through Scriptures to establish them in the faith. John and Ephesians 1-3 would be the basis of the teaching but all the Bible could be used as the Spirit led in the teaching. 1/4 of a year or 13 weeks would be long enough. But this of course would be adjusted according to experience and the leading of the Spirit and peoples needs.

Level 2 would be the main meeting where all the people interested in small group discipleship would come to. It would be a time of testimony of what God is doing in their lives and prayer and encouragement to continue. It would be a time of discussion and prayer of how and where to serve God. Trials come from serving not from learning. And encouragement enables us to rejoice in serving. This level would be variable according to the personality of the people in the group. The basic ideas of encouragement and service would always be there. This level would be involved in evangelistic outreach. One of the requirements of going to level 3 is to have led another one to Jesus for salvation.

Level 3 Would be a small group for:
Spiritual war against opposition
Intercession for the needs of the people
Building faith by encouragement of the Scriptures
Leadership training

People in level 3 would go on to be leaders of levels 1 & 2 small groups by the leading of the Spirit.

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