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Philosophy Of Small Groups Essay

1601 words - 7 pages

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

The Philosophy of Small Groups

DSMN 500

By

Introduction
A leader of disciples must have the basic idea of how much impact small groups have in the success of the church and in the teachings of Christ. Small groups are effective tool in building up people in church, as well as spreading the gospel to the community. Successful small groups don’t make themselves, it takes an understanding of how they are implemented, and what purpose to serve in Christ. To reach this understanding, we must look at the role and fit of the small group in the church and what is needed to make it work. The purpose is to show how a small group can be used to spread Christ word and ...view middle of the document...

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Small Groups That are Effective
Small groups that are effective have several parts. You must have a shepherding, teaching, and present accountability in the group. An effective small group makes not only believers, but disciples of Christ. Sanders said “Jesus did not commission His disciples to go and make believers of all nations, but disciples; the terms are not synonymous, although there can be no salvation without believing.” The shepherd is the leader of the group. The leader doesn’t lord over or take over the group, but help foster an environment where the leader is helping make more leaders who can go out and lead, or shepherd on their own. In Luke 15:1-7 we learn the parable of the lost sheep, and how the shepherd rejoiced after finding the sheep, and returning it to the flock. The leader of the small group can, be like the shepherd. Tracking down members who have stopped coming, or encouraging members to pray for the wayward members to help bring them back. Putman and Harrington tell us “He will encourage those who know the person best to track them down and encourage them to come back to their spiritual family.” Teaching will not happen, and shouldn’t happen using the traditional manner, of one person teaches, while the rest just listen. This can hurt the dynamic of the small group just to listen to one person teaching. The leader should instead encourage the group to discuss amongst the group to help deepen the lesson, and understanding of the lesson. In this format, everyone is participating in the teaching and learning. It allows the group to see how the truth from the Bible impacts their own life personal. However, the leader must make sure, that the Bible’s truth is not turned into each member’s interpretation, rather how each experience is a different facet of the same truth. The third thing a small group must have is accountability. Ecclesiastes describes the importance of having accountable partners. In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 it says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” It is a strategy of the devil to separate disciples from Christ, if there is no accountability for each other. The group that can demonstrate accountability, amongst its members can beat this strategy. An individual can realize that they’re not alone in the struggle, and can be supported by fellow disciples in the group. Putman and Harrington share “as people share with one another, they discover that they are not the only ones struggling with an issue, and the shame that keeps them from seeking God or asking people to help is taken away.” Accountability can provide a rebuke when needed, so we can keep disciples who may be sinning a chance to repent and atone for the sin. Bonhoeffer wrote “the Christian community of small groups will live life similarly to the world but...

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