New Year, New ChallengesJay Gordon
One Challenge Towers Over All Others
As we get ready to flip the calendar to a new year, it is a natural time to evaluate the last year and to make plans, commitments, or resolutions for a new and improved year. As Small Group Leaders, let’s leverage that process to include spiritual growth.
I am firmly convinced that there is one thing we can do for people that towers above all of the rest: helping them build a consistent, personal time in God’s word. Once that is accomplished, the road toward maturity in Christ is paved. There are potholes along the way, and the decision to travel forward has to be made daily, but many more parts of a disciple’s character and practice will naturally fall in line once God’s word is washing over their lives consistently.
Here are some important steps in leading our group members to successfully develop a daily habit of studying God’s word.
1. Develop your own spiritual discipline of daily reading God’s word. Have a plan, even if that plan is not a fixed “chapter a day” plan. This year, I’m on a plan with BiblePlan.org to read through the Old Testament in two years and the New Testament in one year.
2. Talk about ways God grows you as you read His word devotionally. You become a powerful example of what it means to be a believer. A bold example is one of the five growth catalysts we teach in Small Group Basics.
3. This time of year, ask them to make a commitment for a plan for one year. Again, there are many things this might look like. I believe a specific, daily plan is best for people who are seeking to develop a habit of Bible reading.
4. Set aside time in your Small Group meetings for members to share about their reading. They can share one of four things: what they are reading, what they are learning, how God is challenging them, and how they are growing through reading God’s word. This can be done weekly or monthly, but let’s be intentional in planning for it.
5. Challenge them to have a Bible reading partner. They’ll connect with that person for at least a few minutes every week and cover the four questions above.
6. Challenge throughout the year. We know the gyms are empty by March, but let’s not let the Bibles be dusty. See yourself as a spiritual fitness coach. Keep challenging them to stay in shape and to keep pursing spiritual growth through a daily time in God’s word.
As spiritual leaders, let’s maximize our leadership by finding natural opportunities to challenge people to grow.