Sometimes we just need to know what's next in our spiritual lives. As a teenager, I remember wanting a one-page overview to help me figure out priorities and what to do next. I think many Christ followers would welcome a little help with the “What’s next?” question.
Sometimes we as leaders don’t make it easier. We teach the Bible and even have good group discussions, but sometimes fail to help our people figure out how to incorporate Biblical truth into their lives. I like to think of leading a Small Group as more like coaching than teaching. Coaches do make sure their players understand what to do and how to do it.
So what exactly are some of those “next steps”? Here are some steps your member may need to take. This could be considered an expansion of our purpose at Brook Hills to “Love Jesus, Grow in Jesus, Make Disciples of Jesus.”
- Follow Christ and be baptized
- Read and study the Bible on a daily basis
- Pray consistently and strategically
- Become a member of the church
- Talk about their faith with believers
- Exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in their lives
- Fulfill roles well (spouse, father, employee, etc.)
- Serve in some way using their spiritual gifts
- Live a generous lifestyle with their time and money
- Share Christ with co-workers, neighbors, and friends
- Disciple someone who is a new believer
You might start by looking over this list and write a percentage guess of how many of your group members participate in each way. That can be difficult to know unless you spend quality time with your folks or have significant discussions during group in a setting that is small enough to allow you to know them.
Next, review the list again and ask yourself if you have taught and challenged your group in these areas. You might discover some areas of growth in yourself. It’s difficult to challenge our group to act in an area where we also have room to grow. If so, give some focused energy in growing in your areas of need. It’s so important for leaders to model these practices of a believer.
Finally, be specific in your challenges each week. Leaders can have a tendency to leave things generic. Often, our people are more helped when we are specific while realizing obedience can look very different from person to person.