The purpose of small group.
To give a simple desiring output to small group downplays the effectivity of this system. It is established as an effective ministry training by none other than our Lord Jesus Christ thru the twelve disciples.
Just to give us some uncontested results of regular small group bible study, it encourages everyone to have a genuine, closer relationship to Christ. Also, it deepens the connection amongst believers.
Regular small group bible study is a personal contact approach where individual experiences, testimonies, challenges & struggles, victories and growth in faith of a believer can be mentioned.
On the other end, if the small group bible study is not efficiently guided, it could also be an avenue of relationship disaster.
To avoid such pitfalls, it must create a culture of positivity like, trust, openness, hospitality among others. At the core, it should encourage spiritual growth of every member, inspire everyone to continue their walk in faith even in the middle of trial or persecution.
Small group is also a venue where we can exercise our gifting to help the growth of the church in general.
How to be effective in leading small group bible studies
The first lesson to be effective in leading small group bible study is to enhance your ministry gifts.If you are leading a small group bible study, it is a must to learn.
Learn the Word of God, studying it thoroughly is not an option now but a necessity, it is a requirement for those who have been entrusted with souls, which Lord Jesus Christ will ask of us at the time of judgement.
This is a continuous chapter of our Christian walk, we must learn and must not stop learning, we could even spend our earthly life just trying to have a meek and simple understanding of who Jesus is really is.
We should learn not just the Word of God but also, it is important that we develop necessary skills to guide other believer grow in faith.
The idea of learning of course is not just objectively knowing what to do.
The essence should be to genuinely seek our Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer, especially the leaders should have the emptiness, hunger or thirst to know more of Christ. Even if we encounter struggles to attain that wisdom.
As Paul stated in Philippians 4:13, “I press on toward the goal”, Paul here defines his heart to pursue Christlikeness in every time of his life, from the time of his conversion. He did not stop to know Christ up to the time of his execution by the Romans.
Learn to have a correct motive also, ask the Lord to teach you genuine Christian characters. Your motives will affect your actions which could be seen by other small group members.
Learn also the ability to teach and lead others to Christ. One of the skills a true servant should possess. More of this in the teach section.
In our modern day of easy information sharing, we could easily find resources, commentary, e-book or anything that will help us learn and grow our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Learn, this what you will use in the next section.
Next is role modeling. It is not like a fashion modeling career that a Christian should consider to earn something. It is the way of showing in actual and personal application of what you already learned about our Lord Jesus Christ.
In a small group, our action could be easily seen. Whatever your action is, good or bad, it is modeling. Group members notices every action that we take, and it teaches them how act it themselves.
That is why we must take a careful look how we handle things in a small group setting. Christian modeling should be more of a beneficial to others and pleasing to God, than to self.
This is imitating Christ in our lifetime, and take note, in our lifetime. As apostle Paul says to the Corinthians in his first letter, chapter eleven verse one “Imitate me as I imitate Christ”.
How? In many ways, one is by helping others. One example of our Lord Jesus Christ is by washing the feet of the twelve disciples. He has shown there humility and service.
The idea is being a servant. In the bible being a servant means to do task that are delegated by someone of a higher order. More like a household servant doing the task for his master. It’s like showing the world who Jesus Christ is by our own testimonies. Jesus Christ is the Master and we, His servant.
I believe our actions influence other believers in a subtle way. Because other believers, especially those under your care in small group, they could see how you think, decide and speak in front of them. If we act negatively they follow, if we act in Christlikeness they also follow.
I say modeling affects other believers in a subtle way because it is influence by our motives, and our motives could be hidden. That is why it’s important to have check your intentions in handling small groups.
Weekly bible sturdy is not only an area where we can learn and model the character of Christ. Small group is also a good example of classroom environment where anyone who is capable could teach.
We do not need to be a small group leader to teach others. In modeling, members of the small group see us, they observe and use their eyes to get influence by our actions in pursuit to be like Christ.
In classroom teaching, we use verbal communication. We relay the learning that we had to other members. The members use their ears to learn, they listen.
Regular checking can be done here, making sure every member is active and participating the spiritual growth the group is seeking.
In my experience of handling small group bible studies every week for almost 10 years, I have seen in every single bible study, the one who speak at every moment becomes the teacher.
It pertains not only to those who preach the Word of God but everyone who has a voice to speak could become a teacher or like a teacher. This is one of the undeniable power of regular small group bible study.
It’s at that session where everyone could be given an ample time to speak almost everything. When the emcee starts and end the program, he teaches by way of encouragement, and all the members listen.
When the song leader starts to lead the group in worship, there are times also that he teaches in between song by melody of praise, and so on. At the time of sharing experiences, everyone could voice out their opinion or experiences, everyone teaches everyone.
Now let us take our Lord Jesus Christ as an example of being a teacher. He used practical examples of His time, see the parables, he used common occupation in the Palestine, common practices of ordinary people. Perhaps, commonality is one of the best tool to teach other believers in small group.
He did not only used words of encouragement, rebuke was also given to the disciples in perfect timing in real time, beat that!
We cannot deny that one of the primary purpose of small group bible study is the spiritual growth of its individual members. That is to make everyone a disciple.
We must create for each member a culture of loving & edifying one another, being kind and exhorting one another.
It is where we pray to one another and support one another. Let us keep this purpose alive by having a genuine heart to grow and know Christ all the more every day.