Summary: Want to cast a vision for small group ministry? Want to build a church where no one stands alone? Want to teach small group leaders what values they should be teaching their group? Here you go...
Show video clip from YouTube.com titled: Small group of one
A small group of one appeals to my :”Rugged individualism.”
Let me sit in the pew alone
Let me work on my marriage alone
Let me build a business alone
Let me raise my kids alone
Let me pastor this church alone
Someone has said we live in a Hotel Society where there are plenty of people around us, but we go off to our rooms to watch TV by ourselves.
• I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get the feeling I’m trying to do it all….alone.
• Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you saw it as more of a team sport?
• Do you ever wonder what the church would be like if people were sincerely standing together shoulder to shoulder?
Small group ministry has a theory called “Where no one stands alone.”
• Is it more than a theory/idea? Is it possible?
• I know it is b/c of a scripture I read this week. I’ll let you in on what I learned…
Author contrasts/compares OT way and NT way; NT way is better.
The writer pleads with them to persevere in the new way of living.
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
See if you can pick out what they are to do in order to keep the faith, persevere, and STAND TOGETHER.
22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but
let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Take one of these at a time
If we are going to STAND TOGETHER…
Let us draw near to God
We have the access to God and often see this as a “personal” thing; God sees it as something much more than personal.
If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, 24 abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God. The Message Matthew 5
You can’t draw near without a sincere heart. And it is within the context of a small group/relationship where you learn to deal with dysfunctional patterns of relating.
In our Church it is refreshing to hear people admit they are not perfect.
Some come to church with the “its all about me” approach. When conflict comes, they take the easy way out refusing to resolve conflict b/c it means first taking a sincere look inside.
Good small groups will not let unresolved conflict go unchecked b/c they know it hinders the person’s ability to worship God.
If we are going to STAND TOGETHER…
Let us hold to the hope
• Hebrews were going back to old covenant way of doing things.
• Like the double minded man of James 1:8, they were unstable in all their ways.
Hold: to keep firm possession of
Object lesson: I held a closet dowel rod in my hands and asked a man to wrestle it out of my hands, which he did in about 7 seconds. I got another man from the audience and asked him to stand with me and to keep the dowel rod away from the other man. Of course, the man could not wrestle it out of both of our grips.
This illustrates how we are to hold to the hope that we profess. We do this better together.
What kind of hope?
• Hope of heaven, but also hope here too.
• Not a hunker in the bunker escapist kind of hope, but a living hope.
Be ready to give an answer of the hope that is within you.
People only ask about the hope you have when you are living that hope in everyday life.
How do you live hope?
• By seeing yourself in the mirror of God’s word and then changing (James).
Good small groups spend time applying the hope they have to everyday life.
Together we hold to the hope we have. How?