Greetings Home Group Shepherds,
The Bible is freighted with commands concerning relationships and mission. In the New Testament, there are over 35 statements about how we are to treat “one another.” The range of these commands is from caring for one another to spurring on one another. And behind all of these is the character of God – we are to be like Him in how we walk and work in this world. Our model and leader is the Lord Jesus who “made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, . . . humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!”
Jesus’ mission was to make disciples of Himself. These disciples were to continue His ministry of making the good news known – the good news “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation”(2 Corinthians 5:19).
We have adopted a motto for our Home Groups: “Doing Life and Mission Together.” The “Life Together” portion is a challenge for us. Our independent and DIY lifestyle challenges the ‘togetherness’ seen in the early church. Because of their needs and persecution, the early church shared all things in life.
To do “Life Together,” we must change some of our ways. This will require us to be more ‘self-forgetful’ and ‘others’ minded. You leaders are the models in your groups. Because you have taken up the call to care about others, they will learn from watching you.
To do “Mission Together” means that we share the same passion – to make disciples of Christ. Throughout the New Testament there is always a partnership of believers. This does not mean that Home Groups are all involved in the same place of ministry. Rather it means that as we strive to make disciples of the people in “our world,” we will encourage and pray for one another.
Each of us has a sphere of people (“our world”) with whom we’re connected. As God leads, we have opportunities to love, serve, and share with them. We can pray for one another and our influence with friends who are not yet Christ-followers(Colossians 4:2-6). We can encourage and spur one another as we invest and invite in people that God puts in our paths. Some of those will be family including children. Others might be neighbors or coworkers. Jesus has promised to work through us to touch their lives as we trust in Him (John 15:7).
In summary, I am praying for us – that as we abide in Him, we will see fruit that lasts and live in His joy.
NOTES TO ALL LEADERS:
- Please read the introductory portions of the booklet. You may want to read this with your group. This helps everyone understand some essentials of a healthy community.
- Understand that we are aiming at a new rhythm of having three studies in four weeks. This allows the fourth week to be used for a meal together or for serving together or for catch up.
I want to urge you to delegate responsibilities according to people’s strengths and availability. Here are a few things to consider:
- Calendar: Ask someone to keep the calendar and send it out to people.
- Missionary: Ask someone to coordinate efforts to pray and care for your missionary.
- Facilitators: Ask other people that you trust to facilitate gatherings.
- Roster: Ask someone to prepare and send out a roster. (Copy Julie in the office at email@example.com.)
The lessons each week always include prayer suggestions. Please ask people to continue praying throughout the week.
Love you all,
SteveClick Here To Open Leader’s Guide