Tuesday, June 02, 2009


Why small groups? It all comes back to love.

I recently had small group leaders over to my house and I shared with them this equation:
1. We want everyone to be loved. God created us for this very purpose, to love and be loved. We want everyone to have this experience.

2. What this really means is that we want everyone to be known. A person feels unloved to the extent that they feel unknown. Until a person is fully known there is always a question in their mind, "I wonder if people would still love me, if they knew me?" We want people to find that the answer is, "Yes."

3. Being known means finding a place and time for being known. In our modern, impersonal world there are not as many ways that you can become known, or know others. There is an abundance of superficiality, even in relationships. This means we must be more intentional about seeing that such places and times exist.

4. The small group is a place and time for being known (loved). It may not be the only place where people can become known and loved, but it is a proven place. We have chosen small groups as our "Plan A" because they are scriptural, strategic and scalable.

5. This makes the small group meeting the most important meeting we have. I am convinced that for many people what they need is not a sermon, but a friend. If I have a choice to invite a lost person to a) our worship service, or b) our small group, I choose b). There is no more important convention of CTK than the small group that meets in Jesus' name. There are things that a person will get in a small group that they will never get by looking at the back of someone's head in a worship service.

6. Which makes the small group leader the most important leader we have. Our Ministry Directors are in place to support the small group leader. Our pastors are in place to support our ministry directors who support the small group leaders. There is no more important leader in our story than the leader who will convene 2-10 people in Jesus name for friendship, growth, encouragement and outreach.

7. Because the small group leader is taking responsibility to see that people are loved. It's easy to say "we want everyone to be loved." The small group leader takes responsibility to see that it happens. This is what leaders do: they see what needs to be done and they do what needs to be done.

When you break it down, the best groups are about love, bottom line. In fact, I regularly tell small group leaders, "If you don’t know what to do in your group, just love everyone." That sounds pretty simple, but it's actually hard to do consistently. For this reason we must pray, "God help me to love the people in my group.” That is a prayer that should be prayed throughout the week, but then intensified prior to and during the group meeting. God will answer that prayer. 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.

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