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The Joys of Meeting With My Church Small Group

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I have been meeting with a group of people from church for two years in my home on Sunday evenings. The group has changed some over time as people have moved out of Wichita Falls and some have moved in. We have consistently studied Scripture together and talked about our daily walk with Jesus. The longer we have been together the more open we have become in sharing our failures as well as our successes in our relationship with Christ. We have challenged one another when necessary and rejoiced with each other in victories. The New Testament is filled with “one another” passages about how we relate to one another. My small group has grown in these areas as we care for one another, love one another and encourage one another. We have wept with those in our group who have wept and rejoiced with those who have rejoiced. We spend time eating together each week after our time of Bible study and we spend time praying for one another as well during our weekly time together. We believe Experiencing God Together with a small group is a crucial part of being a maturing disciple of Jesus and this group has helped all of us grow in our relationship with Christ and others.

I have watched many people who have attended church but never made the effort to be involved with a small group for deeper discipleship and to know and be known by others. Many times those people slowly drift away from the church with nobody to follow up with them and hold them accountable. Or when things in life get tough, they simply drop their nominal involvement in the church. My small group is committed to meeting together regularly as the Scriptures instruct (Hebrews 10:24-25). If someone misses, we know why they are not there and what is happening in their life. We are able to minister to them in their times of hurt and chaos. We speak life from God’s Word to each other in the various situations that life throws at us.

I have said for the four years of being back on staff at Faith that I do not know how people can go through difficult times apart from Christ and not only that but apart from a small group of believers in the local church to walk with through life. Being a follower of Jesus is joyful but it is not always easy. Difficulties will come in this life and having a group of people who will encourage, challenge and walk with us through those difficulties while pointing us to Jesus is necessary.

As I learned during the Life Action Thirst Revival Conference, questions are a great way to see where we are in our spiritual walk:

  1. Are you involved in a small group or Sunday School group at Faith Baptist?
    1. If so, are you actively engaged in Experiencing God Together with others in that group or merely an attender?
    2. If not, what step will you take to become an active participant in a small group?
  2. Who can you invite to Experience God Together through your small group?

 

 Jeff White
Associate Pastor of Families/Missions
Posted by Jeff White with
in Advice

Developing Your Leadership to Serve the Lord

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Leadership seems to be a constant topic for church staff especially in relation to developing leaders who lead well in the church. Often the view is that leadership training done inside the church is only for use within the ministries of the church. When leadership has a narrow view, believers are not as interested in attending leadership classes, watching leadership videos or learning from articles and books on leadership.

A better view of leadership is seeing that leadership is applied through many facets of life. One may be a Sunday School leader and a deacon within the church, and that same person may be the lead director for a department in his job, lead his wife and children and serve as a volunteer soccer coach in the local soccer association. If the view of leadership is limited or compartmentalized, it is limiting when and where you can serve the Lord. One who is a leader in the church should also be leading outside the walls of the church building. The same biblical principles that are used for church leadership can be applied in coaching young boys or girls in soccer while leading their parents as well. “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord and not for people” is a word from Paul in Colossians. The context is living your life for the Lord in your home and at work. The Bible does not put faith in compartments. Faith is not limited to the church building so leadership in a biblical way is not limited to Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. 

In my limited number of years in ministry I have watched as men and women lead one way in their church but do not apply the same principles when leading outside the church. Employees are not cared for, husbands or wives are not loved and children are treated as a nuisance while at church the same person cares for those in their Sunday School, shows a genuine love for those around them and is willing to bend over backwards so kids can have the best experience possible. There cannot be a disconnect in using leadership to serve the Lord in the church and leading the way the world leads outside the church.

Are you excited about growing as a leader to be able to lead well in the church AND lead well in the other parts of your life? Have you thought about the training and discipleship you receive at church being applied to serving the Lord outside the church? Opportunities exist at Faith Baptist to develop as a leader but you must have a bigger view than just serving the Lord for an hour a week to get excited about the opportunities. What if Faith became a training ground for leadership and believers in Christ went out from Faith to serve the Lord in their homes, jobs, schools and other areas of life? My prayer is that you would broaden your view of how God can use your leadership for the sake of His name in Wichita Falls and among the nations.

Jeff White
Associate Pastor of Families/Missions
Posted by Jeff White with

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