North Side hosted its first Shepherding the Shepherd Conference this weekend. Jamie and his crew did a fantabulous job putting this event on! Friday night, we gathered all our shepherds for an appreciation dinner. Allen Levi entertained us, and Kickers cooked for it. Great night!
Saturday morning, we had some shepherd development (for those not accustomed to North Side’s strategy, we believe that what people need most of all is a shepherd, more than an informational teacher, someone to walk beside them and do life together – our C-Groups have a shepherd responsible for @ 12 people). While Jeff is a great preacher, counselor, and leader, I truly believe his niche lies in training and equipping leaders – it was good stuff.
My only problem was that 3 guys in my C-Group were at this event since they shepherd student C-Groups. This meant that they had to sit through great teaching on what a great shepherd should be and all I was thinking was “now they know how bad I am.”
Last night in our group, I asked for forgiveness. I have had moments of being a good shepherd to them, but oftentimes, other things get in the way. We had a time of recommitment to each other last night. We got real honest with one another about our needs and expectations. It was a real rich time.
What does a good small group need (and this could be a C-Group, small group, Sunday School class, or whatever you call it, you just need to be able to truly know all the people in it)? Here’s the three values Jeff taught on describing what each group needs:
- Authenticity – We must be real with one another. We must not be too fearful to share our hearts, get honest with each other, and learn to trust one another.
- Availability – We must be a C-Group outside of our 90 minute weekly meeting time. The group time should facilitate lifestyle community with your group. To do life together means we need to spend time together.
- Accountability – If we stay the same spiritually in our group, something is wrong. We must not only seek accountability, we must offer accountability. We must learn how to provoke one another to love and good deeds (Heb 10:24-25).
That’s the list I’m working on as a shepherd. I’ve got some great plans on how to improve our group life. Last night, I asked the group, out of those 3 values, which one is the hardest for you to keep? And I’ll ask you, which one gives you the most trouble?