If you are a part of a small group at church, have you ever considered why you are a part? Whether you are starting a group or continuing a group, we often need to be reminded of tangible goals so that we won’t get stagnate.
I want to give you some practical things to initiate, emphasize, or strengthen in your small group.
In the Book of Daniel, we see a group of friends who commit to the LORD and to one another to stay faithful to biblical values and missional mandates amid a pagan, rebellious culture. More than merely enduring exile in Babylon, these men changed the culture from within the midst of it. While they were exiles, they were still expectant of what God could do through that season.
If you follow what happened to Daniel and his friends, you realize that they were following some marching orders. These young men were obeying Jeremiah 29. God had commanded His people regarding how to live when they were forced to sojourn in a culture that did not follow God. Taking these examples from God’s Word, consider these five objectives for your group:
- Prioritize the weekly gathering – Whether you choose an in-person group on campus or in a home, or you choose an online group, prioritize that weekly time where you connect. The worst place you can be in this world is isolated, and your group needs you as much as you need the group.
- Commit to intentional checkups – In between the weekly gathering, come up with a plan for how you will checkup intentionally on each other. Don’t let anyone slide. Follow up with prayer requests. Establish responsible connections to make sure everyone is involved. Commit to being the church to one another all week long.
- Strive for personal holiness – When Daniel and his friends resolved not to defile themselves with the culture’s offerings, they needed God’s help and one another’s accountability. Get honest with yourself about a temptation that you are giving into and fight like your life depends on it.
- Seek the city’s welfare – God’s people were not against their cities of exile, but they were for them. Select one way that you can bless the city around you. Think of places where your group has a natural connection and personal motivation, and come up with a plan to seek the city’s welfare together.
- Bring a friend along – Throughout the Book of Daniel, we discover that people were coming to faith due to the examples of these resolved followers. Within your group, seek out one person that one member has a natural connection with and is currently spiritually receptive. Allow the group to pray, strategize, invite, and include that person into the life of the group even before they have a relationship with the LORD. As you bring this person into the fray, watch how every member steps up in commitment as we grasp the spiritual need present.
I hope these tangible goals for your small group will help you grow closer to Jesus and to each other!