Groups are important. Whether you call them Gospel Groups, small groups, community groups, discipleship groups, Sunday School classes, Bible study groups, etc., the committed gathering of a smaller group of believers is essential to discipleship.
Hebrews 10:19-25 speaks to the importance of Christians stimulating one another to live for Christ. While the passage begins by explaining how Jesus’ sacrifice changes us, the writer then commands us not to further change ourselves but change one another.
In our Gospel Groups, we have 6 essential values. Here’s what they are:
- AUTHORITY – God’s Word is our guide.
- Many books are inspiring, but only one Book is inspired.
- If God’s Word is ultimately our curriculum, we never will run out of material.
- All of our groups and throughout our generations can find unity in the authority of the Scriptures.
- MATURITY – Our leaders are growing.
- We don’t have leaders who are perfect, but we do believe they should be making progress.
- Leaders don’t have a higher level of expected holiness but they should have a higher level of accountability.
- Groups can be marked by the personality of a leader but hopefully not dependent upon it.
- AUTHENTICITY – It is safe to be real.
- You don’t have to have it all together before you can gather together.
- Groups should be safe places to share the successes and the struggles of life.
- As the trust among members increases, we must be careful regarding flippant involvement and momentary addition.
- ACCOUNTABILITY – We keep each other on the right path.
- Discipleship is not about leaving people where they are.
- We need people to come alongside us for the process of sanctification.
- The relationships in our groups can serve as guard rails in our lives.
- AVAILABILITY – We are accessible beyond the gathering.
- The most healthy groups are available for 168 hours a week rather than just meeting for 1 hour per week.
- When life hits, we need access to people who help us process our circumstances biblically.
- Think of your group time as a catalyst for personal interaction during the rest of the week.
- REPRODUCIBILITY – We grow to multiply.
- Addition grows a group; multiplication grows a Kingdom.
- In order to reproduce a group, timing and process are both paramount.
- Every group should prayerfully consider a leader to mentor, a person to reach, and a time to multiply.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.