It seems the Home Group Leader updates are a highlight of the month. I get the privilege of guiding discussions around the discipleship of Christ-followers. This update was no exception.
We briefly reviewed three things from Week Seven from the Real Life Training manual, which was discussed at the last quarterly training meeting. We reviewed the four words: Share, Connect, Minister and Disciple and which spiritual stage of growth each one was connected. Then we matched up the three levels of commitment using Matthew 4:19. And finally we had an insightful conversation of what things needed to be remembered while training disciples in the ministry phase of making disciples.
What were the training tips? First, training must allow for making mistakes! We develop an environment where people can make mistakes, because that is how they learn. If they can’t make mistakes without making them the center of correction, they will not risk the effort and they will not become a spiritual parent discipling others. Second, there should be positive accountability. Look for what is said and done well and highlight that, while making sure what is obviously off-step is mentioned afterward or in a way that doesn’t condemn. Encouragement and lack of reaction are key to helping all participants grow spiritually. Thirdly, keep the focus on the cross and multiplication. There is one solution and one sufficiency and that is the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. When we keep that focus, we’ll want to multiply, so that others will benefit and prosper spiritually.
Several additional notes were made regarding the practice of home groups. Some men are hindered from praying, even in front of their wife, so one suggestion was made to break the men and women into two prayer groups in different rooms to help the guys get used to praying. With confidence, then they will be more inclined to pray with and in front of others. One group asks the question to open their time with “What’s one way you lead your wife (or your kids) this week?” It gets participants talking and focuses on what is important.
We closed the update asking the question, “Which of the three categories of the Message Based Discussion Questions is most important. There were several people who said “Digging Deeper” was most important, because it is digging into the Word. The Word of God is most important. Yet, in the environment of our church, the Word is already so supreme, that we have a tendency to become academic and we need to focus on application, which is the more difficult section to answer. The application is the most extensive section that should be addressed and time spent, because that is where the rubber meets the road and helps people move down the road spiritually!