Friday, December 31, 2010

Small Group Resolutions for the New Year

Happy New Year! It’s time to set some resolutions, err goals, for community life in the year ahead. So, allow me to make a few suggestions for you (small group leader) and for your small group as you begin 2011.

Maybe your group is already doing well on the following items. Great! Keep it up. Maybe your group is struggling in a few areas. Let the following items be a resource of recommitment. Either way, take a few moments to read through and evaluate the following. I believe you’ll find them helpful.

Here are a few suggestions:

Be Faithful – Whether you meet weekly, bi-weekly, or something else. Be faithful to your small group time. Life is incredibly busy for everybody. Guard and protect your group time!

Be Gracious – Nobody wants to be a part of a shaming community. Nobody! Remember, you—and every other person in the group—are the recipient of God’s amazing grace! (2 Timothy 1:9) Strive to put into practice the gift of grace that you have received.

Be Authentic – It’s easy to hide behind masks. Masks can look like a great career, a perfect marriage, outstanding kids, a holy lifestyle, etc. Yet to be part of a healthy small group, you must lay down your mask! Authenticity comes when you are honest with yourself and others about your career struggles, marriage difficulties, parenting challenges, and faith questions. It’s worth the risk.

Be Intentional – Every important relationship you have takes effort. Your spouse. Your kids. Your parents. Your friends. Your co-workers. They all take time and investment. Be intentional about investing in the relationships within your small group.

Be Others-Focused – Wherever you see a need—within your small group, your church, or your community. Put the words of Philippians 2:3 (…consider others better than yourself) into practice.

Be Fun – It should not be a chore spend time with your family of faith. Small group life should be enjoyable—even fun! Do exciting things. Laugh together. Enjoy the group of people God has sovereignly brought together.

Love Jesus – The ultimate goal of small group community is to draw you and the others in your group closer to The Savior. So, whatever you do—strive to live out the words of Jesus from Matthew’s Gospel.

“…‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ ” Matthew 22:37

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