May 16, 2015
Last night I met with an engineer to talk about the vision for our church plant.
I shared our dream of being a church full of small groups in which, among other things, everyone was reaching out to lost friends, neighbors, and work associates with the gospel.
His excitement about this vision stirred me so much that I thought I would share steps you can take to help your small group become more missional.
But first — why be missional? Four reasons —
1. Because Jesus commands us
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus commands each of us to GO (move toward others) and MAKE DISCIPLES (love them and share the Gospel with them).
2. Because it satisfies our souls in God
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. (John 4:34)
Jesus said this after he had shared the Gospel with the woman at the well. As he shared with her the Father had so satisfied Jesus’ soul that he no longer thought about his physical hunger.
3. Because lost people need salvation
I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers … (Romans 9:2-3)
Paul had constant grief because lost people were accursed and cut off from Christ.
4. Because this glorifies God
… we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations … (Romans 1:5)
When we bring lost people into the obedience of faith, it glorifies God’s name.
But the problem is that many believers are not actively engaged in making disciples. So what can a small group leader do to help his group grow in this?
Here are 8 steps I have found helpful —
1. Pray for the Spirit’s work in each member
If obedience is to glorify Christ, it must be birthed in our hearts by the Spirit. So pray this earnestly for each member of your group.
2. Take missional steps yourself
Ask the Father how he would have you step out in making disciples, and take the steps he gives you.
3. Ask the group to pray for your missional steps, and share what God does
Because missional steps are invasions of Satan’s kingdom, you will need God’s powerful help. So ask your group to pray for you, and then share how God answers.
God can use your example and stories to stir their hearts.
4. Teach on the above four reasons for being missional
God will use his word to produce missional living in the group members’ lives.
5. Do training together as a group
We worked on writing and sharing 90-second testimonies with each other, learning a simple Gospel-presentation, and role-playing gospel conversations. Every other month we devoted one home group meeting to this.
This training will strengthen the group’s evangelistic ability and demonstrate how important it is that we be sharing the Gospel.
6. Urge everyone to pray and ask God what steps they should take
Since Jesus commands each of us to go and make disciples, he has a unique plan for how we each are to do this.
And as we each pray and seek his face, he will bring to mind specific people who need the Gospel, and concrete steps he wants us to take.
7. Have each one share what steps God gives them, and pray for each other in the group
Have each person share what they experienced during the week as they asked God what steps they should take.
Maybe someone will start praying regularly for unbelievers; another might invite a neighbor over to dinner. Celebrate every step, small or big, and pray for each other.
8. Have them share what steps they took , and celebrate as a group
Each week have the group members share what steps they took the previous week, and what new steps God is leading them to take — and pray for each other.
9. Plan activities to which the group can invite their unbelieving friends
Our home group put on game nights, Christmas parties, and bocce ball picnics to which we invited our unbelieving friends. neighbors, and work associates.
We prayed earnestly for these times, and saw God work in beautiful ways as unbelievers saw our love for each other and for them, and significant Gospel conversations took place.
As you pray, and God graciously works, you will see people taking concrete steps to reach out to the lost with the Gospel, and see lost people brought to faith and added in to your church and small group — for their good, your joy, and Christ’s glory.
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And here are some related posts you might find helpful —
- Are We Misunderstanding the Great Commission?
- An Atheist’s Surprising Response to Receiving a Bible
- How Evangelism Feeds Your Own Soul
- A Different Way to Share the Gospel