Please remember that none of the things that we are striving for will take place through our own capacity. It is essential for each one of us individually and in our groups to invest in connecting with our source of power and grace and motivation, the one and only Jesus Christ.

Here are some of the ways that scripture helps us to remember this:

o Acts 13:1-5—These men were set apart for the work God had for them, but only through worship, prayer and fasting were they called.

o Acts 6:1-8—The process of choosing and commissioning Stephen.

o John 15:1-17—The Vine and the branches—love God and love one another

o Galatians 5—Grace, freedom in Christ, life by the Spirit

o Ephesians 2: 1-10, especially 8-10—remembering that this is not from ourselves

My prayer is that each of our groups would be filled with the Spirit of our Living God. That we would understand more and more what it means to love and obey him and each other. Thank you for being a part of this process.

In order for each group to move forward, it will be beneficial to identify who has the gift of leadership and the desire to spearhead this process. It may be one or two or three people together that get it rolling or it may be one individual, but without someone or a team of people moving it forward with clear expectations the group will probably remain in a state of simply talking about the action that we desire to make.

A thought…

Leadership is about calling, character and competencies—a complete package of components that enables a leader to help people to reach their goals and potential. By focusing on the will of God and the needs of His creation, a leader is ultimately a servant. It is only by encouraging, empowering, enforcing, and evaluating that a leader assists people in their quest to achieve meaning and fulfillment in life. In other words, a leader succeeds only if his/her followers succeed, and the followers succeed only if their leader is sensitive and responsive to God and empowers the people to do His will.

(p. 21 Building Effective Lay Leadership Teams, by George Barna)

3 Main Purposes of our Home Groups

1) A community growing collectively as learners, lovers, and givers

2) A community discovering and living out our giftings together

3) A community in movement

The following include examples of things that groups can do to discuss, reflect, and move forward.

1) Evaluate Learner, Lover, Giver (Spiritual Transformation)

o How are we doing at becoming learners? Individually? As a group?

o What things have we done to help us become learners? (Celebrate)

o What potential things can we do to help us grow as learners? (Dream)

o Create a follow up plan, who is going to help carry out these dreams?

o Pray!

o How are we doing at becoming lovers? Of God? Of each other? Of our local community? Of our world? Of creation?

o What situations have helped us grow as lovers?

o How have we noticed our group loving each other? Others? God? (Celebrate)

o Is there anything we can do to increase our growth as lovers? (Dream)

o Create a follow up plan, who is going to help carry out the dreams?

o Pray!

o How are we doing at becoming givers? Of our gifts? Of our time? Of our selfishness?

o How have we seen each other use our gifts? (Celebrate)

o What have we done to grow as givers? (Celebrate)

o What could we do to help increase our growth as givers? (Dream)

o Create a follow up plan, who is gong to help carry out the dreams?

o Pray!

o Create space and time to celebrate and value each other, to recognize what God is doing and has done already, and rejoice in those times.

NOTE to leader: The above exercise could take several weeks to do. It could look like fits and starts or could all occur in one conversation. Basically, if you create a plan for one of the things, you can go for it before moving on to the others OR you could go through the whole process at one time… whatever works for your group. It may also be helpful to couple these questions with scripture. What passages help your group to connect with God’s heart in these areas?

2) Help each other discover and use our spiritual gifts. (Become the Body of Christ)

  • As individuals read books and/or take tests that help you to identify your unique make up. Basically, a process of self-discovery, what type of stone do you see yourself as?
    • Resources:
      • Tim Keller talk and notes on spiritual gifts
      • The Enneagram, by Richard Rohr: This book offers insight into how our core needs and strengths can be used for greatness and also are attached to our inherent sinfulness. It is very interesting and insightful. You will be challenged to understand yourself and core needs in new ways. It will also help you understand other people with different temperaments.
      • Now, Discover your Strengths: This book covers practical strengths that we have and gives some specific examples of how people use them. It would be helpful to understand each others strengths and our own in working together in groups.
      • Gift Tests: You should be getting a link to take the assements through your home group.

As a group—entirely as a group or split up into smaller groups—speak into each other’s lives.

o What gifts exist?

o What do you see as each other’s gifts?

o What do you think your gifts are?

o Help each other see how they might be used?

o Affirm and challenge each other.

*It could be helpful to connect our gifts with the ideas that came out of the LLG evaluation process.

3) Becoming a community in movement

o Do some teaching on the Kingdom of God: (Matthew 5: 1-12; Matthew 10; Matthew 13; Matthew 18: 1-14; Mark 4; Mark 10: 17-31; Mark 12: 28034; Luke 4: 38-44… you get the picture… there are tons of passages)

o What does it look like for your group to participate in His movement?

o Are you inviting people to participate in what God has created them for?

o Are you investing in the development of each other for future groups?

o We desire multiplication and spreading of God’s face; keep that in mind and be developing people who are able to take a new group out when its time. (I think that if we are doing #1 and #2, then this one will take care of itself, but we may need to be more intentional about it.)

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed. “Father, if you are willing; take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow, “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”—Luke 22: 39-46