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26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 16-20)

16. Small groups are like the “mud room” in the farm house! Come as you are! A small group must be a safe place to be transparent and honest. In the small group we cry and laugh together. As long as we live behind a facade before others, we will not grow in Christ and we cannot help others grow in Christ. James said, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other.” (James 5:16)

17. Small groups provide us with the accountability that we desperately need! A few years ago, I was leading a men’s small group over the lunch hour. One of our guys (I’ll call him Kent) came in late and was noticeably troubled. We greeted Kent and I asked him what was wrong. He blurted out that he had just had a fight with his wife. I asked him if he had reconciled with her, to which he answered no. He explained what their argument was over and it was crystal clear to all of us that Kent was being extremely unreasonable and unloving toward his wife. Playfully, we told him to get back home and make things right with his wife and to let us know how things went. To Kent’s credit, he did! Kent was grateful for our tough love for him (and so was his wife!). [Read more →]

February 27, 2012   Comments Off on 26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 16-20)

26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 11-15)

11. Small groups exhibit Christ in the home to our children, neighbors and friends. Acts 2:47, they were “praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” Our singles small group used to meet on our back patio on warm summer evenings. We sang praises to God accompanied by a guitar. To be honest, I was a bit self-conscious, concerned that we might be disturbing the neighbors. On the contrary, our neighbors loved the fact that these young people were singing praises to God! Also, over many years of leading small groups, our children watched, participated and took it all in. Today they are leading, participating in and understand the importance of small groups because of what we modeled for them.

12. Small groups demonstrate that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts! Two Small groups raised over $10,000 to dig a well in Uganda and in the process impacted hundreds of people. Their efforts even made the evening news on television! [Read more →]

February 22, 2012   Comments Off on 26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 11-15)

26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 6-10)

6. Small groups help fulfill Christ’s design for us to be part of His family. We read about that in Ephesians 2:19-21. We can be a part of a large church, but we may not experience family unless we’re part of a small group.

7. Small groups follow Jesus’ example with His twelve disciples! Jesus chose twelve men…that they might be with Him…(Mark 3:14)Jesus spent time with many others too, but he focused on the twelve. There is a limit to the number of people we can impact deeply with our lives. Small groups provide a great environment in which to influence and impact a few deeply. [Read more →]

February 4, 2012   Comments Off on 26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 6-10)

26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 1-5)

1. Small groups are biblical! See Acts 2:46 (NLT) “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity.”

2. Small groups meet our God-designed need for relationship! God created us for relationship with Him and with others. Small groups can provide an ideal environment for us to cultivate deep, lasting relationships.

3. Small groups enable us to stay small as the church grows larger! While large churches enjoy many advantages, they also struggle with how to provide meaningful, caring relationships. Small groups offer a great solution to this challenge. And even smaller churches need small groups! [Read more →]

January 23, 2012   Comments Off on 26 Great Reasons to Join a Small Group! (Reasons 1-5)

Strategies for Discipleship

Strategies for Discipleship
List Price: $11.95  

Strategies for Discipleship

A Small Group Curriculum that Targets the Skills for Discipling Others

Authored by Rob Fischer
Authored with Dan Jarrell

Strategies for Discipleship is a small group curriculum. The Strategies for Discipleship are relational skills that equip followers of Jesus in propelling themselves and others forward in their relationship with God. The Strategies for Discipleship are biblical, relational, transferable disciple-making skills. We present these skills in a seven-week, small group format with both personal projects and small group discussion elements.

The goal of Strategies for Discipleship is a deeper relationship with God that results in life change-life change in you and in others whom you lead, interact with, and influence.

Discipleship is neither optional nor the deluxe tour for Christians! As disciples of Jesus Christ, we intentionally follow Jesus, growing in relationship with him and inviting him daily to transform us making us more like him.
How do we disciple others?
* We must model and coach discipleship. Discipleship is more caught than taught.
* Discipleship occurs in the context of the community of Christ and in spiritual partnership with other followers of Christ. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
* Attend to the skills of discipling others and not merely the content of our teaching.
* We can effectively disciple others One-on-one, in small groups and even in larger groups. We often assume that one-on-one discipleship is the best possible combination. But, one-on-one discipleship is not always the most effective means of discipling others. There are times in which discipling others can be much more effective in groups.
* Discipleship is a life-long process. Paul wrote to the Christ-followers in Philippi, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NLT)

About the author:
Rob Fischer is pastor of small groups, discipleship and leadership development at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Rob came to know Christ at a young age and God really took hold of his life at 19. Rob is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, Spokane, Washington; Northwestern College, Roseville, Minnesota; Luther Rice Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia; and Amberton University, Garland, Texas. Rob served as pastor of two small churches in the US; helped establish two churches in Austria; managed the training and development functions for Burlington Northern Railroad and Kaiser Aluminum; and worked as pastor of adult ministries at ChangePoint, Anchorage, Alaska. Rob and his wife Linda have three children and seven grandchildren. Rob is passionate about leading people into deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, resulting in life change.

Dan Jarrell serves as teaching pastor at ChangePoint church in Anchorage, Alaska, where he has been since 2000. He entered a relationship with Jesus Christ in 1977 while studying geology at Southern Oregon University. Dan holds a graduate degree from Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, where he is currently finishing a doctoral program. He served on the faculty of Multnomah University, planted a church in Conway, Arkansas and served as teaching pastor with Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dan has also been a speaker for Family Life conferences for many years. Dan and his wife Kathie have five children. Dan loves the church! His passion is to lead the church as it becomes a community that enjoys God fully, is constantly transformed by God’s Spirit, and demonstrates the heart of Jesus to the world around it.

Publication Date:
Nov 02 2011
146646903X / 9781466469037
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Religion / Christian Church / Growth
To order go to: https://www.createspace.com/3709500

December 29, 2011   Comments Off on Strategies for Discipleship

The Lord’s Prayer, Part 10

We now come to our final request in the Lord’s Prayer, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” At first glance, the phrase, “Lead us not into temptation,” seems a bit strange or out of place. The reason for this is that God would never tempt us (James 1:13). Some have a distorted view of God and think that He’s waiting to trip us up or expose us to sin’s lures. But that is not God’s way with us. He may test us through hardship, but he does not tempt us with sin.

In the Lord’s Prayer we are asking Him for strength to resist temptation. The New Living Translation renders it, “And don’t let us yield to temptation.” Another way to put it might be, “Lord, please lead me out of and away from the things that tempt me!” Jesus warned His disciples on the night He was betrayed, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) As we’ve seen elsewhere in this prayer, we are dependent on our heavenly Father and in this case, we’re dependent on His strength to resist temptation. [Read more →]

November 21, 2011   Comments Off on The Lord’s Prayer, Part 10

The Lord’s Prayer, Part 9

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) By debts, Jesus is not referring to financial indebtedness, but our sins. The New Living Translation renders this verse, “And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.” Just prior to modeling this prayer, Jesus reminded His listeners, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) If God knows what we need before we ask Him, then why ask? We ask God because it’s fitting to do so.

As we read or pray this prayer, it would be easy for us to see our “daily bread” or the “forgiveness of our debts” as the focal things, but they aren’t. The focal thing in this prayer is God and our relationship with Him. When we express our need to Him for bread and for forgiveness, we interact with Him in a way that cultivates our relationship with Him and acknowledges who He is. God is not merely the “bread-Giver” or “Forgiver,” He is our Father. “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11) [Read more →]

November 16, 2011   Comments Off on The Lord’s Prayer, Part 9

The Lord’s Prayer, Part 8

In the next stanza of the Lord’s Prayer, we find a shift in focus. “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11) Up to this point, the Lord’s Prayer has centered on praising and affirming God’s nature, character and kingship in our lives. Based on our relationship to Him, we also look to Him to meet our needs—“our daily bread.”

Asking God to provide for us is not an abdication of our responsibility to work hard for ours and others’ needs. Rather this request simply acknowledges that everything we have and enjoy is a gift from God. We look to Him as our loving, sovereign benefactor. The psalmist expressed to God: “You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home, and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor. You cause grass to grow for the livestock and plants for people to use. You allow them to produce food from the earth—wine to make them glad, olive oil to soothe their skin, and bread to give them strength.” (Psalm 104:13-15 NLT) [Read more →]

November 10, 2011   Comments Off on The Lord’s Prayer, Part 8

The Lord’s Prayer, Part 7

As the Lord’s Prayer continues, we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) Very simply, we are declaring God’s kingship in our lives. We are praying, “You, Lord, are my God and my King. I invite Your reign in my life and long for Your reign in this world.”

Imagine God’s kingdom, a kingdom in which there is no sin, evil or anything wicked. Our world today is polluted and permeated with sin and evil. God will one day renew the earth and set up His eternal rule. The apostle John, seeing and hearing a preview of God’s coming kingdom, writes, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4) [Read more →]

November 7, 2011   Comments Off on The Lord’s Prayer, Part 7

The Lord’s Prayer, Part 6

The Lord’s Prayer continues, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name….”Our Father in heaven—our God— is holy. He is pure and unblemished. He is not only free from any hint of evil, but He is infinite love, goodness and righteousness through and through. In the heavenly scene in Revelation, the angels cry out before Him, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)

When we pray to God, “Hallowed be your name,” we both declare that God is holy and that we desire our lives to honor Him as holy. We profane Him when we ascribe attributes or works to Him that are not holy or are inconsistent with His character. Paul warns in this regard, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.” (Romans 1:21-23) [Read more →]

October 30, 2011   Comments Off on The Lord’s Prayer, Part 6