Effective Small Groups, Part 3

In the last post, I said three triads are necessary for a group to be effective, properly defined. I want to define those “triads” here:

Word, Prayer and Fellowship: By “Word”, I mean the group pursues spiritually significant conversations, around and out of the Bible. Perhaps this means simply discussing the prior week’s sermon. But it could take other forms. By “Prayer”, I mean praying for each other, with two eyes: one eye on each other’s specific needs, and one eye on how the Bible prays for those needs – to pray biblical prayers for each other’s specific lives. By “Fellowship”, I mean “partnering together for the cause of the gospel” – that the gospel would take deeper root in each other, and through each other. We talk about personal growth, but we also talk about our relationships with our unsaved friends, and how or whether we are seeking to share the gospel. We support each other in the work of the Great Commission, sharing wisdom, experiences and sufferings. 

Ordinary Life, Lived Together, with an Intentional Focus on the Gospel: I gave one example in the prior post, so I won’t repeat that here. My only other comment is that we often live far from each other, in our car culture, making this triad difficult. I challenge you to find out who you live and work nearby, and seek to connect with them further, over time. The goal is further life lived in the truths about Christ. This may be especially helpful and important if that other person is older or younger than you. 

Enjoyment, Work, and Thought: To develop a biblical, flourishing spiritual community, it takes work. We come from different backgrounds, different age groups, etc. And therefore, developing a stronger life together requires work. So work at it. But it also requires fun. Really – enjoy yourself with the people of God. Have fun. Laugh. No – belly laugh. Leave everything else aside, and enjoy each other’s company. 

Then put those two together: it takes work, when you’ve become really comfortable with each other, to bring newcomers into that same enjoyment. Especially if they are from a different culture, or age bracket, etc. Yet we live in a town with many, many different cultures. So then, this requires thought. It requires stopping and trusting our intuitions a little less, and trusting the commands and promises of God a little more. Maybe it involves thinking about strategy. 

I invite you to talk about these triads in your group, prayerfully. What’s best next?