Some of the best care in small groups is done in-between meetings. As leaders and members, we are responsible to model, encourage and inspire care.
Paul brings a brilliant exhortation in Philippians 2:1-4.:‘1If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.’
Some of the suggested activities might not be appropriate for all – but you could encourage others in your small group to serve in these ways:
- Casual visit – ‘dropping by to see how you are’
- Prearranged visit – ‘may I call to see you this afternoon’
- Phone call – ‘I’m just checking to se that you’re ok’
- Card – ‘Just to let you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers’
- Flowers – ‘these may express what I find difficult to say in my own words’
- Deliver a meal – ‘this may help relieve some of the presure’
- Sharing in a task – ‘Can you help me/can I help you?’
- Meeting for a meal/coffee – ‘let’s do lunch…’
- Social Together – ‘going to play some golf, concert, etc’
- Babysitting – ‘why don’t you both have some time together’
- Practical help – ‘how can I help?’
My favourite local Coffee Shop.
Majoritatea se bucurau ieri de condamnarea d-lui George. Deși nu comentez contextul si detaliile, m-am intristat la vederea ferocitatii cu care ‘analistii’ din studiourile televiziunilor de știri se aruncau asupra ‘prazii’. Poate instinctul crestin, poate enormitatea harului, de care, in mod nemeritat, am si eu parte – m-au făcut mai sensibil.
E adevărat, dreptatea in justiție este, după supunerea fata de Dumnezeu, in opinia mea, esentiala. Hotia, abuzurile, afacerile murdare, toate acestea sunt lucruri care trebuiesc pedepsite. Rămâne discutabil insa dacă cu adevărat închisoarea e pedeapsa cea mai potrivită in astfel de cazuri.
Altceva m-a frapat insa. Declarațiile d-lui GB au fost in anumite momente de o sinceritate de-a dreptul socanta. Din punct de vedere teologic, erau de-a dreptul de invidiat. Recunosterea pacatului si chiar osibilitatea ca aceasta experienta sa fie lucrarea lui Dumnezeu pentru a-l schimba.
Dar in stil tipic, au fost alte părți dîn declarații care dovedesc mândrie. Poate chiar si resentimente acuzatoare. Una calda, alta rece. Povestea Lavinia Sandru cum a fost insultata într-o emisiune, si in urma interventiei mamei d-lui B, dansul si-a cerut sincer scuze, cu multe regrete. Foarte tipic.
Din nefericire, dansul nu e singur. Cati dintre noi nu ne luptam cu aceeași discrepanta din viața noastră…. Sf. Ap. Pavel era cuprins de disperare, recunoscand ca ceea ce dorește sa facă nu face, iar ceea ce detesta se tine scai de el. Si noi, spunem una, facem alta. Citim Scriptura si trăim pe contra. Ne numim urmasi ai lui Cristos, dar prea rar cei din jur ne confunda cu El.
Episodul de ieri m-a umplut de recunostinta. Dacă nu ar fi harul lui Dumnezeu, zilnic, as fi mereu de condamnat. De aceea, ca si condamnat gratiat, mă rog zilnic ca Dumnezeu sa mă ajute sa fiu consecvent. Din același motiv mă rog si pentru d-l GB si familia dansului – dorindu-le sa experimenteze același Har transformator.
As many of you would be aware, community life, and particularly church small groups are a one of my passions.
Here are some helpful tips for any group or small group leader.
Everyone should be prepared to contribute to the discussion. You – as discussion coordinator – play a very important role.
Preparation – this is absolutely essential. Getting ready will make you feel more confident in leading the group. it honours God and will minister to the people who turn-up
Passage – familiarise yourself with it by reading it several times; look out for interesting or difficult issues. Raise questions and get clarifications if needed.
Pointed – try to narrow down the many issues and questions. What is the one thing you MUST get across during the meeting. Often that will help you as the evening takes an unexpected turn.
Prayer – as you pray for yourself and the group you will have a deeper sense of direction and will feel the enabling of the Holy Spirit as you seek to convey God’s truth.
Practical – work as creatively as you can to make the discussion point to a transformational practical outcome. Stir, provoke and inspire people to see how God’s truth connects with their family life, work place and leisure
It’s an old message but it keeps coming back to haunt me.
For me it’s about identity.
One of the greatest moments of revelation in a person’s life is the moment we understand that we are uniquely created with quirks and talents with dreams and weakness – nevertheless an original. We were created to serve God and bless others through who we are. The moment we figure that, we will find it a lot easier to say YES to what really matters, and play our part.
I need to learn to look for YES opportunities in the mundane as well as the exceptional. And when I see them – to boldly seize them, almost hearing God’s imperceptible whisper that pushes me on. And to fill my life with such moments. But there’s no naiveté. There are many things that just need to be done. They are not YES moments. They might simply be WHY NOT.
It’s about thinking right and choosing right – rather than succumbing to the tyranny of the urgent or the demand of the insecure selfish ‘me’ or the unrealistic overbearing expectations people can sometimes place on us.
And in all of this – I have a strong ally. God himself. Jesus lived such a life and He gifted me the Counselor who helps me daily. He is patient with me and so gracious. I can talk to Him (prayer) and listen to His words (Scripture) and often he sends spiritually wise people who assist me in this relentless pursuit for a YES life.
“May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
J. I. Packer helps Christians to embrace weakness as he shares about his own struggles in this book of meditations on 2 Corinthians. Ultimately, Packer directs us to the ultimate source of strength and power: Christ himself.
Great to still see and hear a true theological living master.