Archive for service

Enlist Teens to Serve as Class Leaders in Student Classes

volunteerWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? In 2 Timothy 2:2 (ESV), Paul encourages Timothy, a young pastor to be strengthened in Christ “and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” Teens communicate, care, and reach out to teens best. Enlist, train, and mobilize them to carry out the work of the group.

WHAT DO I DO? Take these steps:

  1. ask God to send teen workers (Matthew 9:38),
  2. observe what students are saying and doing,
  3. take students with you (in pairs) for life and group ministry,
  4. ask them questions to reflect upon their experiences,
  5. when you are sure the teen is the one, ask him/her to pray about joining the team to carry out group work,
  6. provide a simple job description and continue to give on-the-job training,
  7. continue to encourage and coach the student, and
  8. encourage the student leader to go through the same steps to enlist an apprentice.

Following these steps will help teens gain confidence and competence so they will say yes to you and God when you ask them to join you. Don’t try to do the work alone. Prayerfully enlist, develop, and mobilize teens into service. Guide them to be fulfilled and fulfulling as they carry out the work of the group!

Mission Projects for Your Group

commhelpWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Groups have a tendency to become inwardly focused, and to prevent that it is important that we stay focused on the mission.  Jesus said to the disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)

We know the importance of studying the Bible together, praying for one another and fellowship, but we must never let the group forget our mission: to be a light and tell others about the Good News of Jesus! (Matthew 28:19-20).

WHAT DO I DO? Meet together as a group and decide what you want to do, and then begin to make plans. Here are a few ideas for group mission projects:

  • Help neighbors with some work around their homes.
  • Clean up a neighborhood park.
  • Have a Backyard Bible Club.
  • Volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen.
  • Work with a local school.

Jesus said we are to let our light shine, and we do that by being out in the community and serving others. Be the light that shines for Jesus!

Helping Your Members Discover Their Spiritual Gifts

spiritual_gifts_2WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? As a follower of Jesus, exploring and exercising our spiritual gifts is a vital and exciting part of our spiritual journey. Paul writes, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” (1 Corinthians 12:4 NIV).

WHAT DO I DO? Here are some ideas:

  • Teach. Small groups are a wonderful place to help members to discover, explore and put into practice their spiritual gifts.  You might consider taking time to do a study with the whole group to learn about spiritual gifts and how they really do work among the body especially in your local context.  Even if some of your participants know about the gifts they can really help to give first-hand testimony about their own gifts and how they have used them for the benefit of the local body and beyond.
  • Inventory. Once you have done some teaching on spiritual gifts, it really is important to be sure to have them do a spiritual gifts inventory.  There are many spiritual gifts inventory tools on-line for free.  Be consistent and choose one so that everyone is using the same list and definitions of spiritual gifts.  Once everyone has completed the inventory, spend some quality time debriefing the results and give time for questions and further exploration.
  • Utilize. It is now time to help participants launch and use their gifts.  It is important that, as a leader, you help facilitate opportunities for your group members to begin to utilize these precious gifts they have discovered.  Try and pair them with other believers who can walk with them in becoming a full partner in ministry as they learn to discover the joys of using their spiritual gifts.

3 Ways to Deploy Group Members in Ministry

care4otherWHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? The writer of Hebrews (10:24-25) reminds us that we gather to “spur one another on towards love” and to “encourage one another.” Jesus says that His disciples are recognized by their love of one another (John 13:35). If your group does not minister effectively to one another and show love one to another, then it will quickly fall apart.

WHAT DO I DO?

  1. Inside the Group. Each group should set up smaller groups within the group for prayer and ministry. The smaller the sub group (3-5) the better. These groups can be informal, put together on the spot, or formal, an ongoing group. They should meet for approximately 10 minutes to share prayer needs and pray. The smaller group will make this a more intimate time and curtail needless travelogue in prayer requests. If you form groups on the spot, you will be able to better include and get to know guests. As the teacher/leader you may want the guests in your group.
  2. Through the Group. Each Group should have a Care or Ministry Leader(s) who presents the ministry opportunities discovered through prayer groups and contacts. This should not be a lengthy recital of prayer needs, but a presentation of ministry opportunities and making assignments. It should include assigning individuals to contact a group member who is absent and organizing the group to take appropriate ministry actions for group members who are hurting (sick, unemployed, hospitalized, etc.).
  3. Beyond the Group. Encourage group members to become aware of ministry opportunities to unreached people in their relational networks. Organize members, as appropriate, to perform acts of kindness to spread Christ’s love beyond the group. Share stories of ministry that takes place and makes positive impact.

Many groups already have a system of Care Ministry and Prayer Ministry. This is commendable! However, many groups spend more time in prayer requests rather than in prayer and in discussing ministry needs rather than assigning ministry action. If this is the case for you, it may be time to recalibrate your groups and refocus them on ‘why’ they should minister to the group.