Helping Adults to be Like Jesus Bill Alphin Bible Study and Discipleship Coordinator and Adult Consultant Virginia Baptist Mission Board billalphin@VBMB.ORG 800-255-2428 X221 4/21/06 What is Jesus Like? What does it mean to Be “like Jesus”? Did Jesus Grow in God? How did Jesus grow in faith in God? • Lk 2—Formal study/training. • Lk 3—With God in the Wilderness. • Lk 4—Life crisis at home. • Lk 8—Family conflict. • Lk 9—Peter’s confession. • Lk 22-The Garden experience. • Lk 23-Crisis at the cross. Being Like Jesus Includes… • Trust in God. • Experiences a sense of personal well-being, security and peace. • Integrates faith and life. • Seeks spiritual growth through study, refection, prayer and discussion. • Seeks to be part of a faith community. • Ministry (Selfish or Self-less). • “Kingdom living”. How do we develop a mature faith? • Through study. • Reflection. • Prayer. • Discussion in a faith community. • Service. • Testing faith out in real life. • Developing Actual Christian Values. Christian maturity doesn’t happen over night! • Faith in God grows in stages. • It grows in faith community. • It requires discipline. • It requires nurture. • It requires ministry. • Growing faith is a life-long endeavor. We never “arrive”. What can I do? • Quiet study and reflection. • Listening and looking for God. • Time in community. • Getting outside of “self”. • Talk about your faith. • Remain open to God changing you. Path to Spiritual Growth” Richard Foster • Inward Disciplines – Meditation – Prayer – Fasting – Study • Outward Disciplines – Simplicity – Solitude – Submission – Service • Corporate Disciplines – Confession – Worship – Guidance – Celebration Christian Growth happens best... • Where there is intimacy. • Where there is purposeful and sequential small groups. • Where there is mentoring. • Where there is modeling. • Where there is discipline. • Where there is accountability. • The KEY: Trusting relationships! Disciple making requires a system of groups that provides three levels of relationships... • Celebration/Worship group: (Unity) • Congregation (ABF): (Fellowship) • Cell or small group: <12 (Intimacy and accountability) About Smaller Congregations… • Yes, smaller congregations can be an effective disciple making church. • Smaller churches can be intentional. • Rely on the one-on-one mentoring and networking opportunities. • Mentor one leader who mentors one leader… Small groups and intimacy: • Intimacy requires groups to be closed. • Intimacy requires continuation: Groups must be ongoing (Sometimes meeting for more than a year. • Open Sunday School classes must allow for new people and those who “come and go” on a weekly basis. • Intimacy allows for accountability. Sunday School classes generally require only “faithfulness” to the class. Helping Adults “Be Like Jesus” in the Sunday School Class… • Practice the three functions of Sunday School: – Fellowship (Lifestyle evangelism) (15 min.) – Bible Study (30 min.) –High quality. – Nurture and care ministry. • Point people who “want more” to a small group. • Work to keep the class “open” to guest. Small groups should be sequential... This means people are grouped together according to where they are in their faith journey... Each phase of discipleship moves the disciple to a higher level of commitment. Groups As Disciple Making Tools: • Covenant Group. • Basic Accountability Group. • Ongoing Accountability Group. • Ministry Community. • Support Group. • Fishing Pools. • Task Groups and Committees. Covenant Groups • Small groups of up to 12 persons. • Focusing on the lowest level of disciple making (come and see). • Serves as an introduction to small groups. • Open but become closed. • Meet for 13-26 weeks. Basic Accountability Group • Group of 6-12. • Meets for 6-24 months. • Focuses on the “Come and follow me” stage. • The group is closed. • Establishes the basic habits (prayer, Bible study, quiet time, witnessing, fellowship, obedience, growth. Ongoing Accountability Group • Group of 7-17. • Focuses on the “Be with me” stage and “Remain in Me” stage. • The group is closed and long-term in nature. • Helps maintain basic habits and add new ones. • It may occasionally re-open. Ministry Community • Meeting of all small group leaders. • Meets once or twice a month. • Vision-casting. • Huddle (Communication) • Skill development. • Mutual encouragement. • Ministry planning. A small group leader should be... (In part, from Bob Gilliam, T-Net International) • Beyond the “Follow Me” phase. • The kind of person you could “catch” Christianity from if you weren’t careful. • Specifically trained to lead a small group. • Observed as gifted and able. • Support of the mission of the church. Develop disciple making leaders • Affirm those who are effective Christian disciples and leaders. • Provide vision and encouragement. • Discover and utilize spiritual gifts. • Create accountability relationships for leaders through a leadership community. • Free leaders of institutional Maintenance. Edward H. Hammett Making the Church Work. Training for Small Group Leaders • Understand group dynamics. • Life cycle of small groups. • Expectations of participants. • Practice conflict utilization skills. • Develop/practice facilitator skills. • Understand role of small group. The Leadership Community (The T-Net Model) • Nurture (Plenary Session) • Vision Casting-Large Picture (Plenary Session) • Cross-pollination of ideas and activities. (Plenary) • Skill Development (Sub-groups by type) • Huddle/Planning (Sub-groups by type) • Meets at least monthly. Getting Started… • What do you want to accomplish? • Develop a plan. • Inventory existing small groups. • What small groups are needed? • What about your leadership base? • Enlist and train new leaders. • Select curriculum resources. • Set a date for new groups. • Enlist participants. Ensuring a Successful Small Group Ministry… • Have a person responsible for coordination of small group min. • Make sure the church knows what is happening with the small group ministry. • Maintain the leadership community and on-going training. • Develop new small group leaders.
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