- Life Stages
• (Intent: The components are invest & invite, experience, rooted, community, equip, ministry, and multiply.)
• (Intent: Salt, sodium chloride, is always salt. It could only loose its effects -- preservation and seasoning -- by becoming diluted or comingled with something else. Metaphorically, we as Christians can reduce our witness by embracing or comingling our faith with the world’s values and actions. Also see Col. 4:6 and Mark 9:50 which connect salt with grace and peace.
• (Intent: Give glory to your heavenly Father. Truly loving others includes using our gifts to invest in others. Our motive should be to draw attention to the Lord, not ourselves. Ask the Lord to purify your motives. This requires an ongoing personal connection to Him.)
• (Intent: It helps to have an idea of how you might engage someone, perhaps by first connecting better with them by sharing a meal or other experience. Remind your group that we must demonstrate true care for the person through asking questions, being interested in their responses, helping fulfill their physical and emotional needs, etc.)
• As a mom of five who loves CrossFit, I’ve often struggled with the tension the sport requires of me while maintaining balance in other areas of my life. I’ve felt guilty about not being a “typical” Christian mom. The prayer of my heart has been that I would use my hours in the gym to encourage others and point them to Jesus. In the last year these prayers have been answered in countless conversations, but specifically in the life of another woman I have been able to mentor and invite to Bible Study. In the past she would have said that she was a Christian, but now she actually knows what it means to be a Christian. She’s reading her Bible and taking steps to follow Jesus with all of her life.
• As newcomers to the area, and having a large dog confined to a much smaller yard than she'd heretofore known, we found ourselves visiting a local dog park at least once a day as we settled in. It wasn't long before we knew nearly every dog by name, though for a long time their owners were simply an extension, like "Clara's mom" or "Dudley's dad." Eventually we made a number of new friends we have come to cherish.
Recently one of the couples began asking questions about Bethel, knowing that we called it our church home. It seemed so natural to ask them to join us for Easter services. The response was immediate: oh yes! And so that Easter Sunday we met up in the lobby, making our way to what was to become an appointment with the Divine.From the moment the service began, my friend Leanne (not her real name) began crying. She reached over at one point and put her arm through mine. Her tears flowed more freely as the service continued and I held her close, knowing beyond a doubt that the Lord was touching her heart in a way that was undeniable. By the time the vocalist began "Death Was Arrested," Leanne was singing a song she didn't know, crying and full of joy. I felt as though I stood upon holy ground.There will be more to this story in days to come, of that I'm certain. But a simple "Would you like to join us?" became for me a powerful affirmation of the reason to invest in people's lives for a time such as this.
Writer Connie Edwards, a member of the Bethel Christian Writers Group, has penned her small group journey here in a fun and creative way. Read more as she captures the heart of her experience in this innovative testimonial.
The Small Group Resource Team has compiled a list of general questions meant to guide groups, or individuals, as they continue study of God's word through the summer months.
When it comes to growth, especially with things like investments, we desire multiplication over addition. Making disciples should be no different. This week's focus is on Our Pathway's multiplication component. Dive into questions that will stir this biblical motive among your small group once again.
The pressure is on to be the super-parent these days. Finding the right school, getting the kids to practice on time, supporting your child’s interests by providing opportunity and resources ...
Onto the Ministry component of Our Pathway. This week will focus in on serving within our church, our community and abroad.