You Belong Here ... in a Small Group

Posted by Jim Murphy on Monday, September 22, 2014 @ 3:51 PM

Bottom Line

You need friends who believe in God and believe in you.

Tension

The truth is, you need a small group. You need friends who believe in God and believe in you. We all have a desire to know and be known; to love and be loved.

However, the reality is, people sometimes lie, and gossip about you. They’re prideful, rude, and unreliable. They hurt your feelings. The make you feel unwelcome. 

This is a difficult tension to manage. That's why we put so much emphasis on building our small groups and making them healthy. If we're going to have healthy Christian community in our small groups we must model our groups after the kind of community that Jesus intended with for his disciples. Here are five helpful principles as pointed out by Rick Warren in his book, "The Purpose Driven Life."

Text

John 13:34-35

Teaching

  1. A small group is based on honesty. Solomon, one of the authors of the Bible who wrote, said in Proverbs 24:26 “An honest answer is a sign of true friendship.” (TEV) A small group is about being real friends and real friends tell each other the truth.

  2. A small group is based on humility. Pride builds walls between people but humility builds bridges. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:16, “Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” (NLT) He also said, “Don’t be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.” (Philippians 2:4, NCV)

  3. A small group is based on courtesy. Courtesy is respecting our differences, being considerate of each other’s feelings, and being patient with people who irritate us. When we’re kind and courteous to each other, people will feel more welcomed and able to fit in.

  4. A small group is based on confidentiality. The kids in your small group will open up and share their hurts, feelings, and mistakes ONLY if they can trust you. Remember, what’s said in the group, stays in the group. Proverbs 16:28 says, “Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.” (TEV)

  5. A small group is based on consistency. You have to stay in touch with your group. Be here every week even try to be here when you feel like you’re really busy. Hebrews 10:25 says, “Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another.” (TEV) 

Small Group Questions

  1. What are some ways that lies could hurt our small group? How could honesty help it?
  2. What are some ways that pride could hurt our small group? How could humility help it?
  3. What are some ways that disrespect could hurt our small group? How could courtesy help it?
  4. What are some ways that gossip could hurt our small group? How could confidentiality help it?
  5. What are some ways that skipping small group could hurt our small group? How could consistency 
help it?

Conversations at Home

Finding good friends can be very difficult for kids. Because our sin nature comes out in so many ways, hurting each other is what comes natural to us. Ask your son or daughter if they've been hurt by someone else's words, lies, gossip, or pride. Listen to her stories. Ask her what it's like for her with the other kids at school or church...yes, even church kids hurt each other. Look for ways to model honesty and openness within your own family. Does every conversation revolve around you or do you show love and interest in your kids? Do you gossip about other people? In front of your kids? If you do, they will gossip, too. Do you model inconsistency in your commitment to the church community? If you do, your kids will be inconsistent and unreliable to their small group, as well. 

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Note

These posts are from the weekly lessons at Wednesday night FUEL. They are designed to share with you an outline of the content of our discussions, the small group questions, and ideas for conversations at home. Feel free to use these for your own conversations or lessons.

Jim Murphy

Jim Murphy, Associate Pastor, NextGen MinistriesAssociate Pastor NextGen Ministries

218-751-3699 ext 14 jim@bemidjicovenant.com

 

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