Small Group Guidelines
Make, mature and mobilize
in relational environments.
Definition of a disciple
-Be Transformed by Him
We faithfully envision creating 6 transformative relational environments throughout the Kanawha Valley through which we will make, mature and mobilize disciple (makers).
People Growth vs. Church Growth
1. Biblical Foundation - Making, Not Reaching
2. Intentional Leadership - Equipping, Not Informing
3. Relational Environment - Relationship, Not Activity
4. Reproducible Process - Deploying, Not Accumulating
5. Alignment - Purpose, Not Programs
Why Small Groups?
1. Jesus Did It
4:10 - When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables
Mark 9:2 - After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone.
Mark 13:3 - As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately,
Mark 14:33 - He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.
Luke 8:51 - When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.
-Some would say Jesus even further focused to just Peter
Matthew 16:16, 18, 23 - “You are Peter…Get behind me Satan…”
Mark 14:37 - Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour?
Matthew 26:33-34 - Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
John 21:15 - When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Jesus’ ministry had transformative relational environments
-It is PARAMOUNT that we develop a conviction that this is biblical!
-To strive to do church in another way is to do church in a unbiblical way!
2. Real-Life Soil Assistance
-Jesus teaches on spiritual maturity in the parable of the sower
A plant is fruitful, I.e. produces seed, when it matures
Human analogy =Maturing to spiritual parenthood
Jesus gives us this amazing insight into the human heart as it relates to spiritual maturity
-He says the most common killers of maturing are…
-This is the person who is scared or unwilling to dig deep into our heart
-Most of us come to Jesus with rocks under the soil
Deeper Character Issues
-These can cause rocks, hard parts of our heart that need to be dug out
Jesus says the thorny soil is “…the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things…”
-Bar none, the thing I have seen take out more disciples than anything else
The worries of this life
The deceitfulness of wealth
Desire for other things
“Worries of this life” = Thlipsis = “pressure, pressing”
-Life is stressful! We are under an enormous amount of pressure
-It is SO easy to allow life to overtake lordship
Worry to overtake Worship
Cares to overtake Kingship
-For many the “desire for other things” is just relief
In order to mature through the deep parts of our heart and the hardships of life we need real relationships around us
-Corporate worship is right and great!
-In order to mature through these different hindrances we need real friends
In order to have people help us with this we need to be fully known by people
I John 1 Reference
-Small Group provides the safe, intimate environment to be fully known in order to unearth the rocks in our soil and pull those weeds that threaten to stifle maturing
Do we see Jesus doing this?
-Racism of the Apostles - Samaritans & Gentiles
Small groups are to help us process and navigate real-life while holding onto lordship
Why have guidelines?
1. Jesus Did It!
-Jesus is reframing what maturity is
They viewed it as greatness, achievement, winning
Jesus points to the innocent, dependent, lowly child and reframes maturity
-Maturity = Becoming child-like, not childish!
Look at the guidelines
Careful with one another - 18:6-8
Responsible to each other, not for each other - 18:8-14
Responsible relationally - 18:15-20
Eternally merciful - 18:21-35
-We want Biblically guided small groups
2. We want a Reproducible Proces so we can effectively add small groups
-One of the Five Pillars of a Disciple-Making Ministry
Did Jesus have Reproducible Processes?
Luke 9 & 10
-He gives the same instructions
9:10 - When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done.
10:17 - The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Jesus had a Reproducible Process so that multiplication could happen!
Small Group Gathering Guidelines
THE SMALL GROUP LEADER IS THE FACILITATOR
-Intentional Leadership is on e of the Five Pillars of a Disciple-Making Ministry
-To foster the Small Group functioning in a healthy way the Small Group Leader (or whomever is designated by them) will serve as the facilitator for the group.
-Their role is to ensure that the group guidelines are followed, the time together flows and Biblically integrity is maintained.
THIS IS A SAFE GROUP
Confidentiality is key, what is said in the group stays in the group (unless permission is given to seek help/advice/counsel). Be aware how you are affecting the environment: words, actions, and non-verbal communication. T
-his needs to be a place where people feel comfortable opening up and sharing.
A gossip betrays a confidence,
but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
-Gossip is destructive to a small group
Difference between gossip and getting advice/help
Gossip is talking about people and situations to make the person look bad or revel in their situation
Even if you say, “Bless their heart”
-There is no goal of helping and permission has not been given in gossip
-This betrays the trust of the group
Advice is seeking help from wise counsel to find out how to best help the person
-As it says in the guidelines “unless permission is given to seek help/advice/counsel”
-The person is aware that it is happening and it is being done for their good
Help is required in dealing with more serious situations
-Sexual sin, adultery, drug use, abuse of any kind, swindling, mental health concerns, self-harm/suicide
-Permission is still asked for but if the person isn’t open to it a deadline can be put in place
-Be considerate of others as they are sharing.
-No side conversations, checking phone, responding to text or email, etc.
-Let’s value one another by listening to what is being shared.
-Allow a pause after someone shares to allow them to finish and others to consider what was said.
-Eye contact and body posture play key roles in creating a positive or negative group environment.
NO RESCUING OR FIXING
-We are to listen and Biblically counsel one another.
-Jesus does the transforming.
-Avoid the tendency to rescue when someone is struggling to get the words out or shares a struggle or conviction.
What is rescuing or fixing?
-Confusing because isn’t this what small group is for???
Leaving the 99 sounds like a rescue
“Speaking Up” sounds like Im trying to “fix” what is wrong
-Rescuing or fixing is trying to take responsibility for other people’s lordship
We are responsible to one another (leave the 99)
Not for one another (they have to gouge out their own eye)
The very next thing Jesus says is…
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
When are we tempted to despise other disciples?
-When they don’t listen to my help
We need to help each other but allow each other to work out our own lordship
USE “I” STATEMENTS
-It’s easy to talk about the issues of others or respond with “we”, “us”, “the church” or “people.”
-For us to grow as disciples and build relationship we want to use “I” statements.
-We want to create time for all members of the group to participate in the discussion.
-Be careful not to always be the first responder or regularly give long responses.
-These groups are meant to be transformative through “speaking the truth in love.”
-This is a role that everyone takes part in.
-We need each other to share our communal, Biblical faith, wisdom and conviction.
-Use the Bible and speak up!
-To who is this commanded?
-Speaking truth in love is given as the remedy to immature instability!
BE GRACIOUS AND UNIFIED
-It’s not ‘if’ conflict or hurt feelings will happen, but ‘when’.
-We commit to being gracious and fighting for unity with each other.
-Go to that person and address the conflict one-on-one. If this isn’t effective seek wise advice if you are not sure how to handle the conflict (Matthew 18:15-17)
Jesus addresses hurts from multiple angles
Our vision for the KVC is to have Six Transformative Relational Environments throughout the Kanawha Valley by 2026 (6 x 26)
-We don’t just want numbers
-We want healthy small groups that are actually joining with Christ in the transformative, maturing process of every disciple
-In order to see that happen we need everyone…
To embrace Jesus’ model of small groups wholeheartedly
To embrace these guidelines to ensure that they are healthy and transformative
-We believe that if we do this, the Holy Spirit will be a blessing to work in ways we may never have seen as a church
-As we unify to Make, Mature & Mobilize Disciple Makers in Relational Environments!
Kanawha Valley Church
1565 Smith Road, Charleston, WV 25314
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