WEEK 5 – September 13, 2016

PART 1: The Roots of Hospitality

CHAPTER 5: Small Groups

STUDY NOTES

Best Practices: Creating Small Groups

Create core small groups within your congregation so  that individuals can make personal connections in intimate and honest gatherings.

To begin, consider developing small groups around a limited course offering, such as an eight-week class or a Lenten series. Then evaluate whether and how the small groups may wish to continue meeting.

Meet at least monthly, and preferably more often.

Devote time in each meeting to personal sharing and prayer for each other, as well as discussion of some assigned topic or reading.

 

Best Practices: Relational Ministry

Remember that any group or ministry you start in your church needs to be relational and not transactional.

Ask what you can do to help guests or neighbors, not what they can do for you in  terms of filling pews or expanding the church’s coffers.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What opportunities exist in your congregation for older people to tell stories to younger people, so that “knowledge about how to live” is shared?

  2. Can you describe an experience in a small group that  provided opportunities for friendship, community-building, Bible study, or spiritual growth?

  3. Rick Warren says, “God wired us in such a way that we only get well in community.” True or false? Why?

  4. How is Christian hospitality a matter of life and death?

  5. What is the value of being relational in the life of the church. even if it does not lead to numerical church growth?

Action Plan:

Offer a five-week sermon series on Christian hospitality, covering the first five chapters of this book. Challenge the entire congregation to meet over the course of the series for small-group discussions of the topic, assuring them that they will be changed by the experience. Organize groups in  the church building as well as in private homes, on Sunday mornings and at various times throughout the week. Sen e-mails with suggested discussion questions  to your small-group leaders along with advance copies of your sermons. At the end of the series, evaluate the experience with your small-group leaders and talk about next steps.

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