By Inside Out with Courtnaye
Judging from the title, and the fact that you either saw this post or clicked onto it, I would guess that you’re interested in starting a small group or know someone who is considering it. In either case, I don’t think that you (or the person you’re thinking about forwarding it to) will be reading this post today by chance. In fact, I believe God has you on His heart and mind to consider starting up a small group that is centered and based on His Word.
It’s time, sis. Meaning, people need the Word of God like never before today. There’s so much happening in our world right now, but not just that, right here in our own communities. If you are a Christian, it’s time to rise up and be the light in the midst of all of the darkness. And Christ in you through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God working all together…is what will bring the change, healing, and deliverance.
So, the starting place is first saying, “Yes, Lord. I’ll do it. I’ll start a small group if that’s what you’re calling me to do.” After that, ask Him for wisdom on who, what, where, when, & how? I think we’re covering a little bit of the “how” part through this post, as He leads me to help. So for a moment, let's think about those questions above.
In other words, who will be your audience? Will it be women, young girls, teenagers, college-aged or young adult women? If you’re a leader, will it be a group specifically for women in leadership? If you’re married, will it be a group that you start for married couples or a general group study with men and women? Or will it be family or a single women discipleship group?
The whole point of starting a small group is for the purpose of discipleship. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave the disciples a Great Commission and this applies to us as well. He said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey the commands I have given you.” (NLT)
As Christ-followers (disciples), we need to be going and making other disciples. We also need to continue growing in our faith; and small groups help us to accomplish this mission and growth. It also allows us the opportunity to not only go deeper in the understanding and teachings of God’s Word, but it also grants us time to fellowship with one another and strengthen and encourage each other as well. It’s a win-win!
Personally, I am not only a part of a family Bible study and women’s ministry at my local church, but I’ve also taught one of my own. I did an eight-week Bible study from my book entitled, “IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose” (shameless plug) with women in my community. It was a great time of food and fellowship, but more importantly, it was a great time in God’s Word and in practical application!
With that being said, I want to share with you a few simple tips on how you too can start or host a small group of your own in your community. Here goes…
Who - Choose your audience (refer to the above passage)
What – Pick a topic of study (i.e. you can choose to study a book of the Bible like 1 Peter, Ephesians, etc. Or you can choose a topical study like love, patience, courage or a book that you feel led to teach from with a study guide, such as “Armor of God” by Priscilla Shirer)
When – Think about the time that you would host a small group and what day? Will it be this fall, winter, or summer? Will it be a morning or evening study? Whenever you do it, give yourself enough time to study the content for yourself, so that you’ll be ready to share it with others with a God-confidence and with clarity. The apostle Paul stated in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (KJV)
Where – Consider where you will host your group. Will it be in your home, coffee shop, friend’s home, small office, community center, etc.? I believe God will lead you to the right place.
How – Will you have food and fellowship before the study begins? Will you have ice breakers and/or give-a-ways that will help encourage those entrusted to you (this is not a MUST…just a kind gesture). Will you pre-order the books or have each participant order their own books. Again, I only covered a little, but you will need to pray for wisdom for God’s direction on the specific details for your group. I would advise that you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you through the entire process. Remember, we can do nothing on our own.
And don’t forget to promote it! Don’t be afraid to invite women from your church, job, grocery store, or community in general. Invite them face-to-face, through flyers, Facebook, an inbox message or a text (please don’t spam them though…message those whom you think might need it or be interested in it). Also, let others know that they can share the info that you’re hosting an upcoming small group. The point here is that if no one knows about it, how will they come, sis?
This is all about Jesus and discipleship. We are all called to evangelize the lost, to grow in the Word, and to fellowship and encourage one another in the faith. So…do you think you can start or host a small group or know someone who should? It’s time to do our part.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
QUESTION: Do you feel like God is leading you to start a small group in your home or community, sis? If so, how are you preparing for it? Let me know here. Also, if you need prayer today, let me know here or you can email me directly to join you in prayer on it @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.
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