“If you want to make mature Christ followers, you must expect more from them than attendance at group gatherings.”
Practicing spiritual disciplines is the key to substantial spiritual growth. Those who read and study the Bible, spend time in heart-driven prayer, memorize passages of Scripture, verbalize the gospel to those far from Christ, and do these things on an ongoing/daily basis experience real spiritual growth. Many group leaders have moved away from expecting anything from group members between meetings, yet those same group leaders believe their group members are going to become mature followers of Christ. The reality is that it’s impossible to become a mature Christian without engaging in these practices.
Rick Howerton is the Small Groups and Discipleship Specialist at Lifeway Christian Resources. He has authored many small group studies, is a highly sought-after trainer and speaker, and is the author of Destination Community: Small Group Ministry Manual as well as A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small Group Dynamic. He is also the co-author of Disciples Path: A Practical Guide to Disciple Making and Countdown: Launching and Leading Transformational Groups. But Rick’s deepest passion and his goal in life is to see “a biblical small group within walking distance of every person on the planet making disciples that make disciples.”