Okay, we’re talking about the three distinctions of a biblical small group, if you remember. The first one is discipleship, so we want to make sure that we are creating disciples in our small group. Second, we want to make sure that we’re building community, that discipleship happens best within the context of community, so we want to schedule it into our group meetings and into our calendar. And then third, what I want to focus on today is mission. How can we make sure that our group is on mission? So I’m gonna give you four things to maybe look at to think about for your group to help your group to start thinking missionally. The first thing you want to do is you want to study it.
Choose study that forces your group to think missionally. Lot of the studies that we do are something that we’re passionate about, so kind of revert back to the same types of topics. So if you’re not naturally, if your group’s not naturally bent towards being on mission, choose a study that forces them to think about serving people outside of themselves. So maybe you go to lifeway.com, look at the balance discipleship plan and choose a steady from the serving God and others category, something that’s about six weeks long and take some time to study what does it look like to be on mission and then number two you want to plan for it.
Choose somebody in your group that will organize something that you can do maybe on a weekend and something that fits the skills of your group. So choose somebody, talk about it, talk about where are we skilled, and then pick a project for your group to start with to start thinking outside of the group. And the number three, it’s pretty obvious, but we want to do it. So actually make it happen. We can study it, we can plan for it, but if we don’t actually go out and do it than it was for nothing. And so make sure you get a good day and time when the entire group can do something. Maybe a weekend, Saturday morning, a couple hours where you can serve alongside another organization and become missional. The number four, and this is important and we forget this part a lot of times, is talk about it. So as soon as possible, maybe the next group meeting after your project, take some time to debrief. How did it go? How did it make you feel? What can we do differently or better next time? Because what we want to do is we want to move the mindset from a project to a lifestyle. So we go from just thinking about how do we do this project to how do we actually live missionally day by day. So study it, plan for it, do it, talk about it, and let’s become missional as a small group.
Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over 22 years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Team at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, and was on staff at Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC, for 15 years. He is also the Small Group Specialist for Lifeway Christian Resources. Chris’s first book, Small Groups For The Rest Of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes, was just released by Thomas Nelson. You can follow his blog at chrissurratt.com or follow him on Twitter @chrissurratt.