Tomorrow, 2015 begins.
This past week we’ve been exploring some of the keys for your small group to experience growth in 2015. Here’s what we’ve covered so far.
Today, we look at our final Key for Small Group Growth.
Key #4: Needs Met
Meeting the needs of others has always been and should always be a component of church life. This is a 2-fold act of service; we meet the needs of those inside and outside the church.
This is a balance that should also be evident in our small groups.
Meeting needs inside the group.
This can be both strategic and/or organic. Strategically, an act of service may be planned out and facilitated by us as leaders, when the need has been presented. Organically, the need may grow from within the group, as a member is sharing or within some point of discussion.
Though this is definitely not an exhaustive list, here are some of the common opportunities to meet needs within the small group context:
- Providing meals for group members who are ill, grieved or recently given birth.
- Providing child-care for single moms and/or young couples.
- Providing visitation and/or errands for elderly or disabled members.
Meeting needs outside the group.
Obviously, there a number of humanity organizations and charities who meet a wide variety of needs. Nevertheless, the church should be a key contributor to these efforts. In reality, our efforts should be increased tenfold because they are centred around a Gospel focus.
In other words, because of our great love for Christ and desire to serve Him, we should feel an overwhelming motivation to serve mankind as a whole and in turn, meet the needs of those who are without.
This is a primary step to evangelism.
We should meet the needs of others without any expectation to adhere to or follow our way of life. There should be no spiritual manipulation, issuing some form of trade-off for goods received or services rendered. (i.e. I’ll meet this need if you promise to attend church this Sunday.)
We must leave the spiritual component in God’s hands. Obviously, our duty is to always be ready to answer questions and share the Gospel, but within their (and God’s) timeframe.
We must have passion to see beyond our groups.
There are obvious questions within this realm of meeting needs within small group life. Some of these questions include the following:
- Are we meeting too many needs?
- Are we enabling people?
- Are we really helping them?
- Are we doing what’s best for them?
This is where you must lead.
As leaders, we must have a finger on the pulse of the people we’re serving. There’s definitely a balance between meeting a need and forming a relationship of dependence. This being said, there is no such thing as a textbook situation because there is no such thing as a textbook person.
Prayer and Scriptural study are a given. If you haven’t talked to God about the person you’re serving, you’ve missed the very first step. If needed and prudent, bring your pastor into the discussion.
Read, Consult, Reflect and Repeat
We must constantly be educating ourselves and conversing with people who are far smarter than we are. Whether it be books or blogs, chatrooms or counsellors, colleagues or coworkers; we can gain some valuable insight into every situation.
Obviously, we should be sensitive not to give names and/or detailed information, but we can achieve a lot by gaining some outside perspective. We should never feel like we need to battle through these sensitive situations on our own.
How has your small group met the needs of others? How have you impact those inside and/or outside your group?