Home > Uncategorized > Clear Expectations pt. 1

Clear Expectations pt. 1

Thanks to pastor J.D. for linking on his blog the recent post on how small groups link to church planting. You can read that post here

One question that almost always sits on the back of a group leader’s mind is “am I doing what they want me to do in here?” It’s a legitimate question, and one that stems usually from a lack of communication on the pastoral side. Pastors are typically great at casting vision for their ministry, but what they sometimes skim over is the “how to” gameplan to make that vision come to reality. While that can sometimes come from pastors not really thinking through that gameplan, usually it comes from simply not communicating the gameplan in a clear, executable way. Below I am going to flesh out the Summit’s mission statement and how we are turning that into an executable gameplan for our SummitLIFE groups. In doing this, we are creating a way for group leaders to evaluate the growth and success of their groups. We are setting them up for a win, instead of leaving them wandering through the gray mist hoping they are doing something right.

The Summit’s mission statement comes from Matthew 22:38-39 where Christ sums up the Christian life in 2 statements: Love God & love others. We break that into 3 pieces: Love God, Love Each Other, Love the World. Below is how our groups carry out that mission:

Love God
The vision: vs. 38: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. SummitLIFE Group gameplan:
1. Study the Bible – the scriptures are where we learn who God is & what he is all about. So we teach our leaders how to study the bible, and we encourage them to do the same for their groups. We provide study guides each week that go along with the sermon so groups can dig into the scriptures being covered.

2. Pray – We teach our leaders how to pray, how to pray using scripture, and how to pray in small groups. Our church prayer meeting happens weekly in the living rooms where these small groups gather. We place a huge emphasis on it. If a group isn’t praying for at least ¼th to 1/3rd of its meeting time, something is wrong.

Love Each Other
The vision: vs.39:love your neighbor as yourself. The first way we do that, is love our fellow Christian family members. This is how:
1. Serve & Care for small group members – it isn’t a class, but a community of friends. SummitLIFE groups should be the first response team in times of crisis & times of celebration. Should know eachother’s lives & look for ways to serve one another.
2. Serve the church – Does everyone in your group have a ministry they are serving in at the church? This is critical not because the church needs volunteers, but because serving the body is an essential element of one’s spiritual growth.

Love The World
The vision: vs.39: love your neighbor as yourself. The second way we do that is loving non-Christian neighbors. How:
1. Hope for Durham / RDU – we tell each group to participate with one of our non-profit partner organizations in loving on the people of the triangle. The group regularly (as determined by the group) spends time serving alongside this organization.
2. Week of Hope – The group creates its own service project in its community to love on the community for one week out of the year. The church provides some seed money to help launch the project.
3. Support a church planter – Each group is specifically given one church planter that they get to support through prayer, care packages, and short-term visit trips. This gives everyone in a group a look into church planting. For more on this strategy see last week’s post.

Warning: this is not a check-list, but a recipe for success. If a group looks at its tasks like a to-do list, it will drag them down. If however the group sees these ministries as ways to build biblical community, they will take them on with joy. This is how we do it at the Summit. If you are not at the Summit, are you clear on your small group goals and expectations?

  1. April 14, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    Thanks for all your help and encouragement with us today. We look forward to partnering with you!

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