Home > Uncategorized > Moving the gospel from the sermon to the small group

Moving the gospel from the sermon to the small group

This is an exciting time to be a Christian in America. The full, pure, un-edited gospel is being rediscovered in pulpits across our country. Young men preaching with Spirit-filled confidence that we are sinners, unable to save ourselves, and God in his mercy sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin that we might be restored to him now and eternally. And people are coming to hear it, and believe.

But we know discipleship does not stop there. And since the gospel is the source of a disciple’s life, it cannot stop at the sermon either. So now we are at the question: How do we move the gospel from the sermon to the small group? What follows this week is a series of thoughts on how to see this incredibly important task through. I hope it sparks a very important discussion. I fear waaaay too many of our small group leaders in the american church are at a loss with how to translate the preaching of the gospel into effective God-honoring discipleship. So here we go. Please share your thoughts as well. First:

1. The gospel must be verbalized & considered regularly in your group, not assumed. I think the biggest problem in creating gospel-centered small groups is not, not knowing the gospel, it is assuming the gospel. How often do you find yourself literally speaking out loud the gospel message in your group? And I’m not talking about evangelism. I’m talking about to other christians in your small group. The gospel is not the “front door” into the christian house, it is the house. The gospel is our hope and our confidence.  Your people need to know that it is common place to declare the victory of Jesus over sin & death in a conversation between two christians. This is HOW we encourage one another as the author of Hebrews repeatedly tells us to do. We remind one another of our identity in Christ and what that means for where we are in life. I know this seems elementary but man is it easy to overlook. to assume. So try it.

You want to begin moving the gospel from the sermon to your group? VERBALIZE the gospel. Don’t assume everybody in your group just knows it and lives and breathes it every day. It starts with you small group leader.

Application Step: I know this sounds cheesy, but its worth it. Consider breaking up into groups of 3 in your group, and attempt to tell the gospel to one another. Use the scripture you know to help you. Hopefully this exercise will unearth where you need to spend time meditating on the gospel to become more comfortable articulating what you believe.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 29, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Enjoying this series, Spence. A good way I’ve found to encourage small groups to do this is for them to work through “The Cross-Centered Life” by CJ Mahaney. It’s a short book that helps you walk through reminding yourself of the Gospel everyday.

    Since we’re both in the South, I think this is true for us. “Everybody” knows the Gospel. They’ve heard the story…and could possibly tell it even better than a seminary-trained pastor. But the reality is that few apply it to their lives consistently, and remind themselves how much they need it.

    It’s both the blessing and the curse of living in the Bible belt.

  1. September 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm
  2. September 30, 2010 at 9:00 am

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