Friday, October 1, 2010

Making Disciples in Family Groups

The Desire:
  • Build disciples of Jesus who are willing to follow Him as: spouses, parents, children, friends, siblings, etc.
  • Build genuine and deepening relationships with other families that are seeking to follow Christ.
  • Build a supporting community with others who will go, are going, and have gone through our same life experiences.
  • Build intentionality into our lives, both at gatherings and between gatherings.
  • Build relationships between generations, giving our children the opportunity to relate to adults outside of the 'normal' relationships: child/teacher, child/youth worker, etc.
  • Build living models to follow for each other as: spouses, parents, children, friends, siblings, etc.

The Reasons:
  • Hebrews 10:24-25 "And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near."
  • Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always,to the end of the age."
  • I Thessalonians 2:8 "we were happy to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us."

The Plan:
  • Find four-ish families. Avoid affinity to build community. Include people from different walks of life, different church organizations, single parents, different ethnicities, etc.
  • Meet monthly. We could meet more, but most families are already over-scheduled. Everyone needs to bring calendars to each gathering. The next gathering can then be scheduled for a day and time that each family has free. Meetings should be planned for 2+ hours.
  • Meet in homes. Whoever is starting the group could/should host the first meetings. Being in a house quickly lowers the level of pretension and helps families be more authentic.
  • Eat a meal. This is optional depending on the day and time. But if we do, make sure all families, not just the host family, prepares and brings food. This is not one family entertaining guests, but rather a group of families using a meal to fellowship.
  • Share prayer requests as a big group. Write down each other's prayer needs as a reminder between gatherings and to review the next gathering. If possible, pray for them.
  • Split guys and girls for accountability. This could mean writing accountability questions (per A Strategy for Making Disciples.) Or it could be as simple as sharing one or two specific things that each person needs to be asked about at the next gathering or discussing what we've read in our Bibles recently.
  • Divide by two. After one year of meeting divide into two groups of families. Each group should prayerfully seek two-ish families to invite to join their new group, with the eventual goal of having two family groups with fourish families each.

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