What does it take to live a meaningful life? To answer that you’ll have to decide what matters most, here and now, for eternity and in the minds of those you care about. As you read that did you think about the spiritual quality of your life and its effect and impact on all others you care about?
In today’s busy world, statistics show that even the faithful church members attend church less often. There are those who don’t find value in attending church, others who aren’t believers, and millions more who aren’t seekers, but we all have friends and acquaintances with whom we like to enjoy life and share our innermost thoughts. Everyone is trying to add qualitative value and capacity to their daily life.
For decades we’ve read that small groups are an essential element to cultivating congregational vitality. As such they are also an essential aspect to cultivating spiritual vitality in the life of the individual. Spiritual vitality creates a capacity for regeneration, resiliency, reconciliation, and reproduction. Christian Schwartz’ landmark survey in the 1990’s summed that there are eight essential elements, one of which is “holistic small groups”. He wrote, “Groups are to go beyond study and discussion to applying God’s message to daily life. Small groups are the place where Christianity can really be practiced.” We’re convinced that we need to enfold five principles into our daily routines and ministry: incarnational, relational, experiential, intentional, and missional. Once-a-week worship, if it is that, will not sufficiently nurture these qualities, but joining (or leading) a small group will be transformative and lead to such vitality.
Harmony Bible Coop serves to strengthen, train, and help you develop a vibrant small group ministry. Quite simply, small groups are a growing group of friends who regularly gather together and provide a venue to study the scriptures together in an open, loving community. Our methodology strengthens every member as the group progresses through the Harmony of the Gospels. Each group includes people from any phase of discipleship. Each member, learning to abide in Christ, is becoming a disciple who makes disciples.
Top Three Benefits of Small Groups:
- • they make churches of any size personal, and accessible to all
- • they are an authentic community which expresses love – helping inform, console, heal, and encourage one another as we follow and learn from Christ together
- • they help increase the organizational capacity of the church – as member’s faith in Christ is strengthened they are able to engage in ministry according to their vocation, gifts and strengths
This happens organically when the small group leaders:
- • have a rich, courageous, and contagious Christian faith lived out in prayer, study, and ministry that deepens their dependency on God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- • are respectful of others, listening and learning together, being winsome, apt and gracious to all as we are interdependently dependent upon Christ
- • prepare and engage themselves the entire week in the Scripture, prayer, and relationships with their group members and their community
If you’re yearning for more spiritual vitality, stamina, resiliency then you’re going to have to take action. Prioritize what matters most: your family, work, hobbies. Set aside non-essentials and unproductive attitudes: discrimination, busyness, debt, sin., etc.. Join a small group, or if you feel God is urging you to gather a your friends to begin a small group, we invite you to contact us for training and coaching, and encourage you to make the most of the resources we have created.
3 God has given me this gift. So I say this to every one of you. Do not think you are better than you really are. But think of yourself as you are. You are what you are because God has given you something when you believed. 4 In a body there are many parts, but all the parts do not do the same thing. 5 In the same way, we are many people. But we are one body because we are all joined together in Christ. Each one of us is a part of all the others. 6 We have different gifts because God has blessed us in different ways. If a person can speak words from God, he must say what he believes he should say. 7 If a person can help others, he must help others. If a person can teach, he must teach. 8 If a person can talk to others, he must talk to others. If a person can give something, he must give it gladly. If a person can be a leader, he must try to be a good leader. If a person can help someone, he must do it gladly. (Worldwide English Bible)