Acts 5:42 - "Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ."
If developing strategy doesn't really appeal to you and light your fire, then this post will be very uninspiring - maybe even boring. However, it is something I have been thinking of for a LONG time and at our Staff/Leadership Team meeting last night, we made some major progress in moving in this direction.
It all has to do with small groups and the absolute need at Meadow to have a small group ministry. We HAVE to get this going. It's a matter of growth and reaching more people for Christ, but it is really a matter of health more than growth - although the healthier we are the more we will grow and reach more people.
It is clear that the Christians in the early church met both in a large group "in the temple courts" and in small groups "from house to house". Teaching and proclaiming Christ happened in both places. And while it doesn't say how or the style of teaching that occured, I believe we can be confident the subject matter(s) might have been the same, but the manner in which communication and learning happened was different.
In a large group...communication is mainly one-way. Right? I mean, it is difficult to have group discussion when you have 100+ people in the room. So it becomes a one teacher communicating and teaching many people. However, break that same 100+ people up into small groups of 6-12 people and the style and environment change dramatically. Rather than it being a one teacher teaching many people, it becomes people conversing with each other, sharing with each other, encouraging each other, supporting each other, laughing with each other. It is a much more conducive environment for accountability and connecting people in stronger, more lasting relationships.
This is what we need at Meadow and the intent is to launch organized small groups this September. To do that, we need leaders and host homes...individuals to teach and places to meet. Are you interested in either? Would you be willing to lead a group and/or have a group meet weekly in your home? Don't freak out. You don't have to come up with what to do, that will be provided to you as in September, the intent is every small group at Meadow will be discussing the message from the previous Sunday. Discussion material will be provided to you. And/or maybe a group could meet in your home. If you have a room where 6-12 people can sit and converse with each other - your home will work. We are not looking for homes that are always immaculately clean (c'mon - NO ONE'S home is always that clean!). It just needs to be a home where people can gather to grow, support, encourage, laugh, etc.
I have personally been involved with a small group and I can say from experience that it is in the small group where your faith and friendships are catapulted to awesome and extremely fulfilling levels. If you've never been part of a small group, it can be intimidating at first, but once you get past that first gathering, the intimidation and fear factor vanishes.
Jot down the following important dates on your calendar...
- Sun, Sept 11 ... "All-worship Sunday" with believer's baptism and brunch
- Sun, Sept 18 ... "Get Ready" & Official Start of Signing Up for a Small Group
- Sun, Sept 25 ... "Why We Need Each Other"
- Son-Sat, Sept 26-Oct 1 ... First week small groups meet
I'd like to know your thoughts, questions, and even hesitations about all of this. Like I said, we HAVE to get small groups going at Meadow. It is a matter of health and guiding more people into a refreshing relationship with Jesus.