No Biting

From:  Gurnall, William. The Christian in Complete Armour: A Treatise of the Saints’ War against the Devil … London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1964.
 
“What folly it is for us to bite and devour one another to make sport for the devil.  We are prone to mistake our heat for zeal, whereas usually the strife between saints is a fire-ship sent by Satan to scatter our unity and order.  United we are an armada invincible, and Satan knows he has no other way but strife to sink us.

 

When reproached and persecuted by wicked men, look beyond them. Spend your wrath on Satan, who is your chief enemy. Men are only his puppets. They may be won to Christ’s side and so become your friends at last.  Anselm explains it in the following manner. ‘When the enemy comes riding up in battle, the Valiant soldier is not angry with the horse, but with the horseman. He works to kill the rider so that he may possess the horse for his own use. Let us pray fervently, as Christ did on the cross, that the devil will be dismounted and those miserable souls delivered from him.”
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On seeking God’s Guidance

From:  Meyer, F. B. The Secret of Guidance (Moody Classics). New ed. publication place:         Moody Publishers, 2010.

“We have no need or right to run hither and thither to ask our friends what we ought to
do; but there is no harm in our taking pains to gather all reliable information, on which
the flame of holy thought and consecrated purpose may feed and grow strong. It is for
us ultimately to decide as God shall teach us, but His voice may come to us through the
voice of sanctified common sense, acting on the materials we have collected. Of course
at times God may bid us act against our reason, but these times are very exceptional;
and then our duty will be so clear that there can be no mistake. But for the most part
God will speak in the results of deliberate consideration, weighing and balancing the
pros and cons.
When Peter was shut up in prison and could not possibly extricate himself, an angel
was sent to do for him what he could not do for himself; but when they had passed
through a street or two of the city, the angel left him to consider the matter for himself.
Thus God treats us still. He will dictate a miraculous course by miraculous methods. But
when the ordinary light of reason is adequate to the task, He will leave us to act as
occasion may serve.”

4 Directives For Victory – Priscilla Shirer – JRC

Opening Thoughts:

  • It’s amazing how your countenance changes when you discover what your enemy thinks about you.
  • When we understand where stand, who’s on our team, and how the enemy quakes when we come out in Christ.
  • Whether we believe it or not…Our enemy knows.
  • In the end we win.
  • Don’t live without the knowledge that we are victorious.

Ex. 14 – The people are released from Egypt and days into their journey.
Ex. 14:13-14 – But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (‭Exodus‬ ‭14‬:‭13-14‬ NLT)

  • The Lord will do the fighting for you…if you just stay calm!!!
  • We have the promise of victory.
  • There is no manipulation.
  • Victory has already been given to you. – Just stay calm.

Moses gives 4 Directives for Victory (Assured by Yahweh “I Am”)

1. Be Fearless (Do not be afraid)
2. Be Still
3. Be Watchful
4. Be Quiet/calm

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JRC Life Groups Leaders Conference Session 4

Larry Osborne

Discipleships 6 Inconvenient Truths:

  • Disciple = Follower – Anyone following is a disciple
  • We often confuse leadership with discipleship.
  • Followers are not always leaders.

1. The ultimate mark of a disciple is obedience to what we know.

  • It doesn’t mean extrovert
  • It means faith to trust and follow.
  • There should not be a split between evangelism and discipleship.
  • A disciple learns to obey. Followers are those who keep “my” commandments.
  • Obedience doesn’t always equal passion, excitement, or extreme personality.
  • Don’t “ADD” to the definition of disciple.
  • Everything beyond obedience is frosting.

2. Spiritual Growth is seldom a linear process.

  • People don’t grow in an organized fashion.
  • Our spiritual growth is often more of a “meandering path” than a stair step.
  • People learn when life gets thrown at them more than when they should.
  • Create the environment for organic growth. Don’t force it.
  • Growth Moments:
    • When you Need to Know Moments
    • When you Need to Grow moments
  • Keep people with Christ/The Bible and Keep people with other Christians – So that they will have the tools they need when life strikes deep.

3. No two personal relationships are ever alike.

  • Relations deal with individual people.
  • Work with people within their uniqueness.
  • Don’t make people into who you are.
  • Religion is one size fits all. Just do it this way.

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JRC Life Group Leaders Conference Session 3

Larry Osborne 

  •  The reason you want your groups to be sticky is so that you/we can fulfill the great commission. Not just because you want to get bigger.
  • It’s not about church growth, but the great commisson
  • In today’s world there is no brand loyalty.
  • If people don’t like what they hear – they will go elsewhere.
  • People leave easily
  • There is loyalty to: SIGNIFICANT FRIENDSHIPS.
  • The Mission is SIGNIFICANT FRIENDSHIPS FOR CHRIST.
  • RELATIONSHIPS OVER CONTENT. (Although content is important.)
  • If you don’t get this…you’ve failed. Know the names of the people over the title of the message.
  • It’s the friendships that will keep people coming when they hear something they don’t like.

Small Group Myths:

1. Assimilation is not retention

  • Assimilation is about getting new people into something. 
  • Retention is for everyone, and getting them to stay for the long haul.
  • A revolving door with scew your statistics.
  • Retention is greater than assimilation.

2. A Sticky Group must be a healthy group.

  • You have to take care of your leaders.
  • The leaders are more important than the sheep.
  • Make sure the leaders stay healthy. – and are able to effectively deal with the EGR’s without burning out.
  • This is why groups take breaks during the summer. (To maintain the leaders sanity).

3. Friendliness is not Connection.

  • Being friendly is not connecting.
  • People are like legos – with connecting dots.
  • The moment your connectors are full you will be friendly, but not connect.
  • Meet new people – Invite them over for a barbeque. (Take the next step…)
  • When your connectors are not full you will connect.
  • Don’t be friendly – Connect.
  • How can you connect with people – and not just be friendly.
  • New groups for new people – Becuase their connectors are eqully empty.
  • SEE PEOPLE AS LEGOS AND ASK – ARE THEY CONNECTED.
  • IF YOU MEET PEOPLE – DON’T THEN IGNORE THEM. DON’T LEAD THEM ON…

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JRC Life Group Leaders Conference Session 2

Larry Osborne

  • The Heart of a leader
  • The Mindset of a leader
  • We can be like a fish out of water…We read scripture through the lens of our experience.
  • The Early Church Met in Homes.
  • Elders (from-Titus/Timothy) House churches don’t have “boards” or “board meetings.”
  • Elders – were simply older people…who often oversaw stuff.
  • Life Group Leaders – are elders.
  • Timothy and Titus – The lists of qualifications are different…Paul wasn’t into engineering qualifications – bottom line: beyond reproach.
  • Life Groups are THE HUB of ministry. Even in a church of 200 or more.
  • For a House Church – 200 is huge.
  • We need a place where you can go beyond “I’m Fine.”
  • A church cannot grow to maturity with small groups.

1 Peter 5 – Be shepherds who are willing, eager to serve, not lording it over those you are entrusted too.
And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭5‬:‭1-3‬ NLT)

To Lead Life Groups Well:

1. Think Like a Shepherd.

  • Shepherd the flock that is under your care.
  • Shepherd your flock rather than using you flock to reach others you want.
  • Meet the needs of those you have. Even the EGR’s (extra grace required.)
  • Psalm 23 – Protects – Provides – Hides.
  • It’s always about the sheep – not the shepherd.
  • It means being willing to be misunderstood. (He makes me lie down.) Setting the standard and sometimes standing firm when needed. There will be times when you won’t be understood, liked, or appreciated.
  • It means that I must be willing to adapt to their limitations (EGR’s). It’s not about idealism. It’s about where the group is. Heb 4 – Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses. Watch out for “gift projection” trying to make others just like you. Adapt to their limitations don’t put up with their sin! Don’t let people set up camp in sin. But when they are struggling give grace
  • It means not letting one sheep destroy the flock. If one needs to be cut out. Cut them out (if needed). Maybe we need to quarantine the one who is poisoned. Don’t “just be nice” while the group falls apart.

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