- 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
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.
- 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…
- 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.
- People grow while in relationship
- Connecting to your life group in the church
- Big Picture information – What’s needed…
10 Church Culture Committments:
- Things to do that will make a big difference – attitude
1. Maintain a breathless Awe over what God is doing in the Church.
- What God is doing is SUPER-Natural.
- God sometimes, for his own pleasure, does something beyond human ability.
- Huge Baptism #’s (JRC)
- Awesome camp numbers (realife)
- Recognize that we are a part of a mission and an amazing “work” that God is doing in the life of the church.
- Champion the Church
2. Maintain a gratitude for the People around us.
- Thank God & the people that are involved for being involved.
- Don’t take the leadership and membership for granted.
- Thankfulness creates joy-in everyone.
3. Serve The Lord with Gladness.
- It should be fun to serve The Lord.SZ
- A joyful environment creates connections.
- Without Joy life and Life Groups go from “Get to” -to- “Have to.”
- Sometimes one simply has to choose to rejoice.
4. Be prepared.
- Don’t wing it.
- Present excellence to God, so that God can move spontaneously.
- Look at the materials ahead of time
- Get to know the curriculum questions.
- Pray over the questions – meeting – members – personal issues.
- Don’t get so confident that you “go through the motions.
- Delegate tasks within the group
- Be aware of what’s going on in the lives of the people in the group (birthdays, etc).
5. Maintain an Expectancy Regarding what God will do.
- There are no throw-away Sundays…
- On any given Sunday God WILL do amazing things.
- How can we Pray for you ( ________) this week?
- What is God doing in your ( _________’s ) life this week?
- Lead people to see what God is doing and stirring.
6. Maintain a culture that Values people.
- Be aware of the people around you (situational awareness)
- Don’t get wrapped up in your own world and concerns.
- We want to be a church that LOVES people & is KNOW FOR LOVING PEOPLE.
- OUTSIDE PEOPLE EXPECT A BIG-CHURCH TO NOT CARE – DON’T FULFILL THEIR EXPECTATIONS.
7. Use the Inclusive WE, rather than the devisive “THEY.”
- Use Inclusive language – build community rather than schisms.
- Don’t seperate yourself from what is happening.
8. Don’t WHINE OR GOSSIP.
- Don’t sow discord. Build Unity.
- Make a committment to be “the last to know.”
- Make it uncomfortable for people to share gospel.
- Ask “Why did someone feel comfortable sharing “gossip” with you?”
- If people have a problem (Mt 18) go to the person with whom you have an issue.
- Don’t let the gossip “of Satan” create divisive attitudes.
- When people begin to complain say (I think “they” are doing an awesome job.)
- If it’s a problem – Tell people to GO THAT DEPARTMENTAL LEADER!!!
9. Let’s be Sure to Encourage people.
- T.S. Elliot – Most people’s lives are lived in quiet desperation.
- An encouraging word can change people’s live.
- Build a hope in people’s lives that “God Know’s and God Cares.”
- Prov 18:21 – Let your words nurish. Words have healing potential.
10. Let’s be know for What We Are For – Rather that What We Are Against.
- Shoot straight
- Maintain a clear and clean conscience
- Champion the Good News of the Gospel.
- Let’s engage people by letting people know WHAT WE ARE FOR.
Perry Noble (At Elevation Church)
Video Link: http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/byssiw
- Growing up I had a drug problem…I got drug to church.
- My dad’s belt cured my ADD.
- Perry didn’t like church.
- Perry ran from God for a while (His mother died from cancer when he was 12)
- He blamed God.
- Perry had a friend (David) who started inviting him to church.
- Perry refused continuously for 2 years.
- David Persisted, Perry finally went.
- It’s amazing what can happen when you have someone who won’t give-up on you.
- Will you be the person that won’t give-up on someone.
- People were crowding Jesus and listening to the word of God.
- People (Christians) today often have the default perception that just be a church is growing or a Mega Church, they must be watering down the gospel.
- Crowds will come because the word of God is preached.
- Jesus saw 2 boats that belonged to fishermen.
- Jesus got into the boat belonging to Simon (Peter).
- If you are a follower of Christ, it is because Jesus got in your boat.
- At some point, Jesus has to get into your boat.
- Jesus wasn’t content that there wasn’t room.
- He did what it took to make more room so that no one would be left out.
- When people make room…(physical, intellectual, social, emotional, etc)change can take place.
- If people/we don’t make room then their lives are unable to change, evolve, or grow.
- When Simon made “personal room” for Jesus something amazing happened.
- We always want Jesus to do something for us, but many of us are unwilling to make room.
- Are you willing to make room for Jesus to use you – However He wills?