5 Reminders for the New Year

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[dropcap]I[/dropcap] believe a significant amount of the problems we face in life could be solved if we simply do what we already know we should be doing. For example, I know that if I lay off the donuts and dr. pepper and exercise for thirty minutes three times a week then I will have more energy. I know that if I pick up the toys in my house every night that things will run smoother the next day. But I simply do not do these things because I do not feel like it at times.

These are some reminders that I have made for myself as I lead my own Life Group this year:

1. The goal of Life Groups is not to teach a lesson but to make disciples.

  • Teaching is a significant element of what takes place in our Life Groups but we need to remember what we do is about the people in the group and not about our performance/delivery/eloquence on Sunday morning.
  • Our lessons need to connect/impact/transform the students in our class. Yes, this will only happen as our lessons point to God and His Word. And yes, students will only grow as we connect His Word to their hearts and lives.
  • Let’s be about making disciples and not teaching lessons.

2. Prayer during the week is an important part of group life.

  • Pray for your class individually by name.
  • Pray not only for physical ailments but also for spiritual breakthroughs and growth.
  • Pray that God would challenge and grow your students.

3. Chasing rabbits is okay. Just don’t get yourself and half the class lost in a rabbit hole.

  • Sometimes if a student begins to chase a rabbit they are telling you about something they are personally dealing with at the moment. They are taking the lesson to what is on their mind.
  • We have a curriculum map at Hernando Baptist because we want to systematically study all of God’s Word but sometimes our students our facing issues that do not immediately and clearly speak to those issues. You as a teacher are there to make disciples. Embrace these situations and help your students.
  • Chasing rabbits for trivia sake will lead to a rabbit hole. If rabbits lead down a path to a fact finding adventure challenge students to find some of their own facts during the week. I can help you and them to find the right resources.
  • Notice that I said chasing rabbits are okay. I did not say they were good but I also did not say they were inherently bad.

4. Fellowships are important in connecting Life Group members and potential Life Group members.

  • I saw this reminder play out in a Life Group social just the other day. Someone who had not been to class in almost eight months showed up at a class’s fellowship. Most often the person will then make it back to class in the next few weeks. Fellowships keep class members engaged.
  • Invited any prospects for your class to class fellowships. This is one of the easiest ways for these families to connect to the church. There is time at a fellowship to get to know each other that simply does not exist on Sunday morning.

5. Notes, phone calls, emails, and text messages go a long way in communicating your class cares.

  • Write a note, make a phone call, send an email.
  • If you do not naturally think to do these things (like me) then add it to your calendar or task list.
  • Communicating with your students outside of the Sunday morning hour communicates you care and goes a long way to making your class feel like family.

I hope these help you as you lead your group in 2015. Let’s have a great year.