By Bill Search
The second pattern of a healthy group is changing to be like Christ. In other words, as a result of being in a group, people should be different. They should grow spiritually. They should change to be more like Jesus and there's some things that you can do in your group time to encourage this process.
Keep the Bible central.
A first thing to do is to make sure that the Bible is the central part of your conversation. When you're having a discussion, make sure that the Bible is appealed to as the authority for the conversation. This includes reading Scripture together and discussing the biblical principles as they come up.
Have everyone share.
Another thing to do is to make sure everybody participates in the conversation by sharing what they really believe. It's not helpful if people just share what they think you want them to hear. Make sure people are really participating in the discussion and sharing their thoughts.
Give everybody a chance to lead the discussion. You learn more by leading than by absorbing and if you have the chance to lead the conversation, you will be forced to learn a lot more. If you learn a lot more, then hopefully you'll learn to be more like Jesus in the process.
Set spiritual goals.
Another thing that you can do is set aside a special meeting together for everybody to share some spiritual goals that they have. Give everybody an index card and say, "In five minutes, articulate some spiritual next steps you have for yourself." Whether it's to read through the Bible in a year, pray everyday, or do something different like change a specific behavior. Whatever it is that will help you become more like Jesus. You write those goals down and then you share those goals with the members of your group. Then you ask your group to help hold you accountable.
If everybody does that, it will draw your group closer together relationally, but it also helps you establish literally next steps for yourself spiritually. Those are just a handful of very simple things that you can do inside of your group time to help people change to be more like Christ.
*This is the eighteenth post in a series of 27 Tips for Small Group Leaders
BILL SEARCH is the author of Simple Small Groups. He has served in ministry for nearly 20 years. Bill loves spending time with his family, drinking great coffee, listening to jazz, and enjoying the great outdoors.
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