By Bill Search
Cultivating a heart for others is the third pattern of a healthy group. As a result of being in the group, you should be more missional. You should want to love the people that Jesus loves. There are some things that your group can do outside of group time to help build the missional pattern, to help the members of your group cultivate hearts for other people.
Serve together at church.
The first thing your group can do is you can serve together at church. It's very simple. You just contact someone at church and say, "We'd like to serve together." In fact, many ministries would die to have a dozen people all ready to sign up!
Serve together in the community.
But it doesn't always have to be at church. One of the other things that you can do is serve outside in the community. There are plenty of opportunities where your group could make a commitment to a regular act of service.
As you get started, I'd recommend you just try it out, but as your group matures and develops with one another, I would encourage you to make a commitment to an area of ministry and continue to serve there and volunteer on a regular basis.
Share the Gospel together.
The third thing that I would recommend you do to cultivate hearts for others is dress up in dark pants and white shirts and go door… Wait, no. I don't recommend that, but if you want an effective means of evangelism, it's not really door-to-door stuff. It's when you open your hearts and your lives to the people that you already rub shoulders with. Your group can become a place where you name the people that you're burdened with a desire to share Jesus' love with.
Maybe it's a neighbor or a family member. Maybe it's a coworker, but what happens in the group is that the group commits to praying for you and encouraging you, maybe even following up and challenging you by saying, "Have you had that conversation yet? Have you invited them to church, or have you invited them out for coffee and started the road of spiritual conversations?"
Those are a few simple things that don't occur within the group time but can be done to help your group cultivate hearts for other people.
*This is the twenty-third 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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