By Bill Search
When I use the term missional, what comes to mind? Do you picture getting in your car, driving downtown to a homeless shelter, serving soup to homeless people, or maybe tutoring a kid in an underprivileged school? Do you picture activity? Certainly, activity is missional, or can be missional, but here I want to talk about a missional perspective, a missional life, where you see the world like God sees the world.
This missional pattern is the third pattern of a healthy group and it’s when your group is cultivating hearts for others. I wanted to talk to you about some things that you can do inside your normal group time that will help build this pattern.
Study God’s word.
First thing you can do is study God's word. Study all those passages, and there's lots of them, where Jesus interacts with the hurt, broken, and needy people. Pay attention to his actions. What did he do? What was his heart like for those folks? Then adopt the same posture because Jesus loved the needy and the broken and we should too.
Adopt a ministry.
A second thing that you can do is you can adopt a ministry. Maybe it’s the elementary or student ministry at your church. Or it could be a ministry in your community. But whatever it is, you then make it a part of your regular group routine to pray for the needs of that ministry. You can pray for the leaders, for those involved, and discuss how you as a group could be of service.
You can also adopt a country or a missionary or both and make it a regular feature of your group to bring the needs of that ministry before your group. You can pray for that country, for that missionary, and the work they're trying to do for the gospel.
Serve together instead of meeting.
Finally, you can serve together during your normal group time. Let's say your group meets on Thursday night. Meet like you always do, but just go somewhere else and serve together. Arm and arm you take the focus off your group and you put the focus on people who need to be served. And it’s simple because you just do it during your normal group time.
Those are a few things that you can do inside your group time to build that missional pattern of cultivating hearts for others.
*This is the twenty-seventh 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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