Purpose of Small Group Ministry – 2020-2022
The purpose of Small Group Ministry is to have a smaller group of people entrusted to the care of leaders who are focused on the goal of achieving the ministry objectives of Nor’wood Bible Church.
Our gospel-centered ministry objectives are to evangelize people by sharing with them the glorious gospel message; to encourage people to grow in their understanding of the gospel and biblical truth (comprehension); to work and pray to equip people, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the application of truth, to become like the Lord Jesus (transformation); to challenge people to trust the work and power of God to enable them to engage in ministry as full-fledged disciples of Jesus Christ and servants of His church (communication). The primary elements utilized by a small group to achieve these objectives are practical biblical instruction, fellowship, and prayer through loving, interdependent relationships.
Practical, Biblical Instruction: We want to be committed to learning Scripture and applying it to everyday circumstances, so members increasingly think and act “biblically” in all of life. To that end we will be reviewing the message from the previous Sunday in order to better understand and apply the biblical truths and principles from the text. The leaders and the small group members are to come to the meeting familiar with the passage and the content of the message. Time will be spent reflecting on key truths and principles found in the passage, encouraging full-group participation in answering the “Questions to Consider.” The focus of the group’s discussion of the message should be to:
- Share truth and support for one another in the pursuit of righteousness and joy in Jesus (John 15:11; Romans 15:4-6; James 1:22-25; 1 Peter 1:22-23)
- Minimize personal opinions and maximize biblical truth (Cf. Exodus 18:13-23—What Moses was doing was good, but it needed to be delegated to others; 2 Timothy 3: 16-17; Hebrews 4:12)
- Affirm that each member of the group can and should make valuable contributions to the discussion (Romans 15:14; 1 Corinthians 12:7)
- Trust the power of the Holy Spirit to illuminate truth and enable obedience (Ephesians 5:15-21)
- Acknowledge no one is perfect and that we all need to do all we can to promote holiness and unity in a spirit of humility (Ephesians 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:24-26)
Fellowship: Followers of Jesus should gladly share how God is uniquely moving in us as we experience spiritual progress in our personal lives, our church, and our world. Useful guidelines for Fellowship are:
- Attending small group meetings regularly (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- Reflecting carefully upon God’s activity in ourselves and others so we come prepared to minister our spiritual gifts as we serve one another and speak to one another in love (Romans 12:3-8, 14:19; 1 Corinthians 12, 13, & 14; 1 Peter 4:10-11)
- Sympathizing with others, learning to be an active listener, bearing with one another, and helping one another shoulder the burdens of difficult times (Proverbs 10:19; 17:27; Galatians 6:2)
- Promoting interaction with one another in the group that displays true humility and intentional accountability through first person confession and application
(i.e. Not saying, “We can see from this point in the lesson that we have a problem with gossip.” But rather saying, “I can see from this point in the lesson that I have a problem with gossip.” – Psalm 51; Luke 18:9-14; 1 Peter 3:8)
Prayer/Praise: We are to express our gratitude and needs to God in the company of other group members. This activity entails bringing our requests to God with thanksgiving as we anxiously await His response (Daniel 9:17-19; Philippians 4:6; James 1:5-6). Guidelines for Prayer/Praise include:
- Being honest and transparent with group members without compromising our personal intimacy or confidentiality with God, spouse, or others
- Seeking God’s answers with a biblical expectancy (Mark 11:24; Luke 11:9-10; John 16:23)
Loving, Interdependent Relationships: We are to display commitment to practicing the “one another” principles found in Scripture (e.g. John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10; 14:13; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:2, 32; 5:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; James 4:11; 1 Peter 1:22; 5:5; 1 John 1:7). In the spirit of NBC’s “every-member ministry,” additional guidelines for building relationships with group members include:
- Growing in love for other members by meeting individual/group needs where possible (Galatians 6:10; 1 Peter 1:22)
- Sustaining a healthy, biblical dependence upon others yet taking responsibility for our personal growth
- Extending grace to all by allowing every member the necessary space to grow; i.e. no unbiblical demands or ideals imposed upon other members (James 2:13)
As the Small Group Ministry matures and God permits, outreach activities are anticipated and new leaders will be identified and mentored to lead new small groups.