Small group members sometimes grapple with how to encourage spiritual growth in each other. A sincere desire may exist to "spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24), yet doing so can become uncomfortable when hard questions must be asked. By avoiding the discomfort of dealing with sensitive matters, however, many groups miss the rewards of sharing dreams, triumphs, partial victories, and failures.
Consider having each person in your small group write a Personal Mission Statement — a one-page document that encompasses spiritual, social, financial, physical, and relational values and goals. Encourage each group member to set aside adequate time in a quiet setting for prayer, reflection, and writing about how they desire to live for Jesus Christ in various areas of their lives. This activity can provide a "life map" that charts direction and gives purpose to a person's time and energy, so he can focus on what is important and best.
Set aside an entire meeting (or several meetings) for group members to share what they have written. Give adequate time for this. Allow group members to ask questions of each other and affirm one another's desire to be used by God. If group members are willing, distribute copies to each other. Small group members can periodically refer back to these statements and gently hold each other accountable.
Questions to Ask as You Write Your Personal Mission Statement
- Who has God shaped me to be at this stage of my Christian journey?
- What Christian character traits does God desire to develop in me in the future?
- What is God calling me to do on his behalf in the future?
- What principles will guide me to the future to which I believe God has called me?
- What attitudes will be present in my significant relationships?