"Daddy, I dreamed last night that when I grow up, I would be just like you!" These were the words whispered in my ear a couple of years ago by our 7-year-old son. Every parent who has heard similar words quickly realizes the incredible influence we have over our children. I am sometimes overwhelmed when I think about their future: who they will be, what they will do with their life, and what kind of person they will become.
As leaders of small groups we should ask similar questions of those we are responsible for on the journey of following Christ. How do we measure healthy growth in people and the church? How are we going to know we have accomplished our goal of making disciples? What defines whether or not we are successful as a small group?
The reality is small groups can get out of balance without a purposeful strategy for developing spiritual growth in the lives of its members. We can focus so much on Bible knowledge that our group becomes scholastic and academic. We become transmitters of information rather than helping transform lives. I have observed group leaders measuring their success by how well they deliver biblical content and how well group members accumulate the knowledge they are dispensing. Do not misunderstand me. If I believe (and I do) what Hebrews 4:12 teaches then I will work hard at sharing the life changing truths of the Gospel to those I lead. But the true test of the success of my Bible teaching will be seen in the behavior of those I teach. If their behavior is not affected, then I have not connected the truth of God's word into their lives. Jesus said, "Why do you call me Lord, Lord and do not do the things I say." Luke 6:46
This past summer, I started teaching my oldest son to mow the yard. It ...