Encouraging "Next Steps" for Your Group Members

Setting a goal for spiritual maturity and a realistic pace for spiritual growth

One of the main purposes of small groups is to develop mature people who follow Christ more obediently. But in churches, and especially in small groups, different people may view spiritual maturity in different ways. Some may think of it as having lots of Bible knowledge, for example, or having a great quiet time everyday, or being perfect.

At Community Christian Church, we believe that spiritual maturity is really about speedy obedience. No one says it better than our lead pastor, Dave Ferguson, in The Big Idea: "For a Christ follower, the measure of maturity is determined by the speed of obedience. The most mature Christ follower is not the person who has attended the most church events or accumulated the most information about Jesus, but rather the person whose heart is most transformed. And transformation is seen when a person hears God and responds with swift obedience."

In addition to setting a specific goal for spiritual maturity, small groups also have the incredible privilege and responsibility to set the pace for spiritual growth in the church. But that highlights another misconception that often develops in groups. We think that it's our responsibility as group leaders to take our members from being atheists to missionaries in one year or less. In reality, that's not the case at all. Maturity is about speedy obedience, and the pace for spiritual growth is about moving ahead one obedient baby step at a time.

That's why small-group leaders need to learn the skill of helping their people identify "next steps." Below, I've identified a practical, three-step game plan that will help encourage your group members to move forward in spiritual maturity. I recommend writing this plan down ...

article Preview

This article is currently available to SmallGroups.com subscribers only. To continue reading:

free newsletter

Sign up for our free Small Groups Newsletter : Regular access to innovative training resources, Bible-based curriculum, and practical articles.

Related

Impact
Who has impacted you?
Famous Mentor
Who would you spend a day with?
Help Group Members Grow Through One-on-One Discipleship
Help Group Members Grow Through One-on-One Discipleship
Personalized care leads to great spiritual growth.
What Small-Group Pastors Can Learn from Millennials
What Small-Group Pastors Can Learn from Millennials
It's time to listen to this rising generation.
What You Can Do to Develop More Women Small-Group Pastors
What You Can Do to Develop More Women Small-Group Pastors
Despite a plethora of female group leaders, few small-group pastors are women.
Unlock Spiritual Gifts
Unlock Spiritual Gifts
Help your group members discover and use their spiritual gifts.