Intentional Spiritual Growth in Small Groups

Intentional Spiritual Growth in Small Groups

Understanding how we grow and change
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Move from Knowledge to Application
As we gain knowledge and the Spirit transforms our minds, we'll begin to see behavioral changes that reflect our new way of life. Our changed thinking will prompt us to apply these new thoughts and attitudes to our lives. Don't allow group members to simply participate in the discussion without seeking to apply the new knowledge to their lives. There should always be a focus on answering the question, Now what? Over time, group members will naturally end your discussion time with ways they will apply the new knowledge gained, and you'll begin to see change in their lives—and your own.

This kind of life change, however, can quickly slip away if we don't have a community to support and encourage us. Otherwise our will gives out, our knowledge grows fuzzy, and we begin to slip back into old patterns. Accountability may be highly structured and involve checking in with one another on goals, or it may be more general and consist of the group members continually reminding one another of their identity in Christ and all that the Spirit has been doing in them. Regardless, there must be an emphasis on recognizing and celebrating change.

Then take inventory. What new desires does this change stir up in your group members? These new desires will help guide you to your next discussion focus.

—Amy Jackson is managing editor of SmallGroups.com and holds an M.A. in Christian Formation and Ministry; copyright 2014 by Christianity Today.

Discuss

  1. How well do you know the desires and needs of your group members? What overlap is there among group members?
  2. What discussion topics, Bible passages, or other learning experiences might work well to move the desires of your group members into action?
  3. How well do you lead your group from knowledge to application? What might you do to ensure this movement always happens in your meetings?

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