If you’ve been following this blog throughout the fall, you have noticed we have been focusing on being intentional in being disciples who disciple one another and engage missionally in the places and spaces where we spend the majority of our time. Christ calls each and everyone of us to be salt and light in the world, living out the gospel in ways that reveal Jesus and the good news of God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.
Intentional discipleship requires us to be, well, intentional, and to be available to one another. Mid-week small group gatherings is imperative to discipleship. Some might disagree, and that is fine. However, I do want to remind us that discipleship is much more than studying the Bible and learning knowledge about it – discipleship is always relationally based so we can ‘spur one another on’ to being open, honest and accountable to others as we are formed more and more into Christ-like-ness in our attitudes, behavior and how we live out the forgiveness, grace, peace and hope of our God-With-Us, in all our relationships in our lives.
Ashlyn Faber from Brownfield Baptist shares with us how they are encouraging gathering together mid-week, especially for families with children. We offer it here as a reprint from CBWC’s January Making Connections Newsletter. ~Shannon
My husband and I have been very blessed to have small groups as part of our lives. From being involved as a teen, to helping lead a youth group in our college years, to gathering a cohort of people around us as we raise our own children. There is something beautiful about gathering together in a living room around the fire, or around a table full of food, or even just being on the same text thread throughout the week. It’s not that we don’t see each other Sunday at church, because we do. But this is different. This feels like we get to do life together each week. And when you do life together, you get to know each other in such different ways. Starting off can be a bit awkward, and maybe even feels like work at times. But quickly these people have become some of our dearest friends, and people we wouldn’t want to journey without.
Carving out a time to meet isn’t always easy when you’re melding many busy schedules together. Our group right now consists of five families- ten adults and thirteen kids (ages ranging from nine months to fifteen)- but we’ve found a routine that works for us! We have a four-week rotation:
Week 1 Ladies’ Night
Week 2 Men’s Night
Week 3 Couples’ Night
Week 4 Family Night
Practically, this means that we only need a babysitter one night out of the month. A bonus in this particular season of life! But it also creates and provides a rhythm of down time for the one that gets to stay home and tuck the kids into bed. Most nights we meet in the evening, with the exception of Family Night. It’s special because we share a meal together and our kids are all involved. Each night can be completely different, with its own unique flair, but we always try to incorporate praying for each other. Nothing fancy. Just meeting together.
There isn’t a magic formula, just get a group together and find a routine that works for you. Journey with each other and see what God will do!
If you have been interested in being a part of a small group but haven’t taken the plunge yet, don’t let this year pass you by without giving it a shot. There is no time like the present for trying new things!
What frameworks for discipleship have worked well in your faith community? Share with us by commenting here, or shooting me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.