How Fast Are we Going...
You will often hear our pastor talk about our four core focuses. These represent the things that are giving our primary attention to help our church collectively equip and engage. One of those core focuses is that our church will seek to greater equip our people for ministry with Sunday School/Biblical Communities being our primary mechanism of discipleship and relational creation. Small group discipleship lies at the core of a health and growing church.
Yet as the leader of a growing Biblical Community/Sunday School how do I coach leaders to evaluate the growth of disciples in there group. This is something we have focused on this year in our leadership meetings. Have you ever stopped to consider how you would evaluate or “keep score” in your Biblical Community/Sunday School group? In a group with relationships that span years, how do we begin to evaluate the growth of disciples?
I want to share a short list of data points that you could use with your group to measure progress or “keep score” for your Biblical Community. This list can be found in an article titled “6 Indicators of Spiritual Growth – Defining a Simple, Effective Discipleship Path (Part1)” by Gabe Kolstad on TonyMorganLive.Com I think you will find the list very informative of growth indicators in your group. The longer article is certainly worth reading as well.
1. Making Better Choices – Spiritual growth is revealed in our choices.
2. Developing Determination- It’s the willingness to press on in doing what’s right when our circumstances aren’t supportive.
3. Feeling for Others – Jesus felt passionately moved by the situations of those he encountered.
4. Desire to Learn – Growth feeds curiosity, and curiosity feeds growth.
5. Influencing People – If you want to know whether someone is growing, look at the people around them.
6. Improving Relationships – A sign of spiritual maturity is harmony, and harmony may very well be the key factor in improving relationships.
It is an interesting list for sure, and one worth pondering as we think and pray about those God has placed in our charge to equip for ministry and relationship. As I review the list number 1, 2 and 3 relate to the outward evidence of God at work in my life or the lives of those that are a part of my small group. That the regular reading of God's Word, worship attendance and small group discussion are taking hold. We see evidence that the heart is changed, faith is growing and holding fast and we begin to see the world as Jesus does.
Number 4, speaks to a deepening love and desire to know Christ deeper. We move from gaining knowledge about Christ to probing the depths of where a relationship with Him can and will take us or our class. Most of the really great teachers I have encounter, really just shared with me their great curiosity and passion.
Final 5 and 6 are sharing and relationship building. They work hand in hand as our group becomes more like Christ, the more willing and able they are to share and the more open they will be to repairing old relationships and forging new ones.
Just as a speedometer tells us something important about our driving, this list of six things can give us great insights into how discipleship is growing in our lives and in our group.
Let me know what you think.