Disciplemaking - Lesson 20

Small Groups - A System for Disciplemaking

Mary Jo Wilson talks about the importance of small groups in the process of discipleship. She believes that any church needs small groups to grow disciples and that they should fit in with the church's vision and mission. She emphasizes the importance of having an overarching plan or philosophy of small groups and an intentional approach that helps people engage and participate. It is essential to listen well, observe, and understand the church's community before starting small groups. Small groups provide a space where people can join together, engage, and participate in a community, which is important in the process of discipleship.
Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
Lesson 20
Watching Now
Small Groups - A System for Disciplemaking

I. Introduction

A. Definition of small groups

B. Importance of small groups in discipleship

II. The Anatomy of a Small Group

A. The purpose of a small group

B. The characteristics of a small group

III. Steps for Starting a Small Group

A. Define the purpose and vision of the small group

B. Identify potential leaders and members

C. Plan the structure and format of the small group meetings

IV. The Role of the Leader in a Small Group

A. Responsibilities of the leader

B. Characteristics of an effective leader

V. The Discipleship Process in Small Groups

A. Understanding the stages of spiritual growth

B. Creating a discipleship plan for the small group

VI. Conclusion

A. Recap of the importance of small groups in discipleship

B. Final thoughts and encouragement for small group leaders

  • Mary Jo Wilson and Joe Handley introduce themselves and express their excitement about the upcoming discipleship course, which aims to enhance participants' relationship with God and their work in the world, and encourage them to bring transformative change to their church and ministry.
  • Joe Handley outlines the elements that they will be covered in the Disciplemaking course: what is a disciple, the great commandment, becoming a disciple, being a disciple, fruitfulness, and multiplying disciples.
  • The lesson discusses the approach to discipleship, which is focused on the four gospels and building obedient disciples through the seven obedience; it emphasizes a holistic approach to following Jesus and the informed imagination, and the course will focus on the gospels of John, Matthew, Luke, and Mark.
  • Mary Jo Wilson emphasizes the importance of understanding the role of suffering and persecution in discipleship, as it is a recurring theme in the Gospels and is also a part of the early church experience, and discusses how enduring such hardships can be a formative experience for Christians.
  • The lesson discusses the importance of abiding in Christ as the key to joy in life, bearing fruit in one's life, and becoming a disciple of Jesus through a deep and communal relationship with Him.
  • Discipleship is not a program but a relationship. Abiding in Christ is the key to joy in life and bearing much fruit and is achieved through having a deep communal walk with Jesus and allowing Him to prune us to make us stronger.
  • Mary Jo Wilson discusses the importance of a posture of repentance and dependence on the Holy Spirit in the discipleship process, and highlights the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting of sin, guiding in decision making, and forming believers into Christ.
  • The instructors and students discuss their thoughts and experiences on what it means to be a disciple, including the importance of maintaining a growing relationship with God, the internal aspects of discipleship, abiding in God, the role of inviting God into everyday life, and the significance of pruning.
  • This session discusses the importance of becoming a disciple of Jesus and our identity in Christ, illustrated through the example of churches in Japan becoming centers for relief goods after the 2011 disasters and being seen as representatives of Christ by the community.
  • By taking this lesson, you will gain knowledge and insight into the relationship between the Sermon on the Mount and the Kingdom of God, including the importance of Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and how they relate to the mission of the church and the call to discipleship.
  • The lesson discusses the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, where Jesus describes the Kingdom of God and how his followers are to live as salt and light in the world, raising the bar on the interpretation of the Old Testament law and calling for inner righteousness, forgiveness, and love for enemies.
  • This lesson reviews the importance of becoming like Jesus and displaying his characteristics, such as humility and generosity, to become authentic Christ-centered people in our communities, and emphasizes the need for communal support to grow in our faith.
  • In this group discussion about discipleship and the Sermon on the Mount, the students and instructors reflect on the Beatitudes and how they challenge and contrast with the values of the world, and discuss how Jesus lifted up marginalized people and called all his followers to be salt and light in the world.
  • In this lesson Mary Jo Wilson and Joe Handley discuss transitioning from becoming a disciple to being a disciple who makes disciples, with a focus on the overflow of abiding in Christ into the lives of others.
  • Mary Jo Wilson discusses the importance of spiritual conversations and how to approach them in our daily lives through the example of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John chapter 4.
  • Joe Handley discusses the idea of being a disciple of Jesus and how to share one's story and witness through different tools, including prayer, social media, and engaging with others through layering of interactions.
  • The class discusses the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, highlighting how Jesus approached the woman with humility and respect, treating her like a real person and engaging in a conversation with her, despite social and cultural barriers. They also discuss how Jesus challenged his disciples to adopt a Kingdom way that breaks down barriers and recognizes the value and dignity of all people.
  • This session focuses on the importance of reproducibility and sustainability in disciple-making, drawing on examples from the book of Acts and personal anecdotes.
  • Joe Handley discusses the importance of a reproducible culture of discipleship in the Kingdom of God, drawing on the idea of the mustard seed and how small actions can have a big impact, and provides examples of how this can be implemented in different contexts such as micro churches.
  • This lesson provides information on small groups in discipleship, including their definition, anatomy, purpose, characteristics, steps for starting one, the role of the leader, the discipleship process in small groups, and their importance in discipleship in general.
  • Instructors Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson discuss with students their visions of the Kingdom of God, with one sharing their goal of sharing their story to help others understand the word of God, while another likens the planting of seeds to the growth of faith, stressing the importance of patience and trust in the process of nurturing them.
  • Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson discuss the importance of creating a practical plan for discipleship and ministry, encouraging listeners to reflect on what they've learned, and write a strategic personal plan for following through on their learning.
  • This lesson teaches how to pull together the different sections of a discipleship plan using the model of vision, intent and means, and suggests including a vision, introduction, conclusion and rule of life, while encouraging reflection and sharing with others.
  • Joe Handley discusses the importance of creating a "rule of life" as part of a personal discipleship plan, which helps to balance and organize different areas of life, including spiritual, social, intellectual, and physical aspects.
  • Joe Handley and Mary Jo Wilson close their discipleship course by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow together, and offer a prayer of blessing for their students to continue on their lifelong journey as faithful followers of Jesus.

In this class, you will explore the foundations, methods, and models of disciplemaking, drawing from biblical principles, historical perspectives, and theological insights. You will examine the disciplemaking approaches of Jesus and Paul, as well as modern examples and strategies. Additionally, you will learn how to develop a personal disciplemaking plan through the assessment of spiritual gifts and identification of ministry opportunities. Finally, you will delve into disciplemaking in the local church and beyond, including church-based strategies, cross-cultural disciplemaking, and equipping and multiplying disciplemakers.

Mary Jo Wilson
Small Groups-A System for Disciplemaking
Lesson Transcript

Welcome again. We are in the final section and it's very exciting to be here. This is today. We're going to talk a little bit about small groups, which I love, and small groups have a really special place in my heart. Let's start with the flow, though. We started out with our love relationship with God, and that is always our starting point, our middle point, our ending point that that love relationship with God is the foundation for everything else we do. We also talk then about how that love relationship with God forms us as we are followers of Jesus. We are formed into His image. We are formed and to be more Christ like and more those children of light that shape our identity. So we're changing, we're being changed, and then we're sharing that. We're sharing with others what God is doing in our life. And we're seeing the sea that is transforming us and growing in our life is multiplying, and other people are being just as excited, being touched by God, and they are being transformed as well. 

So we see that multiplication happening in other people's lives. Now we're at this place where we bring together people. We're not just being formed as individuals, but we are being formed as a community. And in this space we are the body of Christ, not just the individual experience, but together we bring different pieces and different gifts, different strengths, and together it just generates something that, as I said, is much more than the sum of its parts. And I find this in our small groups where even as a small group that I'm in right now, we are no longer a group of individuals just sharing our individual voices or perspective, but together, collectively, we are sensing God's working and God speaking and God's using us as a small community. And so this is a really exciting place and so important to take that process of discipleship, not just in our inner, our times alone. It's God's working his love in changing us, forming us and changing who we are and how we relate to people, and then multiplying that to others, but then seeing that brought into a community and transforming it, and then even touching our own community in globally in the world as well. So this is a process. 

And right now we're going to look a little bit at small groups. And I just want to give you some basics. There's a lot out there on small groups. And so I just want to touch on some important points and things that I've learned and give you a feel for that process. So I really believe that any church, any church, if they're really going to grow disciples, needs in some form small groups. And if you look at different churches, it can look quite different. But in some setting there needs to be a small group where people can join together and really engage and participate together, not just a one directional listening and processing, but coming together that is so important. Now, sometimes these small groups will happen organically where people are naturally, they want to get together and this spontaneously happens and God moves and brings people together. And I have I'm involved in some of those too, where we just God brought us together and we're encouraging one another. And those all those things are happening within that small group. But it was organic, no program. Nobody decided for us, but that just happened. It is in most churches, it's usually best to have an overarching plan or a philosophy of small groups and approach to small groups that helps people understand just how to engage. So having some intentionality is important and really doing something that fits your church. Now, if your church has a vision or a mission that you really sense God is calling you to, the small groups should support and fit in with that vision and mission. And it should do that in ways that the members can really understand and feel. So they know. When I'm involved in the small group, I see how it's happening here in our lives, in us as a community is part of the whole. So tying that is in is important. Tying it in with the big picture, not just in understanding but also how they feel it. So it's all connected and that's reinforcing one another with the whole work that the church is doing. So before you start, it's important that you take time to listen well, to really observe and understand your church. And I'm speaking to the leadership of the church or anybody that's passionate about starting small groups and you want to engage with leadership and to really understand your setting and your community, your people. I would advise against just grabbing a kind of shiny new program and saying, We're just going to do this and pushing it. I've seen that fall flat at times, and I've also seen sometimes a program that works great in one place and you see it thriving to take it in and think that's going to work here in the same way it often does not. And sometimes I've seen people grab a program say, We're going to do this. And they do the mechanics of it without really grabbing the core, the concept, without understanding what's really happening in this, what's happening in that looks like a program here. And they missed that that piece that's at the core and that that also will fall flat and just you're not going to get momentum on that. So it's really important that you listen well, understand your congregation and what it needs and you can bring in a program. There are a lot of great programs out there, but make sure you take the freedom to tweak it if you need to, to get it to fit your particular dynamics. But understand the essence, that key thing, and I'll talk a little bit about those key things that need to happen in all small groups and make sure that is happening and you and you really reproduce that. It's important also that you listen to your leadership team, to individual members and to families and understand what their needs are and where they're hungry to grow. Where is the Holy Spirit already working in people? Where do you see the Holy Spirit drawing people? Because oftentimes there are people that are so hungry to grow in churches and there is that need is not being met. And so sometimes it's really like just a match on kindling. When you get into this and you see people going, Oh, this is wonderful. This is amazing. And that can be a spark that really lights a fire and gets a lot of people growing and excited about seeing God move in their small groups. And that feeds right back into the congregation as a whole. Now, it's important that you carefully select and invest well and support your leaders, the leaders of the small groups, and you want to equip them as you go along, as they said, training as you go along and you support them. You want them to start well and to stay on track. And the group itself, the small groups, will naturally go through stages or phases. And the leader, the way it starts is not the way it is in the middle or the way it is near the end when you're transitioning maybe to a different thing. The leaders need to be ready for that and equipped. They need to anticipate and they need to be prepared and know how to respond to these changing needs. You might start with a small we've done before what we call the turbo group. We have a small group of leaders and each one in that turbo group is going to ultimately lead a small group, but you experience together a small group. So it's a time to experience the dynamics of a small group, take turns for those facilitating. So you rotate that. And so it's a it's this birthing place. And then when you finish after a period of time, each one of those people go out and they're starting groups or gathering people, doing small groups. And then this team also that Leaders group comes back together, they're learning from one another, they're being supported and continuing that journey. So maybe a monthly leaders team group meeting, however you want to frame it, but there's a place that those leaders can continue to come together. So Turbo Group is one way you can approach it kind of starting small and then being free to adjust it. The experiencing the healthy dynamics of a small group is really important. Just that spiritual health and emotional health and how we manage that. Now, doing a small group, a group of leaders, is different than when you get out and you have all kinds of people. And I mean not to say that leaders aren't messy, but it's just there are a lot more variables going on. But then you go out to starting the groups of their own, and it is also good to have a sub leader. So you don't have just one point person, but you have two people and that allows some space to collaborate together and no one person is responsible, caring, the whole thing. I think that's important as well, that the group owns what's happening, that there is space that the leader is facilitating, but especially some of our programs in church, we have a leader and people kind of passively receive receiving ministry and being stimulated and thinking and challenge. But in a small group you want to sit together and very much a flat setting. And it's even hard sometimes when we would have, say, the pastor would visit the small group. It just changes the dynamics because people then are sitting back and in listening mode and we want people engaged and owning that space. And so having that kind of flat approach, having a co-leader, so it's not one person doing everything and the group is sharing that and you really are experiencing the body of Christ with each member participating and engaging, because I really believe that's God's vision for the church where everyone is engaged. So this is that space where they can experience that and we want to actively, as I said, support these leaders to grow them as disciples and you'll see it multiply through the church. We want to invest in them because you hit up, you're going to come up against some hard times, some, you know, how do I handle this? And to have that space where they can come back is really important. Now, when you're selecting leader, you need someone who has a heart to serve above all, a heart to serve a truly a servant leader and a person with a gift of hospitality. And that can take different forms. I don't mean serving cookies, but it is a presence that welcomes people as they are. And I got to say, that is an amazing gift to have an amazing thing I know I can think of as a person, a man, a church I was at. And every Sunday when I went, he would greet with a big a big smile. Just his face was like the face of the father saying welcome. And he just that embrace and that kind of welcome. It doesn't have to be over the moon overboard. But, you know, that kind of welcome is just really important for the group as they come together and have that sense of I can come as I am and I'm consistently always welcomed here. And that person also needs to be able to create a safe space so that safe space is a place where there's mutual respect and openness and genuine sharing. I can say what I'm feeling and in that context of the small group and that it's heard and accepted and people are able to really. Be in that space with me. As I meant, as I mentioned a moment ago, the small group will go through stages and at the beginning the group will be really leaning on the leader who is setting the pace, who's setting the tone and sets the level of vulnerability and is kind of guiding that that way. But then later on, there'll be a time when the the group may come in. If you've got to save space, that there are times when conflict may come up in the group where people are saying things that are having disagreements and not agreeing. And you know, when that happens, I'm like, yeah, we're kind of getting does some real stuff now. And so to be able to navigate that, not to be afraid, I think Christians, we we're kind of sometimes like, oh, what do I do now? We need to be ready for those spaces and to be able to navigate honest discussion as we wrestle with our growth and Christ, our spiritual lives, and living that out, to be able to wrestle with that in respectful ways, and especially today, to be able to do that is a real skill and something that we should really commit to, especially in our small groups. There is a special transformational power that as a Holy Spirit is working in these small groups, and I've seen them really knit lives together and bring healing and just. Transform lives in ways that only community can do. God, Spirit, working together, you become something, as I said, more than the sum of your parts, and you can create enduring bonds. You know, the verses says they will know we are Christians by our love for one another. This is that space to truly love one another and be in that space together. And that light shows and that that shows out to the world. Now, when you start the group, it's important that the group has a sense of purpose. Now, sometimes that is centered around a book study that study this book together. But have a clear way of why are we meeting? And it's usually more than just a book. The book facilitates it. But to have a clear idea of why you're meeting, there may be a service group. There may be growth groups. There may be a group specifically for married couples. So that group will have different purposes. It's good to define that purpose. The four components that I've seen pretty much across the board that need to be part of a healthy group are they take different shapes. But in essence, the first is authentic community. And so a space where people can be real and can share. And I think sometimes with generations even that can look and feel differently in different cultures that may look and feel differently. But the point is that we are able to really come together and share who we are. And so that authentic community. It's listening well, It's caring for one another. It's praying for one another. And so that authentic community has to be there in some form. And the second thing is learning. There needs to be some element of learning or growth that is included in the group. Oftentimes, that will be a book study. I personally love having scripture at the core of that and doing some kind of a scripture study. And even if you're doing a book study, be sure you're coming back to Scripture because in our spiritual lives we just need so much encouragement to soak in the word. And you hear us saying that over and over again. But to bring Scripture into the world, into our into our lives, bring Scripture into our lives and into our community. And so learning something relevant, something with really solid content, that's really easy to engage with and relevant. The third thing is the one another's. And I mentioned this before about those one another's that just flow through the New Testament. This is a space where we do that together. It's a place. It's life on life and it's enjoying one another. And all the as I said, there's a list of one another. I once did a list from the New Testament. Goodness. There was pages and pages, and we worked through that as a small group. But understanding how is the body of Christ? We are living our faith together. We're loving one another, comforting one another, praying for one another, serving one another, all of those things and for giving one another we're supporting one another, all of those things, and that happens in that community and then mission. Sometimes when a group is, it can be a little bit insular and cliquish. And I think if you can avoid that, it's better for the life, the life of the group and for the dynamics of multiplication. And so having some kind of mission, some kind of service is important even for the flow. It's because you're receiving so much as a group, how you are sharing that outward. And so it could be a matter of service in some way. The group can do something together to serve. The group may be a service group as you're starting it. Maybe something like the worship team is having a small group and so you are actually doing worship together, but you also have the space of living community and life on life, and you are working together and serving through the leading worship of the church. So having that mission, something outward, is also important. All right. Some housekeeping. It's important to start your group, set some ground rules and understand with one another and set ground rules that everyone agrees to and says this is important for our group. We value this expectation. Some groups write a covenant. There are different ways to approach it, but there needs to be a stated set of expectations that we all agree to and that we hold one another to things like confidentiality. I mean, saying that and then refreshing that is important so that it's understood. If you share something here, we are not going to share it elsewhere and we hold one another accountable to that. And that's also part of making that safe space. You can ask members also what's important to you. And there are you when you get into the group, even things like time, there are some cultures where we're not going to start until everybody's here. So that's the that's the value. There are the places where we're starting at 9:00, whether you here or not. And so understanding those expectations and being able to manage that, respecting that is important. You decide when you're going to meet, where you're going to meet the food and such. If you're going to eat together. And eating together is amazing. I think it's wonderful as a group, if you can do something where and this is not unusual in the New Testament, we see that food is often at the core, at the core of our community, make sure that no one is carrying more than their share. So make sure that the group is owning it. The people. In my experience, the best small groups are when people are not just coming in and being served, but they are engaging and feel free to participate. And they when your group takes on live, people are looking at ways to contribute to the small group themselves. There are some groups which are more ministry to people, like if you have a widowed widowers group where people are coming in, they're hurting. And that may be a different situation where there's more of receiving hospitality and serving them. And but honestly, even in that sense, serving one another, there is a great dynamic of healing in that as well. Some groups so also decide how long you're going to meet and what happens then. Oftentimes this set up point out, especially if you're doing some kind of a book study, we're going to meet over three months and then the summer comes, we're going to take a break and then we it's good to allow some spaces to reconfigure. You don't necessarily want the group to get in a rut and it becomes your forever group. Some people like the forever groups. As long as there's still that dynamic of openness where people can come and go, I think that's also important. So and that's another factor is some small groups are open and others are closed and there are reasons to have closed groups. I've done groups where we're going to be open for a period of weeks. And then at this point, those that are committing to, you know, continue to kind of let people taste it. See, is this is this a group that I need right now? And at this point, we're going to close the group and continue for two months together, committed to one another, because that was a part of the point of that group. That was very intentional. So deciding whether the group will be open or closed, but when you close a group just to be careful, because I think that community typically is best when it is open and there is there's a receptiveness and openness to receive others. Be intentional when you need to close the group, do it that way. But if you can, I think open is ideal. And then another factor is whether it's a gender specific group, because some people I think a lot of churches do men's groups and women's groups specifically. And in that case as well, I would encourage you to look and be intentional. Why would we have it gender specific and honor those issues if there's something specific? Sometimes there are some settings where women aren't feeling safe to be to share this much in a group with men in the group or men, if they are sharing things that are, they might be embarrassed in front of a woman to share. Then having that is a small as a small group specifically for men is also helpful. But I'd also encourage you to bring men and women together and always have spaces where men and women can learn and grow in community as brothers and sisters in Christ and to share life together. And I think that is a powerful thing that in some spaces we're missing that in the church today and it brings healing, it enhances our community. Some people do, some churches I know do couples groups, and that can be very powerful for married couples to come together and encourage one another in life stages and in marriage and parenting, all of that. We have done that where we did couples groups and in that we also broke out into men's and women's groups for prayer. And that was very powerful. We would learn together, we would send men and women separately in different groups to pray together, and then we come back together. We also would then send couples out on dates and did some fun stuff like that. So anyway, just being intentional, doing things that are right for the group and also having space where men and women can a can journey together as brothers and sisters and also be conscious of singles of people who may be on the periphery with families. And that's, I think, really important as well. We sometimes silo singles in one group and families in another group, and I know we want to meet different needs and be specific to those groups, but there is a beauty in our community right now. The group I'm in is incredibly diverse. I mean, it is honestly, it is diverse in every way, I would say. And it is just an amazing experience when we come together to see the unity that God has brought in our group and the way we love one another. It is really a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit and very powerful. So consider having also small groups of new believers or seekers. And I think that that that can stimulate your group too. When you have a new Christian or somebody who is seeking it really changes dynamics and people are looking at the word freshly and it also is an opportunity for them. You see the Holy Spirit working in them. If they get to a point where they feel comfortable sharing. And so that is also a wonderful piece to bring in to those small groups. As I said, the leader sets the bar on how real we're going to get. So the leader sharing vulnerably and I want to say in a healthy way, because there are people who overshare, there are people who just hold back. And so having that safe space and modeling healthy vulnerability and imperfection, I want to say so that it's a space where we can be who we are. And that's where growth really happens in the book to discipleship difference. Bob Logan and Charles, they talk quite a bit about small groups, is a ton of material and information in there about these spaces of making disciples in small groups. It's interesting because they mention the AA model, Alcoholics Anonymous, which is a movement, it's a phenomenal transformational movement, and it's rooted in Christian principles with the higher power. But it has become very. Very available to people in any situation who are dealing with addictions. I talked recently with a pastor friend of mine who has been in ministry for decades, and not that long ago he started going to alcoholic Alcoholics Anonymous and is beginning to deal with his own addictions and the pain from his past and all of this that has been tormenting him for decades. And I was talking to him because I said, why? Why the transformation that you're experiencing right now? And his wife will testify to this. It's pretty amazing. And their marriage is at its best it's ever been. And I asked him, why did you not see that in church? In that space, what is different, What is unique and what you're experiencing about that? AA meetings and the whole sponsor in the whole program. So he thought about it a while. And what he what he expressed to me is the same pretty much as what they mentioned in the book, the discipleship difference. He said the first thing is when they come together, every person is keenly aware of their need for some people. It is a kind of almost desperation. It's life and death. It's like I if I'm not here in this group, I could die. And it's that level of of intense need and it's understanding that they are not in control. And and it's coming to this group hungry for change and for help and support. And so that's the first thing that sense of I am not in control. And I come here with that. The second is he said, they are so honest and let's be let's be truthful. The church, sometimes we're just not honest. We don't bring our honest selves there because it's not a safe space to be broken and share about some of the struggles we experience. And of course, with addiction, that's a very specific kind of struggle that I know does torment people in ways that may be hard to share with others. But in that setting, it's so honest and there's no judgment because everybody is in like your state and has had that experience. And so when you share honestly, other people are going, I get that. And I think that's so important in our small groups, when people are being vulnerable and sharing, if you experience of say, Yeah, I really get that and not be quick to fix it, or let's put a scripture on that, but to sit with people and to let them express where they are and then journey together as Christ is meeting them in that need and forming that. So that second thing is just so honest, real. And the third thing is accountability is that they have people who are, as Joe mentioned before, they're getting in one of their spaces. I mean, you have an assigned sponsor and their job is to help you fulfill the commitments you've made. And they're asking you and they're not letting things go. And if you're not ready, you know that you're in, pull back and then come back in. So that readiness is definitely part of it to engage with the process. But those three things, I think we can learn from that and the church can learn a lot from that group and also how we live with one another and provide that accountability and see lives transformed. Now it's really also about friendship, spiritual friendship. And in addition to the group, the small group that I'm in is I'm leading. I'm also meeting one on one with some people. And recently one of the members had a friend commit suicide. And it's really been hard and what she's going through. And even before this, I would sometimes meet, she'd come over to my house and we had some time mentoring, but also with plants helping to pot plants because she's recently become interested in this. So we pot plants together and talk about Jesus and this time one on one investing in her. And it's not just me mentoring individuals in there, but the small group with one another, investing in one another's lives. And that becomes another dimension of our relationship and that builds. So having relationships outside the group as well, doing one on one and life the set life on life experience. And that is a space then to where we can really live out our our journey and our faith with one another being friends and have fun together. I don't think I've mentioned that, but laugh together and bring worship in and expect that there will be spiritual warfare. And we have certainly experienced that with a small group. I am not one to see Satan in. You know, this or that point? Everything. Oh, that. That's the devil. But it is a reality that we have a someone who is opposing something that is imposing what we are doing, what God has called us to in the work that God is doing. And so to be aware of that, to be mindful, to be alert as we're taught, to be in the New Testament, to be alert and to be prayerful, be praying for one another, and to be able to address those issues, that spiritual warfare happens and continue to encourage the group. So it's sustained and continues and living and multiplying and investing in other people. So I'd like to give you some assignments now, and I'm working to have this Christ community that is so attractive and so needed today. 

The first is to think about your context, pray and listen to others and consider what type of perhaps system or approach is going to be most viable for your network or your church, and to look for where the Holy Spirit is working and where there is this organic readiness for something new. Look for barriers also that need to be addressed and ways to create an openness for change. And you really are leading in change as you try these small groups. If your church hasn't done that, and then as on an individual level to start praying for God to show you readiness and hunger in at least one other person whom you could equip and journey with to mentor, if you will, to meet one on one and to live life on life. And I'm always looking to be sure that I'm investing at least three other people. So we'll start with one. If you don't have someone but someone that you're intentionally in a relationship with and investing in that. So pray ask God and write down that name and be sure you're looking for a way to meet regularly and share what you're learning and be with them and journey with them encouraging. And it can be a mutual thing as well. So we're excited to see what God does through this work and how He's working in you and in your church.