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Indicators typically measure the level of something. There are three indicators that can help us to measure the level of our small group ministry health. I call this C3 health. Every small group is at different levels of health in each area. The goal is to recognize where the levels are reading in these 3 areas and then determine how to raise the level.
Acts 2:44,45 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, (45) and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
The early disciples of Jesus cared for one another by sharing and selling. They had the mindset of “what’s mine is yours”, and they even sold their possessions and divided the money among them all! They truly cared for each other.
When a small group is operating with the heart of Christ and learning how to apply God’s Word in a practical way, caring is evident in their relationships with one another. When someone in the group has a need, the group doesn’t JUST pray for them, but also realizes they are most likely the answer to the prayer. The group puts hands and feet to other’s needs, be it giving financially, spiritually or emotionally. When someone is sick, members are praying and helping. When a member in the group has a need, they respond and supply that need if they can. There is a servant’s heart among the small group members. The leader of the group should certainly model this caring behavior and heart, but the whole group is to be engaged in this as well. Is there an indication of people “Caring” for one another in your small groups?
Acts 2:42, 46 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (46) So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,
The early disciples of Jesus spent a lot of time together. Not only did they meet for a large gathering in the temple, but also in smaller gatherings at one another’s house. And they met daily! These early small groups ate together, prayed together, rejoiced together and studied the words of God together! They developed a community where they were able to practice the words of Jesus together; the one-another’s.
Do the members of your small groups talk or hang-out outside of the normal group time? Are relationships being built? Are people “free” to be transparent in small group? Is there accountability and grace? Is there forgiveness, unity and love happening in the group? When a group member weeps, does the group weep with them? When they rejoice, does the group rejoice? If so, this is community! When something good happens to a group member or they have taken a step in their walk with God, the group rejoices and celebrates together. Is there an indication of “Community” happening in your small groups?
This indicator of small group health is referring to the Great Commission as it is commonly referred to in Matthew 28:18-20.
Acts 2:47 Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
In the early church, the Lord added to the church daily! The people in the neighborhood noticed there was something different about these people. They were caring for and loving each other. There was a bond and unity with one another in community. When the church spoke the Gospel, the community listened. The great commission was being fulfilled!
When a small group is healthy, there is evidence that the group members are personally sharing their faith with others in their “world”. As they go to work, school or the grocery store they are looking for, and praying for, opportunities to share the gospel or to invite someone out to church or small group. The group members are also discipling and helping each other to take their next steps in obedience to God and His Word. This is commission! The group collectively has a desire to see people come to Christ and prays for unbelieving friends and family. The group also provides opportunities for unbelievers to attend group events. There are testimonies in group of people sharing their faith. Is there an indication of “Commission” being lived out in your small groups?
How is the C3 health of your small group ministry? It is good for all of us to keep an eye on these indicators. We then can determine what area to put more focus on to grow our small group ministry.