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Creating an Environment for Spiritual Growth Bill Alphin The Virginia Baptist Mission Board 4/06 The Burning Bush Experience What Happens to growth when the environment isn’t appropriate? How Busy are You? What are you doing? Why do you do it? What are you trying to accomplish?

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Creating an Environment for Spiritual Growth Bill Alphin The Virginia Baptist Mission Board 4/06

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Creating an environment for spiritual growth bill alphin the virginia baptist mission board 4 06 l.jpg

Creating an Environment forSpiritual GrowthBill AlphinThe Virginia Baptist Mission Board4/06


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The

Burning Bush

Experience


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What Happensto growth whenthe environmentisn’t appropriate?


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How Busy are You?

What are you doing?

Why do you do it?

What are you trying to accomplish?

What does it look like?


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What do we expect from a growing disciple?


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As Jesus discipled the twelve they grew in stages or phases…

Come and See

Come and Follow Me

Come and Be With Me

Remain in Me


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Mature faith doesn’t happen over night!

  • Faith in God grows in stages.

  • It grows in a faith community.

  • It requires discipline and work.

  • Growing faith is a life-long endeavor. We never “arrive”.


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Creating an Environment forSpiritual GrowthPart IICreating an Effective Faith Community That Nurtures Spiritual Growth


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Some churches grow disciples by accident!


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Spiritual Growth Happens Best…

  • Where there is intimacy.

  • Where there is purposeful and sequential small groups.

  • Where there is mentoring.

  • Where there is modeling.

  • Where there is discipline.

  • Where there is accountability.

  • The KEY: Trusting relationships!


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How do we develop a mature faith as disciples of Jesus?

  • Through study.

  • Reflection.

  • Prayer.

  • Nurture in a faith community.

  • Service beyond “self”.

  • Testing faith out in real life.


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Disciple making requires a system of groups that providesthree levels of relationships...

  • Celebration/Worship group: (Unity)

  • Congregation (ABF): (Fellowship)

  • Cell or small group: (Intimacy/accountability)


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Small Groups As a Disciple Making Tool:

  • Provides training.

  • Creates expectations.

  • Provides accountability.

  • Provides encouragement.

  • Nurtures disciples.


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Small groups should be sequential...

This means people are grouped together according to where they are in their faith journey...

Each phase of discipleshipmoves the disciple to a higher level of commitment.


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Small Group Content

  • Sharing and praying. (Group building/Nurture)

  • A “how are you doing?” time. (Accountability)

  • Encouragement towards spiritual growth. (Accountability)

  • New information and instruction. (Equipping/Nurture.)

  • Set goals to be accomplished before the next meeting. (Accountability)

  • Time of fellowship. (Group building)

  • Time needed: 90-120 minutes


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An effective disciple making church must have leaders. Develop disciple making leaders by...

  • Affirm those who are effective Christian disciples and leaders.

  • Provide vision and encouragement.

  • Discover and utilize spiritual gifts.

  • Create accountability relationships for leaders through a leadership community.

  • Free leaders of institutional Maintenance. Edward H. Hammett Making the Church Work.


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The Leadership Community

  • Nurture (Plenary Session)

  • Vision Casting-Large Picture (Plenary Session)

  • Cross-pollination of ideas and activities. (Plenary)

  • Skill Development (Sub-groups by type)

  • Huddle/Planning (Sub-groups by type)

  • Meets at least monthly.


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THE BIG PICTURE:

How Small Groups

Fit Into

The Ministry

Of The Church

Worship

Community


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THE BIG PICTURE:

How Small Groups

Fit Into

The Ministry

Of The Church

Worship

Community

ABF

SS

ABF’s and

SS Classes are

“Open”:


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THE BIG PICTURE:

How Small Groups

Fit Into

The Ministry

Of The Church

Task

Group

Covenant

(Open)

Worship

Community

ABF

SMALL GROUPS

BAG

OAG

SS

ABF’s and

SS Classes are

“Open”:


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THE BIG PICTURE:

How Small Groups

Fit Into

The Ministry

Of The Church

Various

Missions/Ministries

Opportunities

Task

Group

Covenant

(Open)

Worship

Community

ABF

SMALL GROUPS

BAG

OAG

SS

ABF’s and

SS Classes are

“Open”:


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THE BIG PICTURE:

How Small Groups

Fit Into

The Ministry

Of The Church

Various

Missions/Ministries

Opportunities

Mission

Action

Task

Group

Covenant

(Open)

Worship

Community

ABF

SMALL GROUPS

BAG

OAG

SS

ABF’s and

SS Classes are

“Open”:


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THE BIG PICTURE: How Small Groups “fit” in the Church

Small Groups

As A Tool For

Growing

Disciples…

Various

Missions/Ministries

Opportunities

Mission

Action

Debrief and

reflection.

Entry

Points

BAG

Possible

point of

assimilation:

Entry

Points

OAG

ABF

Covenant

(Open)

Ministry

Beyond

“Self”.

ABF

Entry Point

SMALL GROUPS

Worship

Service

ABF

OAG

Task

Group

SS

  • Content of Small

  • Groups (Varies depending

  • on the purpose of the group)

  • Prayer

  • Disciplines of the faith.

  • Time of accountability

  • and encouragement.

  • Training.

  • Ministry beyond self.

People who

are never

assimilated

at this point

are at high

risk of exiting.

ABF’s and

SS groups are

“Open”:

The focus is

fellowship.

TERMINOLOGY:

ABF= Adult Bible

Fellowship

BAG=Basic Accountability

Group.

OAG=Ongoing Accountability

Group

Leadership

Community

used to

coach

leaders.


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Getting Started

  • Start with a Basic Accountability Group to train leaders using a group experience.

  • Use leaders who are trained in the original “BAG” group to begin additional groups.

  • Make sure each new group has an apprentice that can start another group. (multiply)

  • Develop your leadership community.

  • Enlist a small group coordinator

  • Provide and monitor curriculum resource needs.


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Adult Sunday School classes are not small groups.

  • Most small groups are closed groups.

  • Adult Sunday School classes should be open to new participants.

  • The degree of expectations and accountability is higher in small groups.


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Life isn’t

always fun…


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But the rewards of growth as

a disciple are great when you

stick with it!


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