CG Leaders Training Faith Presbyterian Church, 2/08

Grace-based Community Groups
How does one grow as a disciple of Christ?
The good news is a “then-now-then” gospel Then = past forgiveness of sins, justification Now = present reality of gospel formation, sanctification Then = future promise of eternity, glorification


“We find it much easier to embrace the gospel’s promise of life after death than we do its promise of life before death.”1 Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (is believing)” - notice that believing here is an ongoing action - sanctification is a process of re-orientation Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” - we become Christians and grow as Christians by the same means - we never move beyond the gospel to something more advanced

What are the implications for non-Christians who might attend our small groups?
Christians and non-Christians suffer from the same problem Christians and non-Christians need the same remedy/solution The gospel is good news both for the lost and the already found The goal is Christ-centered transformation…
The claim is sometimes made that small groups can either be used for evangelism or for discipleship, but that they cannot do both at the same time…It is true that if you aim at edification you will probably lose the attention of the non-believers in your midst. It is also true that if you aim at evangelism, you will eventually bore the believers in your midst. But those are not our only options. If we aim at experiencing

Christ in our midst, we will find that we are both building up believers and challenging non-believers.2

1 2

Tim Lane and Paul Tripp, How People Change. Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Group Handbook.

Program vs. Community
1) Community group leaders are not merely teachers

2) Community groups are not merely Bible studies

4) Community groups are incubators of mission

3) Community groups are places for kingdom centered-prayer “Do the Angels in heaven yawn when you pray?” – Jack Miller

5) Community groups are places for unbelievers

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