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“When you come together…”

What should we do when we come together as a home group (a.k.a small


group)?

The last thing we want to do is make it a mini version of what we do in


our larger worship meeting. We need to remember that as a church we
are a family and that normal family life is interactive, participatory,
and highly relevant to where people are at.

We need to remember that as God’s children we are all indwelt by the


Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit wants to lead the gathering. So we need
to be sensitive to his leading, not our personal agendas. If we are
going to unleash the power of the Holy Spirit in our day and age we
need to give him more control. Therefore, home group leaders need to
function more like facilitators, sensitive to
the Spirit’s leading, not dictators of their Vision: a growing network
agenda for the gathering. The facilitator of simple, radical for Jesus
simply provides an environment where the Holy home groups saturating
Spirit can work. the south-east suburbs,
reaching the lost and
There are a few key passages of Scripture that discipling the found one
provide a framework for what we do when we come group at a time.
together.

Acts 2:42 42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’


teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

1 Corinthians 14:26 26What is the outcome then, brethren? When you


assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a
tongue, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

Here is a brief summary of the framework for a healthy home group based
upon these two Scriptures.

 FOOD – “MEAT” TOGETHER! - devoted to the breaking of bread


 SIMPLE & PARTICIPATORY BIBLE STUDY – devoted to the apostle’s teaching
 FELLOWSHIP – devoted to fellowship
 PRAYER – devoted to prayer
 OPEN PARTICIPATION – when you assemble, each one has…

FOOD – “MEAT” TOGETHER! – devoted to the breaking of bread


When you come together, eat! Eating together provides a great
atmosphere for developing close relationships in a group. It is
informal and allows people in the group to get to know one another in a
very non-threatening way. Everyone loves to eat – believers and
unbelievers alike. This is a great way for group members to get to
know each other and is a simple way to show love towards anyone who may
be coming to the group for the first time.

When the Jerusalem church in Acts came together they “were continually
devoting themselves to… the breaking bread” (2:42). This is probably a
reference to both the eating of meals together as well as the

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celebration of the Lord’s Supper. They ate together like a family does
because they were the new family of God, the church. Notice how this
is expressed Acts 2:46-47a “46Day by day continuing with one mind in
the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking
their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising
God and having favor with all the people.” What do you notice about
their attitudes and experience when they came together?

Notice then the result of this kind of living together as a family over
meals in Acts 2:47b “And the Lord was adding to their number day by day
those who were being saved.” Day by day the Lord was adding people who
were being saved! Wow! Could it be that unbelievers saw how these new
believers lived their lives out in such loving community that attracted
them to the Lord?

It’s no accident that the early church regularly ate meals together as
an expression of living in the kingdom of God that Jesus inaugurated.
Jesus was an expert at eating with believers and unbelievers alike.
The early church may have simply following the example he set during
his three years of public ministry. He set a pattern for us to follow
as we seek to obey his command to “make disciples of all nations.”
Take a look at how Jesus mastered the art of “meating” together with
all sorts of people. Eating was central to Jesus’ ministry of
equipping his disciples and reaching the lost.

Mark 2:15 15And it happened that He was reclining at the table in


his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with
Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they
were following Him.

Luke 15:1-2 1Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were
coming near Him to listen to Him. 2Both the Pharisees and the
scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and
eats with them.”

Matthew 11:19 19“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and
they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of
tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her
deeds.”

Mark 8:1-3 1In those days, when there was again a large crowd and
they had nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples and said to
them, 2“I feel compassion for the people because they have
remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. 3“If I
send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way;
and some of them have come from a great distance.”

Luke 10:5-7 5“Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to


this house.’ 6“If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest
on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7“Stay in that house,
eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy
of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house.

Matthew 26:17 17Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the


disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do You want us to
prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

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Mark 14:22-24 22While they were eating, He took some bread, and
after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said,
“Take it; this is My body.” 23And when He had taken a cup and
given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
24And He said to them, “This is My blood of the covenant, which
is poured out for many.

If eating together with all sorts of people was a normal expression of


kingdom living in the life and ministry of Jesus and His followers,
shouldn’t we consider how to incorporate this simple way of living
together in our pursuit of His kingdom here on earth?

Felicity Dale in commenting on the importance of eating when you come


together says, “We have been involved in home style meetings now for
most of the last 30 years, and we have come to the conclusion that
there is one factor more important that any other in determining
whether a group will be successful or not. Do they share meals when
they get together? (emphasis mine) Those that eat together invariably
do better than those that do not.”i

She continues, “Eating food together does something to the way that
people relate to each other. We have found that it produces an
informal atmosphere that makes it much easier for people to share their
lives together. However there are some guidelines that we use. As in
everything else, we try to make it easy to duplicate. If a host family
produces a gourmet meal, that makes it very intimidating for others who
think they have to live up to that standard. In general, we have a
simple potluck meal together. Everybody brings a contribution. If it
is in the evening, we may have those who work just bring something they
can pick up at the store, such as sodas or a dessert. Occasionally
there are drawbacks to not organizing it more, such as the time when
every single family brought some kind of pasta dish. But in general
this approach works very well. We try to make sure that people help
with the clean up, if we know there are families who are struggling to
make ends meet, the leftovers provide a sensitive way of helping them
out.”ii

Here are few other things to consider regarding the importance of meals
together.

1. Reaching Lost People - Because our culture is so busy and people


are so disconnected, people are longing for deeper authentic
relationships and community. People long to belong and be
accepted. The Alpha outreach ministry has a saying, “Today
people want to belong before they believe.” This is why they do
a meal at every Alpha gathering. They have learned something
that is crucial to there outreach success – belonging is crucial
to believing! This is especially true in our culture today and I
believe has always been true throughout human history because we
are human being created in God’s image and, therefore, created
for relationships. If we really want to reach the lost we need
to learn to slow down and just enjoy being together with
believers and unbelievers. Meals together provide a great
context for this kind of kingdom living and outreach to a lost
world.

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2. Ministry to One Another – Meals allow everyone in the group to
minister to everyone else simply by bringing something to share.
This engenders a servant mentality from the beginning of someones
discipleship to Jesus. It allows everyone, even a new person to
learn to serve and minister to the needs of others right from the
start.
3. Everyone Already Eats! – Most people already eat breakfast, lunch,
and dinner everyday. If this is the case, then why don’t we just
do this together as a group rather than separately on the day a
group meets? By doing this, you are not really adding anything
new to someone’s day. You are just doing it in a different
context, in community with others. If groups meet during the
week, inevitably some people will becoming straight from work.
Instead of going home to eat and than rushing to group, they can
just come to the group to eat together and enjoy some good
fellowship.
4. The Store – For those people who may work before the group and
can’t really prepare a contribution to the meal, they could be
encouraged to pick something up from the store on the way.
5. Reproduction – This is an element of a group that is highly
reproducible. How many people already eat every day? How many
people know how to make food? Everyone already does this. By
incorporating it into a group we add an element to a group that
simple and, therefore, highly reproducible. This opens the door
for greater kingdom impact as we seek to keep the group simple so
that we can expand our influence through multiplying groups
throughout the area.

In the end, eating together is a great way to increase the intimacy


level of a group. It provides a relaxed atmosphere for new people. It
gives everyone in the group an opportunity to minister to one another
by making a small contribution through the portion of the meal they
bring to the group. All kinds of informal ministry opportunities
happen during this time that could never be programmed through a more
formal time together.

SIMPLE & PARTICIPATORY BIBLE STUDY – devoted to the apostle’s teaching


When you come together, study the Bible in a simple and highly
participatory way. Simple things multiply easier than complex things.
If these home groups are going to multiply in order to reach more lost
people and make more followers of Jesus Christ we need to have a Bible
study time that is easily reproducible and allows the Bible to teach
itself as the final authority in the life of the home group. If we are
truly going to trust in God’s Word and His Spirit to transform lives we
need to allow everyone in the group to participate and interact with
God’s life transforming word as the Spirit leads, convicts, and changes
people.

When the Jerusalem church in Acts came together “They were continually
devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching…” (Acts 2:42). The
apostles teaching or the Bible as we have it today needs to be the seed
that we plant in peoples hearts so that the Holy Spirit can do his work
of saving the lost and sanctifying the found. The Bible must be an
integral part of each home group. We live in a culture that is
saturated with all kinds of Bible study tools. What did the first
century church do without all these tools we have become so dependent

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on today in Western culture? Does the Bible itself have transforming
power? Can we trust God to do a work through His word no tool could
every do in someone life? I’m not against tools, but we need to
consider what we are trusting in for these home groups. Would it be
possible to get back to a simple trust in God and His Word to transform
the found and save the lost?

Jesus understood this principle of planting the pure seed of the word
in the hearts of lost people when he taught about the parable of the
four soils (Read Mark 4:1-20). If there are unbelievers in the group,
they need to be exposed to the pure word of God. As this parable
teaches us, we can’t be responsible for how people respond. We can
actually expect three responses where the seed of the word does not
bear fruit and one where it does. Nonetheless, we need to take up our
responsibility and sow the word and not concern ourselves with the
results. The results are up to God and the person who hears the word.

How God is going to work and how he is going to save the lost and
sanctify the found is a mystery to us all as another kingdom parable
illustrates in Mark 4:26-29.

Mark 4:26-29
26And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who
casts seed upon the soil; 27and he goes to bed at night and
gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself
does not know. 28“The soil produces crops by itself; first the
blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.
29“But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the
sickle, because the harvest has come.”

How the kingdom of God is going to grow, we really don’t know. All we
know is we need to plant the seed of the word. The growth is going to
be produced “by itself” as this passage tells us. It even happens when
the farmer is sleeping on the job. Imagine that! I guess this makes
us all qualified to plant the seed of the word. We can sow and then go
to sleep.

Paul understood this simple kingdom growth principle as well.

1 Corinthians 3:5-7
5What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom
you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.
6I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
7So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is
anything, but God who causes the growth.

As we plant the pure seed of the word, we must also remember that the
mark of good disciple-making is not more knowledge but obedience. In
Jesus’ Great Commission he said, “Therefore go and make disciples of
all nations… teaching them to obey everything I commanded you…”
(Matthew 28:19-20, NIV). Whatever simple Bible study technique we use,
we must emphasize that obedience to Jesus is what counts, not more
head-knowledge.

If we really believe in the life-transforming power of the word to save


the lost and sanctify the found, we must allow the pure seed of the
word to work in peoples hearts. Here are a few principles that should

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guide us as we seek to plant the pure seed of the word in a way that is
simple, reproducible, and highly participatory.

Let the Group Decide which Book to Study – When participants in the
group have the opportunity to decide what book from the Bible you are
going to study, the ownership level of the entire group will go up
because they have been part of the decision. The opposite would be for
the facilitator of the group to decide the book. If the facilitator
decides what book the group will study it will have a tendency to
demotivate group and decrease ownership of the study. Making group
decisions creates ownership. This does not mean that at times the
facilitator can’t help lead the group to study a particular book if
there is a pressing need in the group that needs to be addressed from
the Bile. But in general, it is a good principle to let the group
decide. This will open up the group to the Holy Spirit’s leading as
well. He knows what book is best for the group and by interacting as a
group, His desire for the group will become more evident.

Let Everyone Read – Everyone in the group should be given the


opportunity to read the passage that is being discussed. The simplest
way to do this is for the facilitator to pick someone to read and then
suggest that you go around the room either to the left or to the right.
A few verses or one paragraph can be read at time.

Allow for Question Interruptions – Everyone in the group should know


that they have the freedom at any time that a passage of Scripture is
being read that they can interrupt to ask the group a question or share
an insight they may have gained through what is being read. Allowing
for interruptions will increase the likelihood for lively and engaging
dialogue over the Scriptures from both believers and unbelievers.
Sometimes a question may lead down a rabbit trail that the Holy Spirit
wants to address. Jesus was a master at letting the crowds and his
disciples ask questions. He dealt with the real issues and questions
they were facing. This is crucial to the success of the Bible study
portion of the home group. It will also engender a safe environment
that will encourage seekers to ask the questions they have that may be
preventing them from responding to Jesus.

The Facilitator Should Facilitate Discussion and Truth Discovery, Not


Teach – Too much teaching is one thing that can kill the interactive
dynamic learning process that a home group is meant to engender. There
are other places for this kind of teaching to take place (e.g. Sunday
morning worship, classes, etc.), but not in the home group setting. “We
evangelical Christians tend to emphasize the importance of good
teaching. This is missing the point. The essential is that people are
genuinely learning and applying Scripture to their every day lives.
Statistics show that we learn far more by actively participating than
by hearing alone. Scientists tell us that we remember 20% of what we
hear, 50% of what we see and hear, and 70% of what we hear and see and
then say ourselves.”iii As such the facilitator and others with more
Bible knowledge in the group will need to resist the temptation to
blurt out the answer to a question or just start teaching in response
to a question. The group needs to learn to wrestle with the Bible and
discover truth for themselves. One of the greatest skills, therefore,
the facilitator needs to develop is how to ask good questions. One
simple thing a facilitator can do when someone asks a question is to

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simply say, “What do the rest of you in the group think?” Let the
Bible teach people. Resist the temptation to teach as much as possible.

One Scripture that captures the essence of this kind of interactive


participatory Bible study is Colossians 3:16.

Colossians 3:16 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within


you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with
psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with
thankfulness in your hearts to God.

By reading and interacting over the Scriptures you will be allowing the
word of Christ to “dwell richly” among the group. This will also open
opportunities for people in the group to “teach and admonish” one
another” as opposed to everything just coming from one teacher in the
group.

Here are a few methods that can be employed to engender simple,


participatory, and highly reproducible Bible study.

Method Iiv
A passage of Scripture is read and then the group can interact over
three questions:
1. What does it say?
2. What does it mean?
3. What difference does it make in my life?

Method IIv
A passage of Scripture is read and then the participants in the group
look for things that correspond to three symbols.
Question mark – Any question someone in the group would like to
ask about something they don’t understand or something that would
engender some good discussion.

Arrow – Something convicting where God is piercing someone’s


heart and they know they need to change.
Light bulb – An “aha” experience – sheds light on another
passage of the Bible or on something in your life

After a portion of Scripture is read the facilitator can simply ask,


“Does anyone have a question mark, an arrow, or a light bulb from this
passage?” The facilitator must learn to be silent after asking this or
other related questions.

Method III
This method is based upon 2 Timothy 3:16 “16All Scripture is inspired
by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for
training in righteousness…”

After a passage of Scripture has been read the facilitator could ask
four questions related to this passage.

1. Teaching - Did anyone learn anything from this passage that


they didn’t know before? Does anyone have a question about

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something they don’t understand?(“teaching” could also be
translated “doctrine”)
2. Reproof – Does this passage reveal anything in your life that
is wrong and needs to change?
3. Correction – Does this passage reveal any correct behavior
that you should adopt in your life?
4. Training in Righteousness – How does this passage help you to
train to do what is right?

If a group is new, it may take a few weeks for this kind of Bible study
to become comfortable for everyone involved. Over time, if you
continue to employ one of these methods (or several of them) you will
never lack a lively interactive dialogue and discussion of the
Scriptures. As you do this, you can be confident that God’s Word and
His Spirit will be doing the work of saving the lost and sanctifying
the found.

One final import issue to consider in this regard is this. Making the
Bible the main book to study makes it easy to invite unbelievers to the
group because they will not need to buy or bring a book that the rest
of the group has. The facilitator can always have a few bibles on hand
or if he doesn’t, someone in the group can lend their Bible to the new
attendee. If our desire is for these groups to have a genuine outreach
dimension to them, we need to remove any barriers that may prevent
unbelievers from coming. If a particular curriculum is adopted this
lowers the likelihood that an unbeliever would join the group because
he would have to get a copy of the book. He would also probably feel
like he was behind because he wasn’t there from the beginning. He may
also feel the pressure to do “homework” or preparation for the group.
Each of these barriers is effectively eliminated if the Bible itself is
the only book people need. Isn’t it the Bible that we want people
reading and studying anyway?

FELLOWSHIP – devoted to fellowship


When you come together be devoted to fellowship – radical relational
interdependence. In Acts 2:42 they “were continually devoting
themselves… to fellowship.” The word “fellowship” could also be
translated as “association, communion, close relationship” (BAGD). The
Jerusalem church lived their lives of new faith in Christ in close
communion with other believers. When you look at the context of this
verse you get a great picture of the kind of fellowship this church
enjoyed. Acts 2:44-45 “44And all those who had believed were together
and had all things in common; 45and they began selling their property
and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have
need.” The word “common” in this passage is a similar root word for the
word “fellowship” in verse 42. Their close fellowship manifested
itself in sharing all their resources with one another. The picture we
get from this story is of people living in radical relational
interdependence; they were willing to share their material resources
with those in need. That’s what fellowship means – radical relational
interdependence, not just materially, but in all areas. As followers
of Christ called together to live in fellowship we share our time, our
spiritual gifts, our prayers, our sins, our words of encouragement, etc.

In order to grow as followers of Christ we need to link arms with other


followers of Christ. Fellowship for the early church was a lifestyle

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that was lived out day by day, not just during a one or two hour
meeting on Sundays or even in a two hour small group. Notice at Acts
2:42 says that they were continually devoting themselves to fellowship.
Fellowship was a way of life for them.

Notice how often this church met together. Acts 2:46 “46Day by day
continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house
to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and
sincerity of heart,” They met “day by day”! This shows us that church
is more than a two hour meeting on Sunday morning, or even a two hour
home group. It is a life-style of radical relational interdependence –
living like a family! Living this way is one way that we lay our lives
down in love for our brothers and show a lost world who Jesus really
is. Jesus said, 35“By this all men will know that you are My
disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

One of the best ways to understand the nature of the kind of fellowship
we should experience in in a home group is by looking at all of the
“one another” passages of from the New Testatment. Here are just a few
of those passages, but take a look at the end of this resource for a
complete list.

John 13:35 35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for
one another.”

Romans 13:8 8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his
neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Romans 14:19 19So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of
one another.

Romans 16:16 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

Galatians 6:2 2Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Ephesians 5:19 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom
teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 11Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as
you also are doing.

Hebrews 3:13 13But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called
“Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 10:24 24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

Hebrews 10:25 25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but
encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

James 5:16 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so
that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

1 Peter 4:9 9Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

1 Peter 4:10 10As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

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As these Scriptures show, “one another” ministry requires a growing
commitment from each person in the group to love and care for others.
This is every member ministry as Paul described in Ephesians 4:16
“16...the whole body...causes the growth of the body for the building up
of itself in love.”

“Studies of early church history show that it was as much love that
Christians had for each other, as the actual message itself, that won
so many to their cause. That this love went across culture, religion,
ethnic differences and even the slave/free barrier was a great
testimony to all. Just a casual reading of the New Testament forces
one to the conclusion that the early disciples shared their lives
together in a deep and meaningful way. In this country, and at this
period in time, fellowship has tended to be superficial at best and at
times downright absent!”vi

PRAYER – devoted to prayer


In Acts 2:42 this new found church was “continually devoting themselves
to...prayer.” Prayer is simply talking to and listening to God. It is
living in radical relational dependence upon God. There are all kinds
of things that home groups can pray for. Home groups should pray for
each other as people in the group share different burdens they are
struggling with. Groups should pray not only for the burdens of people
in the group but for the kinds of things that are consistent with the
purposes and plans of God in the world (1 John 5:14-15) as revealed in
the Scriptures. Here is a short list of things that groups should be
growing in prayer in this regard.

 The salvation of the lost – Romans 10:1


 Boldness in witnessing – Acts 4:29; Ephesians 6:19-20
 Laborers to be sent out into the harvest – Luke 10:2
 For God to open doors for the gospel to go forth – Colossians
4:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:1
 Healing for the sick – James 5:14-15
 Spiritual Maturity – 2 Corinthians 13:9
 Spiritual Enlightenment – Ephesians 1:8
 Love to grow – Philippians 1:9
 For the knowledge of God’s will – Colossians 1:9

These are just a few examples of the kinds of things the group should
be learning to pray. As groups pray more and more for each other and
for the things consistent with God’s will, people in the group will
begin to experience the supernatural power of God in their lives and in
the lives of others. We need to always remember that everything we do
in the kingdom of God at the end of the day is ultimately a work of
God. It’s what God does through in us and through us that really
matters. Jesus stated the matter plainly in John 15:5 when He said,
“Apart from me you can do nothing.” Doing everything through Christ
only happens as people in the group learn to lean upon Him for
everything.

Each group will have to figure out how they plan to incorporate prayer
into their time together, but here are a few guiding principles.

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Sensitivity to the Spirit – The home group facilitator will have to be
sensitive to the work of the Spirit in the group. Some times this
might mean that the entire home group time is spent sharing prayer
requests and praying. At other times it might mean praying
specifically for some things that need to happen in the group. It may
also mean challenging the group to start praying for things that go
beyond Aunt Nellie’s broken toe. The list given above is a good place
to start.

Simple for New Attendees or Unbelievers – Praying out loud is always


intimidating for new group members or unbelievers. As such, the group
facilitator should encourage simple ways to pray for new people to help
them grow in this new experience of corporate prayer. One way to do
this is to have everyone in the group share one prayer request. Then
you can have everyone in the group pray a one sentence prayer for the
person to their left (or right). This makes it simple enough that
anyone could do it, but it also challenges people to grow more
comfortable with corporate prayer. The key is for the facilitator to
be sensitive to new people, but also challenge them to grow.

Oikos Prayers – One crucial area that should become a central part of
all home groups is praying for each persons oikos – the group of people
that are in their natural web of relations that don’t know Christ. The
easiest way for the gospel to penetrate a community is through already
existing relationships. More is said on this in another resource, but
the group needs to learn to pray for their lost friends, neighbors, co-
workers, relatives, etc. so that they can begin to develop a heart for
the lost like Jesus had and because God alone is in the business of
saving the lost. Salvation is a work of God. When we pray for our
oikos we are asking God to do what we could never do.

OPEN PARTICIPATION – when you assemble, each one has…


This is the final element of each home group. There should be an
opportunity during home group meetings for open participation of
everyone in the group. This concept is described in 1 Corinthians
14:26 26What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one
has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an
interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” Notice the
interactive and highly participatory gathering that is described here.
Each person who came to church in Corinth had a contribution to make.
Someone had a psalm to sing. Someone had a teaching. Others had a
revelation or a tongue.

Now without getting into the issue of supernatural gifts here, what is
important to note is how this church gathering wasn’t a one man show.
The Holy Spirit was at work through different people in the group to
use their gifts for building up others in the group. This is the kind
of interactive dynamic that we want to create in our home groups.

How do we facilitate this kind of open participation? Here is one


suggestion. During a home group meeting, the facilitator could simply
ask a question like, “Does anyone have something they would like to
share with the group - like something God taught them this week, or
something you think God has laid on your heart you need to share, or an
encouraging word for the group, or something cool you read in the Bible
this week, or a question you would like to ask the group?”

11
After the question is asked the facilitator just needs to be silent to
give people a chance to think and to allow room for the Holy Spirit to
be at work. He may want to do something that you were not expecting at
all. If someone starts sharing something, then just go with the flow.
If not, just move to another element of the small group like prayer or
Bible Study. This isn’t rocket science. It’s just provides an
opportunity for God to do something you weren’t expecting that can be
incredibly edifying to the rest of the group. As you do this more in
the home group time, you will see God working in ways you never
expected.

CONCLUSION

12
One Anothers of the New Testament

Mark 9:50 50“Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it
salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

John 13:14 14“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to
wash one another’s feet.

John 13:35 35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for
one another.”

John 15:12 12“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved
you.

John 15:17 17“This I command you, that you love one another.

Romans 12:5 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of
another.

Romans 12:10 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one
another in honor;

Romans 12:16 16Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but
associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

Romans 13:8 8Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his
neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Romans 14:13 13Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—
not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

Romans 14:19 19So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of
one another.

Romans 15:5 5Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of
the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

Romans 15:7 7Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory
of God.

Romans 15:14 14And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you
yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one
another.

Romans 16:16 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

1 Corinthians 6:7 7Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits
with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded?

1 Corinthians 11:33 33So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one
another.

1 Corinthians 12:25 25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members
may have the same care for one another.

1 Corinthians 16:20 20All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12 12Greet one another with a holy kiss.

Galatians 5:13 13For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom
into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:15 15But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not
consumed by one another.

Galatians 5:26 26Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one
another.

Galatians 6:2 2Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

13
Ephesians 4:2 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one
another in love,

Ephesians 4:25 25Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his
neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Ephesians 4:32 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as
God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 5:19 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

Ephesians 5:21 21and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Colossians 3:9 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its
evil practices,

Colossians 3:13 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a
complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Colossians 3:16 16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom
teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing
with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

1 Thessalonians 3:12 12and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one
another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;

1 Thessalonians 4:9 9Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to
write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

1 Thessalonians 4:18 18Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 11Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as
you also are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:13 13and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.
Live in peace with one another.

1 Thessalonians 5:15 15See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek
after that which is good for one another and for all people.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 3We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only
fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward
one another grows ever greater;

Hebrews 3:13 13But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called
“Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 10:24 24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

Hebrews 10:25 25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but
encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

James 4:11 11Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother
or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the
law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

James 5:9 9Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not
be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

James 5:16 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so
that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

1 Peter 1:22 22Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere
love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart,

1 Peter 4:8 8Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a
multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:9 9Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

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1 Peter 4:10 10As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 5:5 5You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe
yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives
grace to the humble.

1 Peter 5:14 14Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in
Christ.

1 John 3:11 11For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we
should love one another;

1 John 3:23 23This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus
Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.

1 John 4:7 7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who
loves is born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:11 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:12 12No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us,
and His love is perfected in us.

2 John 5 5Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but
the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.

15
i
Getting Started, edited by Felicity Dale.
ii
Ibid
iii
Ibid.
iv
p. 114.
v
This is a modified Navigator method from as taught in Getting Started edited by Felicity Dale, p. 116.
vi
Ibid, pp. 118-20