The First Disciples Follow Jesus
These new disciples used several names for Jesus: Lamb of god (1:36), Rabbi (1:38), Messiah (1:41), Son of God (1:49), and king of Israel 1:49). As they got to know Jesus, their appreciation for him grew. The more time we spend getting to know Christ, the more we will understand and appreciate who he is. We may be drawn to him for his teaching but we will come to know him as the Son of God. Although these disciples made this verbal shift in a few days, they would not fully understand Jesus until three years later (Acts 2). What they so easily professed had to be worked out in experience. We may find that words of faith come easily, but deep appreciation for Christ comes with living by faith.
One of the two disciples was Andrew (1:40). The other was probably John the writer of this book. Why did these disciples leave John the Baptist? Because that’s what John wanted them to do-he was pointing the way to Jesus, the one John had prepared them to follow. These were Jesus’ first disciples, along with Simon Peter (1:42) and Nathanael (1:45).
When the two disciples began to follow Jesus, he asked them, “What do you want?” Following Christ is not enough; we must follow him for the right reasons. To follow Christ for our own purposes would be asking Christ to follow us-to align with us to support and advance our cause, not his. We must examine our motives for following him. Are we seeking his glory or ours?
Andrew accepted John the Baptist’s testimony about Jesus and immediately want to tell his brother Simon, about him. There was no question in Andrew’s mind that Jesus was the Messiah. Not only did he tell his brother, he was also eager to introduce others to Jesus.
Jesus saw not only who Simon was, but who he would become. That is why he gave him a new name-Cephas in Aramaic, Peter in Greek (the name means “a rock”). Peter is not presented as rock-solid throughout the Gospels, but he became a solid rock in the days of the early church, as we learn in the book of Acts. By giving Simon a new name, Jesus introduced a change of character.
Nazareth was despised by the Jews because a Roman army garrison was located there. Some have speculated that an aloof attitude or a poor reputation in morals and religion on the part of the people of Nazareth led to Nathanael’s harsh comment. Nathanael’s home town was Cana about four miles from Nazareth.
When Nathanael heard that the Messiah was from Nazareth, he was surprised. Philip responded, “Come and see.” Fortunately for Nathanael, he went to meet Jesus and became a disciple. If he had stuck to his prejudice without investigating further, he would have missed the Messiah! Don’t let people’s stereotypes about Christ cause them to miss his power and love. Invite them to come and see who Jesus really is.
Jesus knew about Nathanael before the two ever met. Jesus also knows what we are really like. An honest person will feel comfortable with the thought that Jesus knows him or her thoroughly. A dishonest person will feel uncomfortable. You can’t pretend to be something you’re not. God knows the real you and wants you to follow him.
This is a reference to Jacob’s dream recorded in Genesis 28:12. As the unique God- man, Jesus would be the ladder between heaven and earth. Jesus is not saying that this would be a physical experience (that they would see the ladder with their eyes) like the transfiguration, but that they would have spiritual insight into Jesus true nature and purpose for coming.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” John 1:48
Have you noticed how people act when told they are on “Candid Camera”? Shocked and a bit embarrassed, but also pleased to be chosen for television.
Nathanael, believed to be the same disciple as Bartholomew, probably wanted to observe Jesus for a while to see if He really was the Messiah, God’s promised deliverer of Israel. Nathanael’s friends said He was, but Nathanael doubted that the great Messiah, the Savior from sin, would come from a small town such as Nazareth. How startled Nathanael was to discover that he, not Jesus, was the one under observation! Watching Nathanael from afar, Jesus saw his faith and courage, which would cost Nathanael his life years later. Tradition says he was beheaded because of his open and fearless witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
When we suddenly become aware of Jesus watching us, our first response is shame at having allowed life’s concerns to push Him into a corner of our heart. But shame soon yields to gladness that we are under Jesus’ observation, for we know He forgives us and keeps us in His care.
Savior, make me aware of Your eyes upon me, that I may honor You in all my thoughts and actions. To Your glory.. Amen.
Jesus… said to him. “Follow me.” – John 1:43
You are called to live and speak in this world as a follower of Christ, with love and boldness; so tell people you are a follower of Jesus.
My Lord Jesus, may I learn to express my faith in You confidently, boldly and graciously.
Hereafter ye shall see heaven…. – John 1:51
Consider that you may be seeing a part of heaven right now, right here, in the sea of love that is your family. Dream for a moment of the world to come, the world we work for, in the end an ocean of love in which there are no islands of lovelessness.
Lord, give me ears to hear Your voice and Your music, to savor the heaven around me every moment.
What was your motive for following Jesus originally? What were the circumstances that led you to do so? How much did you know about him?
Who was the John or Andrew in your life?
What is the biggest obstacle to your spiritual growth right now?
Jesus said, “Come and see.” What would you be curious to check out at Jesus’ “home?”
Who would you bring along with you to “see” Jesus?
What was John the Baptist saying about Jesus when he described him as the “Lamb of God”?
How do you react to the disciples following Jesus for the day?
What was Jesus inviting the two disciples of John the Baptist to do?
In light of verses 30-31, how do you think John felt when his disciples left him to follow Jesus? What does this say about John?
What motivated the disciples of John to follow Jesus? What motivated thee disciples of John to follow Jesus? What motivated Andrew to tell Simon about him?
What are the titles used in this passage to describe Jesus? What do they mean?
How do you think Simon felt when Jesus changed his name to Cephas (meaning “rock”) from Simon (meaning “sinking sand”)?
What did Philip have in common with Andrew? What insight about Jesus excites Philip?
What type of person is Nathanael? Why might he find it hard to believe Philips statement? Why would Jesus call Philip and Nathanael in such different ways? How do you think Nathanael felt when Jesus spoke to him?
The conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit is the beginning. Without it, we cannot understand our need for God.
… If I were asked today to name the one doctrine of the Christian faith being preached about the least, I would have to say repentance. Repentance means change, and we don’t want to threaten people with the need to change.
Repentance is commonly thought of as breast-beating, but it is not that at all.. The Greek word used in the New Testament means simply, “change of mind.” When you come to God, you have a change of mind, from exalting yourself to exalting Christ. Repentance means turning from man’s ways to embrace God’s ways. It means a desire to be different, to belong to Christ and to live as he commands us to live. Repentance, then, is the longing to turn away from the old self and to live a new life in Christ.
In my own life, repentance meant that I wanted to adopt new values. I wanted to be forgiven of what I’d done in the past and not continue doing those things, but rather be led by the Spirit to the kinds of things that God wants from my life. There is a certain sorrow that goes with repentance, a sorrow over your sins, a desire to restore where you have done harm in the past. One thing I did was to apologize to some of the people I had hurt in politics. I went to them to seek their forgiveness because I realized that God had forgiven me and I should seek to restore my relationships with people I had injured.
That’s what happens when the conviction of sin leads to repentance. The yearning for God’s cleansing is so strong that we cannot find peace until we have accepted that “change of mind” and begin to walk in the new life with the Lord.
(From “What it Means to Repent” by Charles Colson in Practical Christianity)
What would be the hardest part of true repentance for you? What would be the most liberating part? Seek help from Christian friends who will pray with you through the process.
How to Read the Bible
“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:1)
It is food which makes a baby grow: You have been born into the family of God just a short time ago. You are now a Spiritual baby. You need spiritual food, the word of God.
Since we must have food for our physical bodies each day, how often must we have spiritual food for this new life in Christ?
Where can we get the spiritual food we need for this new life? By reading, or listening to someone else read the Bible-the word of God.
The Bible was not written in English to begin with. However there are many English translations of the Bible that you can choose from. Most of the Bible verses which are found in our courses have been taken from a translation called the New International Version.
If you read the Bible everyday and OBEY the teaching in it, you can expect to see in your life; spiritual growth and strength.
Before Jesus died on the cross he told his followers: “… the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26). Who has been sent to teach believers the things about Jesus?
Before you begin to read the Bible you should Pray and ask the Father to fill you with the Holy Spirit and to teach you from the Word of God.
After you read a part of the Bible you should look for the things which the Holy Spirit wishes to teach you.
You can find the things that the Holy Spirit wants to teach you from the Bible by asking a question like the one below. “In the verses I have just read, what are the words that I understand the best and that talk to my heart in a special way?”
it is often helpful to underline the words which speak to you in a special way.
Bible Reading and Prayer always go together.
Do not be ashamed to serve others because of your love for Jesus Christ, or to appear poor in the world‘s eyes.
Do not count on your own strength; trust God. Do what you can, and God will supply the difference….
Take glory neither in money, if you have some, nor in influential friends, but in God who gives you everything and above all wants to give you himself.
Avoid boasting about the size or beauty of your body, which a little illness can disfigure or destroy.
Have no pride in your native wit and talent; that would displease God who gave you every good thing that you naturally possess.
Reject the thought that you are better than anyone else. If you think such haughty thoughts, God (who knows what is in you) will consider you worse then they.
Pride about our good deeds is pointless. God has his own ideas regarding what is good, and he does not always agree with us. If there is anything good about you, believe better things of others. This will keep you humble.
It will not hurt you at all to consider yourself less righteous than others, but it will be disastrous for you to consider yourself better than even one person.
The humble are always at peace; the proud are often envious and angry.
(From The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis)
Pride causes us to set ourselves up as gods. Because of pride, we sin without regard to God’s standards. Pride and ambition may creep in and sweep away our devotion to God. Success often tries to squeeze God out of our mind. Check your attitudes. Resist pride. Focus on Christ.
The Leadership Handbook is designed to help supervise the coordination and ongoing administration of groups. It should facilitate communication with the coordinator and allow feedback to the coordinator. It positions groups within the total church framework, and helps group leaders do their best. It connects group leaders and the church coordinators. Since church settings vary, leadership handbooks will vary in content. Control of small groups depends on the type of authority placed over the group system, and that is beyond the scope of this manual.
A three-ring binder makes it possible to add to the handbook as the ministry develops. The handbook should have tabs for each section. There are many possible sections that can be tabbed. Include only those that apply to your particular small-group ministry; for example, a list and descriptions of church ministries, calendars, leadership, membership roster, report forms, ongoing training notes, evangelism/outreach, prayer, and key Scriptures.
The following sections in this trainer’s manual might be included in a handbook. Take what is given, after the forms, and write your own philosophy. Make your handbook specific to your purposes.
Create a logo for your small-group ministry, and use it consistently in all printed and promotional materials.
Suggestions for Handbook Pages
A letter from your pastor
Small groups must incorporate with other programs and ministries in order to be a vital part of the church. The visible and verbal support of the pastor in the lifeline of groups.
A description of the name of your ministries and its significance.
A list of Scriptures that offer biblical support for small groups.
A list of priorities for small groups at your church. This list will be prepared by the senior pastor and small-group coordinator, and reviewed and adopted by the small-group steering committee.
A description of the small-group ministry’s relationship to the church. This description will help the congregation understand the need for and purpose of small groups.
(Sample) A Message from our Pastor
I thank God for you and your commitment to your small group. You have begun what could become the most meaningful ministry of your life.
Small Bible study groups are not a new concept at our church. When we began there were many meetings in homes for prayer and Bible study, and through the years both my wife and I have led and participated in several Bible study groups. Each Sunday I see people throughout the congregation who have accepted Christ as their Savior as a result of involved in leadership.
In fact, the beginning of every Christian religious movement can be traced to Bible study groups. These groups have a firm biblical basis and are often referred to in Scripture. They have met in homes in secret places, even when persecution threatened their existence.
The design and purpose of each small group is two-fold: to reach those who would not readily come to church to hear the gospel preached, and to offer Christ-centered encouragement, truth, and love in their communities.
I am excited. God’s hand is directing us in this new endeavor. And His hand also rests on you-to guide you, empower you, and help you offer love to all those you encounter.
May His richest blessings be yours.
with God through prayer and discussion of His Word;
with each other through fellowship, prayer, and study;
with the un-churched, as friends and acquaintances are invited to participate.
the need to know God and His Word better;
the need for closer relationships with one another;
the need for prayer for the difficulties of our lives;
the need to reach the un-churched for our Lord.
the Person at the center of all we do and say;
the person we strive to be near;
the Person we grow up to be like-together.
to glorify God, through worship prayer, and discussion of His Word.
to the lost, through building relationships and through prayer.
our actions to the principles in God’s Word;
our attention to our relationships with one another;
our prayers and love to the un-churched.
Scriptural Foundations for Small Groups
We are “priesthood of believers” directed to: (1 Peter 2:5; Rev. 1:6).
Love God and one another, (Matthew 22:37, 39)
Continually abide in the teachings of His Word. (John 15:4, 7-10)
Apply God’s truth to our daily lives (Matthew 7:24-27, James 1:22)
Bring the lost into His Kingdom (Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8).
Christ our primary example, went into homes to minister to small groups of people (Matthew 8:14-15; Mark 2:1-5, 15-17; Luke 8:51-56)
Christ sent the Twelve and the Seventy into homes in towns and villages. (Matthew 10:5-13); Luke 10:1-7)
In Acts believers worshiped and were taught in their home (Acts 2:46; 5:42; 10:1-48, 16:25-34, 40; 20:17-20; 28:30-31)
New Testament Christians continued to meet in homes for worship, study, discipleship, and fellowship. (Romans 16:5, 1 Corinthians 16:19, Colossians 4:15, Philemon 2).
The Pastors Vision for Small Groups (SAMPLE)
The small-group ministry will be a people-oriented minority with an evangelistic thrust, reaching the unsaved who are intimidated by a church environment.
Sharing Personal Needs
This ministry will be a place where genuine love and warmth allows for honest interaction and the sharing of deep personal needs, followed by prayer for the hurting areas of wounded lives.
Gathering in small groups will give opportunity to study God’s Word; to interact, discuss, and ask questions, to learn how to apply Scripture to daily living.
Ministry and Service
The small groups will be a place for people to serve and minister to one another.
These groups will encourage Christian fellowship.
The Relationship of small groups to Sunday School and Worship Services
The Role of the Worship Services
Ministry to the congregation. The worship services are primarily a time of worship, instruction, fellowship, and prayer.
The Role of the Sunday School
Ministry to the community. Sunday school is primarily a time of application-oriented Bible study. Sunday school engages in ministry and outreach through various classes.
The Role of the Small Groups
Ministry in the community. The small group is primarily a time of fellowship, prayer, Bible study, personal sharing of needs, and evangelism within neighborhoods. The small group provides an exciting local dimension of ministry.
After meetings, visitors and new members may wish to ask questions Church information reference material will help leaders respond from an understanding of church structure, and not have to get back to people who ask about the church. If this information is available, it should be included as a section in the leadership notebook. These are some areas of ministry you could define or describe. A few descriptions are given as samples.
Church worship schedules
Sunday School classes
Sunday school class locations
Young married adults
Youth activities involve a full calendar of monthly events aimed at meeting the needs of young people, grades seven through twelve. Sunday school classes meet at … Several youth socials are held each month during the school year, and even more events for fun and fellowship take place in the summer. For information contact (name), minister of youth, at (phone number).
Each week the bus ministry reaches people from different nationalities and language groups. All riders are contacted weekly by bus team brought to church on Sundays, and invited to monthly planned activities, including picnics, skating, and pizza parties. This ministry requires the commitment of people who can drive, do mechanical work, visit, help in the special monthly activities. For information contact (name, phone number).
The deaf ministry Bible study fellowship meets … During the morning and evening worship services an interpreter signs the service for the deaf. This is at the left front section of the auditorium.
In an intensive hospital visitation program, the pastors, deacons, and church members visit hospitals each day. To report people in the hospital who would like to be visited, call the hospital report number, (phone number).
Media ministries are responsible for the production and distribution of audiocassettes and related materials to support the church’s outreach and training activities. These materials include the pastor’s messages. Wednesday Bible studies, pastor’s sermons, and special staff projects.
Monthly calendars can be included in this section to provide information about all church activities as well as small group activities. This helps leaders set priorities and coordinate activities.
Leadership in a small group requires the skills of a facilitator and delegator. There are many possible roles for group members to play, and it is the responsibility of the leader to identify gifts and place people in those roles. By doing this, the leader helps group members claim ownership of their small group.
As the leader, do not do any job someone else can do-pass out the pie!
The following provides a leadership team chart and job descriptions for seven identified roles. Rewrite these Job descriptions to fit your own philosophy and church community. You are not limited to this list. Filling the positions will take time, but will enable the leader to get acquainted with group members.
As you fill the roles, photo copy your job description and review each one with the person. enlisted to do the job, retaining your original copy for future use.
One key position is the assistant leader, who fills in when the leader is absent. Begin immediately to give attention guidance and opportunities to lead to the assistant leader, preparing him or her for starting a new group. Also, recommend that potential leaders attend leadership training.
It will be the leader’s responsibility to regularly contact each one on the leadership team, encouraging and building them up in their chosen role, and praying for each of them. The leadership team roster (Name, title, Address, Telephone number, Birthday, and wedding anniversary dates) may help with this responsibility. Complete the roster and keep it in your notebook.
Send cards on birthdays and anniversaries. This roster will also help you keep aware when a job is vacant and needs to be filled.
With your team decide on the format you will follow for the group. Be flexible; if you see changes need to be made, make them. For example, if you place prayer time at the beginning of the meeting and it takes too much time and hinders Bible study, move prayer to the end. The last and most important leadership duty will be to establish a team creed.
When a group is being formed, the first positions to be filled are those of discussion leader, assistant leader, and host or hostess. It is crucial that those initial leaders then develop others within the group to fill the remaining positions: Records secretary; follow-up coordinator; worship/prayer leader; Children’s coordinator; and Greeter.
Responsibilities of the Discussion Leader
1. Attend the monthly training session.
2. Reflect overall vision and priorities for the group
3. Meet with team leaders for fifteen or twenty minutes before the meeting for prayer and discussion.
4. Oversee coordination of the worship, prayer, sharing, and fellowship in the small group meeting in cooperation with others on the leadership team.
1) Select songs and choruses.
2) Have song-sheets prepared for discussion
3) Coordinate musical accompaniment.
1) Direct prayer during the meeting
2) Pray for your group’s target family, your community, and your mission project.
3) Keep written record of significant prayer requests in the prayer section of your note book.
4) Activate a prayer chain within the group
c. Introduce newcomers.
d. Direct sharing of prayer requests and testimonies.
5. Conduct a weekly small group home meeting with an appointed host or hostess, and lead in the discussion of the Bible study material.
6. Be responsible with an assistant leader or secretary, for completing and submitting a written monthly report, a monthly evangelism outreach report, and for calling in weekly attendance to the small-group coordinator.
7. With the aid of an assistant leader or secretary, call the following people, and record the calls in a telephone diary.
1) Thank them for their participation.
2) Invite them to the upcoming meeting, being certain to specify date, time, and location.
3) Pray with them concerning needs or difficulties they might have.
b. New believers
1) Rejoice with them in their crucial decision.
2) Give guidelines on daily Bible reading, prayer, and facing difficulties with a Christ-like attitude.
3) Invite them to the next small-group meeting and if un-churched, to attend your church.
4) Pray with them, that God would give wisdom, guidance and provide for all needs.
c. Absent Members
1) Let them know that they are missed.
2) Ask about needs or problems you or the group could pray about.
3) Encourage them to participate in the next meeting.
d. Persons with pronounced needs
1) Let them know that their needs are remembered and pray with them on the phone.
2) Encourage them to come to the next meeting and to remain strong in their Christian work/faith.
8. Accountability to Pastor and church leadership.
Responsibilities of the Host or Hostess
1. Make his or her home available for small group weekly meetings for a period of three to six months.
2. Coordinate light refreshments at the beginning or end of the meeting. The host or hostess is either responsible for providing the refreshments, or for designating another person to bring the refreshments. Refreshments should be light and inexpensive.
3. Meet with others on the Leadership team before the meeting for prayer and discussion.
4. Enthusiastically greet those who arrive, making them feel welcome. Discover as much about each person as possible, in order to:
a. Introduce new people to the discussion leader and other participants.
b. Relay information to the records secretary or assistant leader.
5. Cooperate with the discussion leader and others on the leadership team, to ensure a smooth flow in the meetings and participate.
6. Attend the monthly training session.
Responsibilities of the Assistant Discussion Leader
1. Meet with those on the Leadership team fifteen to twenty minutes before the meeting for prayer and discussion.
2. Spearhead the evangelistic thrust of the group.
a. make a report of outreach activities during the group meeting
b. Designate an unsaved target person or target family to pray for and reach out to each month.
c. Write a missionary on a foreign field each month, praying in the group for him and his family.
d. Canvass the neighborhood annually, in a house-to-house community saturation strategy, inviting others to the group. (This is done best in teams of two or three)
3, Assist the discussion leader by calling on and compiling written records of the following categories of people:
People with pronounced needs
4. Substitute for the discussion leader or direct specified activities.
5. Assist the discussion leader and Secretary in updating information on the small-group participant.
Responsibilities of the Records Secretary/Follow-up Coordinator
1. Meet with those on the leadership team for fifteen to twenty minutes before the meeting for prayer and discussion.
2. Complete a small-group participant information form on those who attend small-group meetings, including this information about each individual:
Name in full.
Home and mailing addresses.
Home and work telephone numbers.
Date of Birth
List of family members, with their names and ages
Record of times called or visited.
Any outstanding needs or difficulties.
3. Assist the discussion leader by completing and turning in written and verbal reports to the small groups coordinator.
4. Make personal calls to visitors, new believers, absent members, and persons with needs, and compile a written records of these calls on the information sheets.
5. Distribute copies of needed materials to all participants.
Responsibilities of the Worship/Prayer Leader
1. Meet with others on the leadership team for fifteen to twenty minutes before the meeting for prayer and discussion.
2. Select two or three choruses or songs and be responsible to coordinate musical accompaniment before the meeting.
3. Mingle with participants and help them enjoy the refreshment and then guide in transition to the time of worship, usually through an announcement.
4. Have new people introduced.
5. Open the worship portion of the meeting, through a time of song, prayer, and a brief testimony. It is advisable to record prayer requests and to choose a designated prayer leader.
6. Direct prayer
Designate others to pray.
Direct the group on how to pray. This might also include recording prayer requests or praise reports of answered prayer. Remember to pray for your group’s target family, your community, and your mission project.
7. Record significant prayer requests, including:
Name of person making request.
Nature of request made.
Telephone number of person making request.
Praise report of answered prayer. By keeping a written record of a request, the prayer leader can know to ask what happened in that area the next time the group meets. Moreover, the giving of the praise reports for answered prayer builds the faith of the group.
8. Introduce the small-group discussion leader, and help make the transition from worship to Bible study.
9. Make sure announcements are made at the beginning or end of the meetings, and that the leader or another person closes the meeting in prayer.
10. Activate a prayer chain within the group, connect with prayer chains in other groups, and coordinate prayer needs at times other than the meetings.
11. Take a wide variety of approaches in prayer, such as circle prayer, directed prayer, conversational prayer, and praying through the newspaper. Be creative.
12. Coordinate with the assistant leader to give prayer its proper priority.
Responsibilities of Children’s Coordinator
1. Attend designated training sessions supervised by the leadership of the church children’s department.
2. Supervise children taken to church or another place for child care, or supervise children taught in either another portion of the same house or a different home during the adult group meeting.
3. Serve as as liaison between the group and child care needs. Secure a sitter or appoint one from within the group or coordinate use of the church nursery facilities. Teach the children’s group, using Bible stories, prayer, crafts, and activities.
4. Work with the assistant leader or records secretary in including information about the children on the small-group participant information form and written report.
5. Make personal calls to children who are visitors, new believers, absent members, and have pronounced needs as well as phoning parents with any pertinent information.
6. Make announcements in the adult group concerning important information on the children’s group or child care.
Responsibilities of the Greeter
1. Arrive early for each small-group meeting, in order to assist the host or hostess in greeting participants.
2. See that all members and visitors wear name tags.
3. Enthusiastically and warmly welcome everyone at the door.
4. Introduce new participants to the group, and help everyone comfortably mingle during refreshments.
5. Find out information on any new individuals, and channel this information to the assistant leader or records secretary.
6. Make certain each new person is introduced to the group in the meeting time. This task is primarily the worship leader’s, but he or she might delegate it to the greeters, or might forget to mention a name that the greeter would recall.
Suggested Meeting Format
6:30-7:00 Team prayer. Those in the small-group leadership team arrive early for prayer and discussion.
7:00-7:20 Greet participants. Greeters welcome arriving participants, introduce them to the discussion leader and others, and hand out name tags. Refreshments can be made available at this time or at conclusion. All are encouraged to talk and fellowship.
7:20-7:30 Meeting begins. The worship leader or discussion leader gathers everyone in the designated room.
7:30-7:45 Prayer and worship. The worship leader directs the group in prayer, readings, and song, and possibly testimonies.
7:45-8:30 Bible study. Interaction is a vital key and should be the goal of every discussion leader.
8:30-9:00 Prayer, ministry, and fellowship. Time for prayer and ministry to the needs of those present, possibly followed by refreshments and fellowship.
9:00-… Conclusion. The group meeting is concluded. Members may linger for a few minutes.
Leadership Team Creed
1. I will read my Bible daily and take time to develop a growing personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. I will continuously look for the spiritually lost and needy, and enthusiastically lead others to our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. I will pray daily for the unsaved in my community, the needs of those in my small group, the leadership at my church, and coming meetings and activities.
4. I will lead those in my group from a position of being served to serving others and work in full cooperation with the leadership team.
5. I will be available to minister to others both during and between meetings.
6. I will be faithful to my home and family and be the person God intended me to be.
7. I will be faithful in my attendance to my church and will be a consistent steward of my tithes and offerings.
8. I will diligently and faithfully fulfill my responsibilities as a member of the leadership team and will keep all confidences shared with me by participants in the group.
9. I will be positive in my attitude and speech, not criticizing, while actively affirming the worth of each individual by my up-building words and actions.
10. I will be honest and open in my relationship with God and with my group, ever keeping in mind the importance of “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
1. Purposes of prayer in the small-group meeting.
To build faith.
To meet needs within the groups.
To enable the group to minister beyond itself to others.
To lead to worship.
To strengthen relationship within the group.
To help model the importance of prayer to the members of the group.
To keep attention directed to the Lord Jesus Christ and off oneself.
2. Plan for prayer. The group may feel the need to pray one or more times at a meeting. Need should determine the amount of time spent. Some times Bible reading or study preceding the prayer time helps to set a more productive climate for prayer.
3. Methods of prayer
Circle prayer; each member has the option of praying aloud.
Conversation prayer; Pray in short sentences, using normal conversational language.
Direct prayer; A person directed by the leader, intercedes about another’s specific prayer request.
Prayer partners; People are paired off to pray together.
Praying through the newspaper; Intercessory prayer for people and events in the news.
4. Focus of prayer.
The unsaved in the community
Family, friends, and coworkers.
Past, Present and Future concerns
Read Matthew 18:19-20 – John 15:7
Prayer Chain Guidelines (Sample)
1. The daytime prayer chains will begin at 8:00 a.m. The evening chain will begin at 6:00 p.m.
2. Be prepared to receive requests by placing a pen and your notebook request sheet by your phone.
3. Pass the request on immediately to the person below your name on the prayer-chain list. If there is no answer, keep calling down the list until someone is reached so that the chain will not be broken. At a later time try to call the person (s) you missed to share the request. Do not allow the chain to break.
4. Do not take time to chat. pass on the requests then pray before doing anything else. Pray about requests to God; do not pray about the answers you would like. Pray fervently. Keep requests confidential. pray for the request as long as you feel it is necessary, depending on the nature of the requests.
5. The last person called should call the first person on the prayer chain list, to let him or her know the chain has been completed.
6. Call prayer answers to your prayer leader.
7. Much time will be saved if you advise the person ahead of you in the prayer chain if you are planning to be out of town for any length of time.
The success of the prayer chain depends on each person doing his/her part.
Nursery Guidelines for small-group meetings
1. A nursery will be provided for children at the church.
2. The care provided is for children who are three weeks old through kindergarten.
3. A special night nursery will be provided for preschoolers if arranged in advance.
4. Child care workers will be in homes to care for children who are in kindergarten or older. The children younger than kindergarten need to go to the regular church nursery because the rooms are better equipped to meet their individual needs.
Job Description of the Small-Group Coordinator
Purpose and Scope
The coordinator , under the general supervision of the pastor, is responsible for the administration of the entire small-group program. This responsibility includes the organization and supervision of all aspects of the program, in cooperation with all other divisions of the church.
The coordinator of small groups is expected to be continuous control of the small-group systems, to communicate effectively with the church congregation (both members and staff) and to be a leader in the field of small groups while serving as the official small group representative from the church.
Develop policies and procedures to meet immediate and long-range goals of the small group ministry.
Plan, organize, implement, manage and evaluate the small group program.
Continually analyze and interpret relevant influencing factors, such as the community demographics, levels of development of church membership, and changing needs.
Encourage participation of small-group leadership in all areas of the church.
Enlist and train a curriculum committee, which will review all curricula written or purchased, for use by the small groups.
Enlist and direct by area directors where responsible for a number of groups.
Prepare and adhere to a budget.
Direct the investigation of new materials for possible use by groups.
Direct the development and pilot testing of new types of groups.
Identify and enlist small group leadership, both hosts and leaders.
Direct initial and ongoing training of Group leadership.
Develop a leadership manual to be used in coordination of the small-groups system.
Maintain member and visitor attendance records for all groups.
Maintain regular contact with leadership to encourage, motivate, and model visitation habits.
Sample Sunday Bulletin Copy
An exciting course of leadership training will prepare you to minister to others.
Focus on leadership and Christian training
Learning characteristics of effective leaders (e.g. conversational prayer).
Specific suggestions for dealing with problems
practice-applying what you are being taught.
Who is Eligible?
Anyone who would like to begin/continue their preparation for leadership.
Those waiting to start/leading groups and need training.
Become a better communicator/leader at home, at work, and in your group.
Identify your leadership style and how best to involve others in participation.
Be prepared to reach unsaved friends, family, and coworkers.
Call [name, number] to make your reservation, or sign below and drop in the collection plate.
Home Phone__________________ Work Phone: ____________
Potential Leadership Questionnaire
Date of birth/Place:
How long have you lived in this area?
Do you work outside your home (Yes/No)?
Which are you? (Single, Married, Divorced, Separated, Widowed):
Names and Ages of your children:
Do you and your spouse attend church together? (Yes/No):
Do you and your family have devotions together? (Yes/No):
When did you become a Christian?
Give a brief testimony of how and when you came to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
When/Where, were you baptized?
If someone in your small group asked you how to become a Christian, how would you respond?
Do you have a daily quiet time? If so, what does this involve?
Describe what role your own personal Bible study plays in your life.
What do you feel are your your greatest strengths in your Christian walk?
What do you feel are your greatest weaknesses in your Christian walk?
How long have you been attending this church?
When did you become a member?
Why did you decide to become a member?
What ministries have you been involved in since becoming a member?
Have you previously been involved with groups (Yes/No):
What capacity did you serve?
Please give a brief history of previous involvements with Leadership?
Why do you want to be involved in a ministry?
If married does your spouse support you in this leadership position?
What do you feel is your greatest strengths in leadership?
BIO:Gaylord Ford Porter
Ford Porter was born in Ottawa County, Michigan, on February
5, 1893. The influence of the family altar and the godly
lives of his parents contributed to Ford’s decision to re-
ceive Christ to be his Saviour at the age of 11. A year
later, he spoke to a group of junior boys and girls, at which
time his pastor remarked that Ford could then quote more ver-
ses of Scripture than any other person in town.
As a young man, Ford served as a Sunday School
teacher, and later assisted Dr. Ernest Reveal at the Evans-
ville, Indiana, rescue mission. On July 6, 1919, he answered
God’s call to preach, after which he studied at the Moody Bi-
ble Institute in Chicago under Dr. Kenneth Weist and Dr.
James M. Gray. In the years that followed, Ford Porter served
several churches in Indiana, and was used of the Lord in var-
In 1947 he launched the Berean Gospel Ministry, now
Lifegate, Incorporated, which has become worldwide through
the printing and distribution of Gospel tracts. The Berean
ministry included Bible conferences, evangelistic campaigns,
radio broadcasts, children’s Bible crusades, Camp Berean, Va-
cation Bible Institute, Gospel films, and the Indiana Baptist
The most far-reaching ministry of Ford Porter was the
Gospel tract, God’s Simple Plan of Salvation, which he wrote
in 1933. This tract has been printed in more than 90 lan-
guages and Braille. The worldwide distribution of over
310,000,000 copies has resulted in the salvation of thousands
Ford Porter went to be with the Lord on November 20,
1976, at the age of 83 years.