This is what we would like to achieve:
a. The focus of the Home Group relationships will not be the Manchester United Big Brother or the weather; it will be the awesome wonder of knowing Jesus Christ; what He is doing in our hearts by the Holy Spirit: how we are fighting against sin; what He has been saying to us; spurring each other on to seek Him more.
b. The Home Group will not be content to meet on a weekly basis; relationships will occur throughout the week. There will be times on the phone together; meetings for equipping; meetings with each other’s unbelieving friends; small groups gathering for prayer.
c. The Home Group members will be devoted to each other in love. Along with devotion to their family they are more devoted to each other than to anything else. Their life purpose is to see each other in heaven with as many people as possible. So they talk honestly and openly about their temptations, their sins, their struggles – and they lovingly urge each other not to sin, and to press on to know the Lord.
d. Each time the Home Group meets they are hungry to meet God. Through intense and lengthy worship, waiting on the Lord, and fervent prayer the group will not be content until thy know that God is in their midst by the Holy Spirit.
e. The main goal of the Home Group meeting is how they each are doing with Lord: what has been building their faith; that God has been doing in their hearts; what God has been saying to them; what has been weakening their faith; what temptations they are fighting; what we have been learning from the Scriptures. If someone is obviously struggling or not doing well with the Lord the Home Group cannot ignore it. Eternity is at stake. So with discernment and sensitivity they will seek to help that brother or sister.
f. The Home Group will regularly experience supernatural manifestations of the Spirit. We should expect spiritual gifts and miracles at our gatherings; and also when we are together in our homes or out in the city.
g. The Home Group will spend much time praying together for each other, for unbelieving friends, for the glory of God to break in upon Hull Some gatherings will be set apart specifically for the purpose of intercessory prayer. They will set aside some days to fast and pray for specific issues.
h. Each member of the Home Group will always be involved in some intentional focused equipping relationship; either being trained in some area of Christian life and ministry; or training someone else.
i. Each member of the Home Group will always have at least one unbelieving friend whom they are seeking to love and care for and share the lord with. Much of our time will be spent talking and strategizing together about these friends – encouraging each other to be more loving and more bold – and praying for each other’s friends. What would a Home Group look like who really believed that their friends are a heart-beat away from eternal hell?
j. Each Home Group will regularly see unbelievers who repent and believe in Christ through their ministry. These new believers will receive water-baptism, and immediately be linked up with a helper who will lead them through.
k. Because each Home Group will be adding people through conversions, each Home Group will always be moving towards birthing a new group.
l. Because each Home Group will always have people at all different stages of spiritual interest and maturity, each Home Group will always have problems. This side of heaven there is no such thing as a Home Group, which is functioning without problems.
What happens in a group?
a. Worship – the pursuit of intimacy. It has three by-products:
i. Breaks guilt
ii. Fills them up
iii. Sends them out.
i. Sharing of a Bible study by way of a challenge – not preaching but interactive
i. Pray for each other
ii. Teach each other to pray
iii. Experiment with the Gifts.
i. Model vulnerability
ii. Encourage others to share
iii. Keep confidences
e. Love each other
i. Care for one another
ii. Be interest in one another
iii. Listen to one another
i. Food is good
ii. Fellowship is important
Home Groups are:
a. A place to belong
b. A place to be equipped for service and life.
c. A place to feel safe
d. A place to be encouraged and challenged to fruitfulness.
e. A Place to study the bible together but not a bible study group.
f. A place to worship God and encounter his presence.
What about Home Group Leaders?
a. They are servants who love people and want to seem them grow.
b. They love Jesus.
c. They don’t have all the answers.
d. They have no desire to control peoples lives
e. They don’t talk people to death
f. The don’t solve everybody’s problems
g. They are not theologians or bible scholars
h. Not on an ego trip
i. They should be prepared to be misunderstood, criticised, and hurt.
The keys to growing a group and getting people to come?
a. Give them a sense they belong.
b. Make them feel wanted loved and accepted.
c. Pray for the group.
d. Get them to tell their story.
e. Lead stands for
i. Listen to them - empathically
ii. Encourage them – Not flattery
iii. Affirm them – Tell them what they do well
iv. Deploy them - Get them a job.
Leadership personnel requirements.
a. The following is really the destination we seek for ourselves as a leader. We should not view these as a legalistic requirement but the challenge we face and seek to achieve.
i. Sincere love for and pursuit of Jesus Christ demonstrated in regular personal worship, meditation on the Word and prayer.
ii. Demonstrated fullness of the Holy Spirit, of faith and of wisdom
iii. A perception of leadership not as grasping for position, or title, or power, or authority, or respect, or privilege, but as a commitment to humble service and self sacrifice.
iv. Personal exposure, loyalty and commitment to their pastors and to those they are pastoring.
v. Trustworthiness, with the ability to resist being bribed or bought.
vi. Commitment to the ‘Barnabas style’ of open, loving communication, to solving relational problems, to processing anger constructively, to encouraging and building up and maintaining confidences strictly.
vii. Willingness to be a ‘team player’ and to help one’s pastoral associates succeed.
viii. A strong loving marriage in which both husband and wife sense the call to minister.
ix. Capable and respected, mature in the faith, and with proven ministry ability.
x. Willingness to be judged by strict standard sand to accept reproof.
xi. Love for people and for Jesus, without desire to benefit personally at the expense of the sheep.
xii. Commitment to equipping others for ministry through active recruiting, training, deploying, monitoring and nurturing.
xiii. Commitment to doing excellent work, taking responsibility seriously, being pro-active, planning and executing well.
xiv. A committed, cheerful giver who tithes regularly to the fellowship.