Walking with the Risen Christ: A Primer for Healthy Small Groups (Tan Soo-Inn, 2017)
1. The risen Christ is the focus of our group meetings
- The opening prayer should be addressed to God and include a request for the Lord to help the group to be aware of His presence
- Worship with singing should be directed to the Lord
- All components of the meeting should be done with openness to what Jesus is saying to us
2. The risen Christ speaks to us through the Word
- A study guide and/or study Bible can help us to understand a passage accurately
- If you use a study guide, do not feel obliged to answer every question in a given chapter. The Bible study leader can select what are the key questions that need to be addressed in a given meeting. The idea is to give adequate time for understanding, listening and application.
- The study should conclude by asking how we need to live in response to what the Lord has said to us through the study. When appropriate, specific plans can be shared with the group, providing accountability and encouragement.
3. The risen Christ encourages us to be honest with Him and with each other
- The group must be told that honest sharing and loving listening is integral to the life of the group. This also means that the group must promise to keep confidential what is shared in the group and to obtain permission if they want to share what they heard in the group to those outside.
- The group leader and the more mature members of the group must lead by example. They must demonstrate openness and honesty in their sharing
- Subdividing the group by gender and/or into smaller groups will help people to open up.
4. The risen Christ wants to carry our burdens and encourages us to carry each other’s burdens
- Group members can begin to learn to share their lives with a simple exercise that can be done at the beginning of each meeting – every member shares one joy and one struggle he or she has experienced since the last time the group met
- To bear each other’s burdens, group members will be encouraged to connect with one another outside official meeting times.
- Some burdens may need resources from outside the group.
5. The risen Christ invites others to Himself through us
- The leaders and members of the group must state upfront and often that loving visitors and making them feel welcome is a key part of the life of the group.
- Assign someone to help introduce a visitor to the members of the group and to the activities of the group. This may be the member who invited the newcomer or someone else designated for the purpose. He should sit with the guest, helping her understand the activities of the group.
- Invite the newcomer to contribute to the life of the group in ways that are comfortable for them.
6. The risen Christ calls us to witness for Him in the world
- The group must be told that the group exists not just for the members but also to witness for Christ to a fallen world
- The group should always be praying and thinking about how they can share the gospel with those who do not know Christ. They could maintain a list of people they hope to see come to follow Christ that the group prays for on a regular basis
- The group should be thinking and praying about how they can witness to the gospel through deeds.
- Ministry must be an outflow off a real relationship with Christ. Therefor the group’s walk with the risen Christ must be kept fresh
7. The risen Christ meets with us over meals
- Where possible, start a meeting with a main meal like lunch or dinner.
- If the host needs help with providing food, members can help to contribute dishes or financially. They should also help lay the table and clean up after the meeting.
- In some sense, all meals are sacramental and in thanking God for the food we remember Christ and His provision of life.