[Disclaimer: In our excitement to tell you about this, we are currently soliciting your prayers in anticipation of the release of this program in 60-90 days. We are letting you know about it now so that you can be lifting up these final days of development. We look forward to hearing from you about your needs and desires in this awesome new growth area of the KI ministry and are working hard to get this up and running to serve you as soon as possible!]
I am excited. I mean, really excited! I have been hearing that everyone needs to be in a small group. Chuck always says, “If you can’t find one, start one. It’s easier than you think and we’ll help you.”
This has been personally intriguing the past three years since rededicating my life to Christ. I have been in small groups, and looking back, these relationships have had a profound impact on my Christian walk. Discovering Learn the Bible in 24 Hours (LTB) and Koinonia Institute (KI), I became even more intrigued. I wanted to share LTB with others. With Chuck’s persistent encouragement I accidentally prayed that God would make something happen. Well, we serve an awesome God, indeed.
At KI I took several classes and became a TA. My initial focus was to develop a KI small group at my church studying LTB. However God worked in my heart, giving me a burning desire to help people start their own small groups. It really is easier than you think (Mt 11:29-30). As a result, I’ve been asked to coordinate KI small groups. This is bigger than I could have imagined, but God is ready to bless us abundantly.
So what do small groups look like at KI? Let me say what they are not. They are not a program. They are not required. They are not a formula. They must be Spirit driven, Spirit led, and Spirit filled. This is not your idea for you; it is a burden that God places on your heart. He is faithful to give the strength and opportunity to fulfill His calling, as you continue faithfully in Him.
Discussions and media headlines say there is no upcoming generation of Christian leaders. Anyone saying that doesn’t know what they are talking about. There are no Christian leaders in the world today. There are Christians who lead, but Christ is their head. God raises up whom He needs. If no one is raised up, no one is raised up. This is not our responsibility. Our call is to be faithful to Him. The coming church will be in homes. There will not be national organizations. The next generation of leaders may not be public, so God is preparing home leaders to be the underground leadership.
So where do you start? Where are you? At home on your couch? This is where you start. Home is the setting for your first small group. To start in our homes, we need to start with our homes. Men have no business leading a ministry if their families are not Scripturally sound (1 Tim 3:4,5). This is where God started with me.
Once I wanted to lead a Bible study, God put a yearning on my heart to start teaching my kids. I am no Bible scholar, but I do love the Word. I had some notes on Galatians for another group that never manifested itself, so I started going through them with my kids. It took us a while, and it didn’t happen every night, but we finished Galatians. Now we’re in Joshua. This is a whole lot easier. It’s a history book. In every chapter there’s action, intrigue, suspense, wars, fighting, intervention of God, spies, and mass destruction. It’s mesmerizing, and it’s the Word of God which does not go out void (Isa 55:11)!
Once I got in line with family devotions (read that: primary small group), God set me up for starting the KI small group at my church. Currently 20 people are involved irregularly. Ten per night come, but the individuals vary; eight people are signed up online, and some only participate online. I had no idea what to expect the first night. I talked to over 50 people, but only three that I “recruited” came. The Spirit moved the rest.
I am excited to say that I also have a small group at work. I teach middle school science. The challenge is being a serious Christian in a devoutly humanistic workplace. Fortunately, God placed Christians in the building before me. When I transferred we started a weekly lunch study group. We move slowly-after six months of school, we are just finishing Hour 2 of 24! But we have fantastic discussions, pray, and grow in Christ. I praise God for the group and the Christians I have met. It’s awesome to take that risk and see fellowship flourish. So here’s your challenge: Are you in a small group? If not, join one. If you can’t find one, start one! I am here to help.
Your first small group is your home. Fathers, lead your children. Homeschoolers, here’s a curriculum. Grandparents, babysit the grand kids every Friday and show a session. You don’t have to be a Bible scholar and explain Greek roots to eight year olds. Read a chapter, talk about it, and be faithful to who God is and the integrity of His Word. Get a DVD from K-House, show it in a night, or bit by bit. Kids are curious and understand more than we think. They’ll surprise you.
Reach out to your church. Tell your pastor you want to start a class. Put it in the bulletin and see what happens. It’s not your ministry, it’s God’s. He’ll bring the people who need to hear what you are sharing. If that doesn’t work, invite the neighbors. Buy the pizza and baby-sitting the first night; if they come back, talk about sharing the expense. They’ll thank you for it!
Finally, look to your workplace. Is there a way that you could advertise a small group among your colleagues? This may be your most diverse group, but also your richest discussions.
KI is developing a Small Group Forum as a separate classroom with resources for you to develop a family, community, or workplace small group. We will have discussion forums as well as listings of area small groups that you can join. The forum will be a clearinghouse of information and support for anyone new to the Institute but interested in small groups. It will also host various independent study small groups initiated by KI members who want to dig deeper into the Word. In short, this will be the place you go for anything related to your desire to study the Word more fully with like-minded believers.
Are you willing to step out and be used? If not, are you willing to be made willing? My name is Trevor Macduff. I am here to help you start the underground church movement of the future. We can show you how (firstname.lastname@example.org).