This session by Paul Sabino is part of First Family’s Leader Training Event held on August 24, 2013. There are two sessions. This is Session 2.

Session 2 – How We Do Small Groups 

Core standards are practical guidelines used to achieve a biblical purpose. While these core standards are not timeless in scope, they are clear, objective standards each small group leader will follow to foster a culture of expected excellence in this vital ministry.

1.    Small groups will be Bible centered, tied into the Sunday sermon series, and will stress the application of the message (Acts 2:42).

 Acts 2:42 HCSB — “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to the prayers.”

 James 1:22–25 HCSB — “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.”

2.    Small groups will meet weekly through the fall and spring, starting in the beginning of September and continuing through May (Heb. 10:24-25).

3.    Small groups will include either a meal or refreshments in addition to Bible discussion and prayer (Acts 2:42-47).

4.    Small groups will be led by men and approved by elders (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 2:12).

5.    Small groups will have both a leader and an apprentice in anticipation of multiplying both future leaders and future small groups (2 Tim. 2:2).

2 Timothy 2:1–2 HCSB — “You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

6.    Small groups will have a healthy cadence.

7.    Small groups will celebrate communion at least twice in the fall and twice in the spring (Acts 2:42; Lk. 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-34).

Luke 22:14–20 HCSB — “When the hour came, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “I have fervently desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took a cup, and after giving thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant established by My blood; it is shed for you.”

8.    Small Group leaders must be members, demonstrating a sincere personal pursuit of Christ as well as celebration, small, and contribution in their own lives and family. (1 Cor. 11:1, Phil. 4:8-9)

1 Corinthians 11:1 — “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.”

Philippians 4:8–9 — “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”

9.    Small Group Leaders will attend all training events, watch a weekly training video, and will be regularly evaluated by both elders and group participants (Pr. 27:17, Eph. 4:11-13).

Proverbs 27:17 — As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

10. Small groups will be open to new people yet committed to one another in love. (Acts 2:46-47)

11. Small group will major on making disciples that make disciples (Mt. 28:19-20, 2 Tim. 2:2)

12. Small group leaders will follow up with new people within 24 hours of receiving new names. 

Group Discussion

  1. Which of these core values do you think your current group does well?
  2. Which of these was totally new for you this morning?
  3. What is one change you would like to see happen in your group that you can communicate to your elder coach for both prayer and accountability?