2 - Group Life Essentials

Group life is essential to the life of the believer.

In the second part of this course, Bill Donahue discusses three different areas of the Christian walk that are ideally served by life together in community. Whether you call them small groups or Sunday School, refining these three essentials in the context of community will help you see how vital group life is in the life of the believer.

When Christians live together in community, they are able to refine and support one another in three different areas.
  1. Weathering life's inevitable storms
  2. Identifying and working on individual gifts 
  3. Encouraging personal growth

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)

9Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.10For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!11Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?12And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

When has a group of fellow believers helped you weather a storm? How did they show God's love and help you to overcome that trial?
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When have you experienced refinement or discovery of your gifts because of the encouragement of your community? How do you still use that gift today?
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What is the most personal growth you have ever experienced as a result of your fellowship with a group of believers? How does that lesson or spiritual discipline continue to impact you today?
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You have written some of the ways that other Christians have helped you to refine your walk and become more Christlike. Consider the wonderful things that God has done in your life because of your fellowship and think about how these lessons might help others in your current community.

My Life-Changing Small Group Exercise 2
Write down how your action point will affect the Essentials. Give a short answer to explain how implementing your plan from Exercise 1 into small group life might have a positive effect on the storms, gifts and growth of your fellow disciples.