“The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19)
More chairs in the circle and feet through the door – perhaps biblical expansion means a little bit... more?
God commissions us to go into the world and spread His good news of salvation. And in eagerness to get going, sometimes we rush in, don’t we? “Time to build the Kingdom! Grow this small group for impact!” But in our will to build, do we forget the King?
God doesn’t commission us to go without Him - His will, His power, and submission to His plan. He’s no mere earthly king calling orders; He’s intimately involved, present everywhere, and sovereignly in control. So when you dream of small group growth, before you go to task, first ask… Who do I trust? Then, what am I to do?
...“Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.” (Job 38:18)
He drew lines where the earth meets the sea. He set signs in the sky to mark the passing of time. God Himself is the expanse; He’s written the story of His Kingdom’s expansion across eternity. Think for a minute about God’s work from Creation, to Christ, to His gathering of your small group. Wrap your mind around every detail - from His calling of matter into existence to His call upon your life. We can’t. Can you trust that the King crafts the future growth of your Bible study and a path of purpose for each Group Member?
...“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1 Cor 3:6-7)
Crowds followed Jesus throughout His earthly ministry, yet He searched out the ones. In John 4, He sat by a well in Samaria to reveal Himself as Savior to one broken woman. The mystified disciples thought, why bother with her? But as she ran to share the news, the whole town came forth to see Jesus! God is the Master of multiplication; He knows exactly when and where to set up His ministry and gives it growth. Can you trust Him with the greatness or smallness of your small group - and His ability to multiply the faith of one into many?
....“And he said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?’" (Mark 4:21)
God’s light is His salvation in Jesus and His truth of Scripture. Is your Bible study a place where His light charges up your heart? If your small group is founded on His Word, God calls you to shine truth. As a Group Guide, do you freely express excitement? Do your Group Members allow each other to be moved by what God’s revealing? If your heart says, “Amen that’s amazing”, let it out! The more your community shines openly, the more you’ll reflect His light wherever God sends you.
...“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…” (Heb 10:24)
As a Group Guide, do you consider each Group Member’s daily circumstance? When talking about Scripture, it’s easy to lean into factual questions, but can you guide discussion in light of God’s desire to see them grow? This means encouraging Group Members to share how God’s applying the passage to their day, praying for one another’s faith to be strengthened, and using the words of Scripture you study to affirm His faithfulness to one another. Can your small group spur one another on to go into the world with renewed confidence in the King?
...“And he said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground...the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.’ ” (Mark 4:26-27)
Do you see every member of your small group as a sower? Think about what God has prepared for each of you: work to do, places to go, people to share His truth with, and a faith He shapes. Together, can you store up seed to scatter? (understanding of Scripture, stories of God’s growth, joy of fellowship). Together, can you drop seed where the King points to soil? (God’s kindness to the tired grocer, His hope to the sad train rider, His peace at the family table).
...“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4:4)
Can you guide your small group into celebration of God’s expansion by taking stock of His work? When a new member joins, someone shares the gospel at work, someone’s brother prays for the first time, someone leaves to start their own group, or someone moves to another country - your group has an opportunity to step back, marvel, and thank God! Can you joyfully submit your Bible study to the growth God has planned? Can you celebrate, even to the finish, knowing God used every thread for His glory?
So, when you want to see your small group grow, trust that…
God, the King of the expanse, the Master of multiplication, is always at work. His Kingdom is revealed in His power, wisdom, and plans pouring out from His throne through His Son, His Spirit of Truth, and His Word to redeem and transform the hearts of humankind.
The Group Guide who facilitates expansion rejoices in God who draws near and guides us to...
… shine in truth
… spur on in love
… sow seed at hand
… and celebrate His work.
Want to make your WordGo Gathering a great place for identifying and growing God-given abilities in each other? Or perhaps you’d love someone to come alongside and facilitate with you? In this blog series, we’ll explore strategies for developing and discipling one another. Join us!