1. We have tended to underplay the spiritual value of relationships and overplay the value of sermons.
We have tended to minimize the value of relationships. As a youth pastor, generally people wanted to know that their kids had heard a sermon whenever they were together. This legitimized bit the YP and the meeting. The fun and games were merely “bait”.
(Moncton epiphany … kids who didn’t want the sermon could disrupt it enough to make me an ogre and distort what I was trying to do by altering my tone).
- Took away the bait.
- Took away the audience.
- Decided to reach them through play
I discovered that effective ministry looks different to different people.
2. Discipleship is extended relationship, not curricula.
Genuine faith in Christ is more caught then taught. More people come to Christ through a relationship than a sermon. The sermon may be the final piece that puts things in place but only because there is some relationship that has created the readiness.
3. Commonality ... A core ingredient of discipleship
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42–47, NIV84)
The greater the degree of commonality, the greater the connection.
Koinos = common, ordinary, every day
Koinonia – sharing what is common, ordinary, every day
Four Types of Connecting Points
I see four major categories of fellowship groups that people could be involved in based on their gifts, abilities and interests.
- The Focus Group ... people who come together with a common focus
- The Interest Group ... people who come together with a common
- The Project Group ... people who come together with a common
- The Need Group ... people who come together with a common need.