Small group Bible studies are not just a great idea. They are a biblical idea. From the moment the New Testament church was founded, core to its identity was small bands of Christians meeting together and studying God’s word (Acts 2:42-47, Acts 17:11, Colossians 3:16, Colossians 4:15).
Of course small group Bible studies are not as important as the actual church and what happens Sunday morning. And there are certainly other effective formats that fulfill the church’s obligation to teach its members outside of Sunday morning (classes, support groups, one-on-one discipleship, etc.). But one of the clearest signs of a healthy church is a healthy small group Bible study ministry.
I believe if you want a healthy small group ministry, it all starts with having great small group leaders. So how can you be a great small group leader? Or if you’re in church leadership and are looking for great small group leaders, what are some signs to consider?
What follows is not an exhaustive list or one ranked by importance. It is simply a list of 24 keys to being a great small group leader.
Question: “I attend a church which is a part of the Assemblies of God. I am a Christian. My pastor and his family have taken a trip to Hawaii, Disneyland, Arizona, and to other places. The church and the AOG pay for these. We have people in our church who are struggling financially and there are families in our community who need help. Is it right for the pastor to take these trips? I am confused. Peace and Love and God`s Blessings to you.”
And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.-Acts 11:26
The word “Christian” is nowhere used in the Bible as anything other than a noun. However, in American culture we constantly use “Christian” as an adjective or adverb to describe things such as music, movies, books, character, charitable acts, and so many other things. The great danger in this is the temptation to replace our genuine faith in Christ with traditions steeped in culture rather than God’s everlasting truth.
There are already so many great books on Christian singleness. Just do a Google search on “books on Christian singleness,” “Christian books about being single,” “best books for Christian singles,” “Christian books on finding a spouse,” “finding a godly husband,” “how to be a Christian in college.”
The results will be endless.
I’m sure you will find a lot of helpful advice in these Christian books about singleness. However, most of these Christian books about being single focus on one aspect of singleness: your relationship with God, godly dating, finding contentment as a Christian single, how to find a Christian spouse, and other such topics.
I believe the Ultimate Guide to Christian Singleness is so special because it covers nearly every common question asked about singleness. I get right to the point in these thirty chapters. I don’t waste time with long stories. And I give you extremely practical steps to take in each of the four stages most Christian singles go through. It’s great for small group Bible studies or for individuals too.
If you want answers, this book on Christian singleness was written for you.
Below is the full description. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at MarkBallenger@ApplyGodsWord.com.
Hoping you find the love, security, and guidance you need during your season of Christian singleness.
For God’s glory and our good,
And Jesus said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I have come.” Mark 1:38
In response to growing up in a dead church environment where the deeds often didn’t match the words, there is a movement in the American Church towards emphasizing social justice. If you ask most people about why they don’t like Christianity, hypocrisy is the number one answer. Nobody wants to be fake. It makes sense, then, of why Christians are seeking to live out their faith by helping the poor and less fortunate (besides the biblical command to do so).
This is right. Jesus clearly healed the sick, provided food for the hungry, and had a special affection for orphans and widows due to their helplessness. James 1:22, 27 states, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. . . . Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Jesus Actually Healed Less So He Could Preach More
With all of that said, helping people with their physical needs is not the main point of Christianity.
Hypocrisy: the behavior of people who do things that they tell other people not to do: behavior that does not agree with what someone claims to believe or feel.
It’s not news to state that those who despise the Christian church the most typically do so because of the hypocrisy they feel is present within her. Christians themselves, especially those of us from the millennial generation, despise how hypocritical the church can feel at times.
We all know hypocrisy is a problem, but what’s the solution? What’s the cure for hypocrisy?
Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you.-2 Chronicles 16:7
Does the Bible say that the ends justify the means? In other words, does God care about what we accomplish for him, how we accomplish it, or both? The Bible is very clear that in God’s eyes, the ends never justify sinful means.
Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4:16
(This article was also published on ChurchLeaders.com)
Recent statistics show that every year in the US, 4000 churches close their doors while only 1000 new churches are planted. Among existing churches, half did not add any new members to their ranks in the last two years. From 1990 to 2000, the combined membership of all Protestant denominations dropped by almost 5 million members, while the US population rose by 24 million.1
These are alarming statistics!
Each church that shuts down represents real people who have lost their church family. So if you are someone looking for a new church, someone wondering if their church is built to last, or someone who would love to help their church improve, here are 24 signs of a super healthy church.
When answering questions like “What does the bible say about those who have never heard the gospel?” or “How could God send people to hell if they’ve never heard the name of Jesus?” or even “How can a loving God send people to hell at all?” it’s impossible not to take a logical, textual approach.
The problem with that is these questions are wrapped up with all kinds of emotions, and rightfully so. Something is wrong if you are a Christian and you flippantly talk about the reality of hell. Hell is a horrible truth. But it is a part of the truth.
With that said, what follows is a biblically blunt answer to the question, “What happens to those who have never heard the gospel or the name of Jesus?”
Luke 7:30, John 12:19, Philippians 1:6
Sequels are usually not nearly as good as the original film or book in a series. Most sequels fail to live up to the greatness of the original story because they are trying to recreate the magic that happened the first time rather than building on the story. They try to go through the same plot progression as the first story, the characters end getting into the same trouble, and the whole point of the movie is simply to redo the first one under a different title.
Do you know that we can do that in our lives too? It’s good to look back at our past with fond memories. But there are countless dangers that come with idolizing our past.