It doesn’t matter how well you set up your small group…
It doesn’t matter how well you prepare for the Bible study conversations…
It doesn’t matter how organized the small group gatherings and activities are…
…If you aren’t doing it out of love.
What Is Love?
True love is more than a feeling. It doesn’t come and go as circumstances change. True love doesn’t depend on love being returned.
We don’t have to wonder what love is. God shared His definition of love with us.
Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
- Not envious
- Not rude
- Forgetful of past wrongs
Think about one person in your small group. Evaluate your heart and actions towards that person using God’s definition of love as a standard. Now do this for the rest of your small group members.
What did this short exercise reveal to you?
Why Is Love Important?
If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Without love, what we say is just noise. The knowledge and capabilities we have are meaningless. Our actions, no matter how they look on the outside, don’t amount to anything as far as we are concerned.
Love is important.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
If we have and show true love for each other in our small group, EVERYONE will know we are followers of Jesus. It is a tremendous witnessing tool.
Love is important.
Best Example Of Love
God didn’t just give us a definition of love to read and follow. He also gave us His own perfect example to follow.
By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does God’s love remain in him? My little children, let’s not love in word only, or with the tongue only, but in deed and truth.” 1 John 3:16-18
Wow! It isn’t enough for us to tell our group members that we love them. We need to be compassionate and help them in their times of need.
How far are we expected to go for our group members? God says we ought to be willing to give our life, just as Jesus did for each of us. That is true love.
It is important to learn and implement the best methods into our small group leadership. However, it always needs to be done out of a true love for our group members.
It won’t always be easy, but it will be transformational.
Question: What are some ways small groups leaders can show true love? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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Just sending a quick email or text message to say we’re missed if we don’t come for a couple of weeks is great way for leaders to show they care… I was sick & missed 3 weeks (at another church:) but no one ever bothered to check…
DianaDee – I am sorry about your earlier experience. One of the advantages of small groups is that members can look out for and care for each other. If a member misses a meeting without letting others know of a reason, members should be reaching out to ensure all is well. If not, then care can be provided by the group as needed. Loving one another should be a key behavior of every group. The responsibility doesn’t have to fall solely on the small group leader’s shoulders, There can be others in the group who can lead or share the care responsibiliites of the group.