For several years now, Chapel Hill folks have been used to calling our Sunday evening discipleship small groups by the designation “LIFE” groups. Now, I want to designate ALL our small groups under the category of “LIFE” groups; whether they are Sunday morning Bible study small groups or they are Sunday evening discipleship groups or they are small groups that meet off-campus at other times during the week. All small groups exist to provide the nurture and environment (“community”) where believers help and challenge each other to grow up unto spiritual maturity. This is the witness of the New Testament scriptures as well. See Acts 2:42-47, Acts 5:42, and Acts 20:20.
At issue is not what type of small group the gathering is; nor is the issue when and where your small group meets. Rather, the issue is whether your gathering (small group) is spurring each other on to growth and maturity in Christ “…who is the Head.” It does not matter whether the group is focused on Bible study, a deeper doctrinal study, Biblical recovery and support, or other. As long as the small group is Christ-centered and rooted in God’s Word, the group has the opportunity and responsibility to make disciples who are making disciples who are obeying the Great Commission of our Lord found in Matthew 28:20, “…teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” Thus, ALL biblical small groups are “LIFE” groups in that they are God’s plan for raising up spiritually mature believers who are engaged servants of the living God — both within their local faith community and within their greater geographical community at large.
The realization of the truth of the statements above is why we are adopting a specific, intentional, and focused plan (strategy) to encourage the making of disciples of Jesus who, in turn, make more disciples of Jesus. For lack of a better term, I will use the word Rubric. A rubric is an established procedure or plan for the accomplishment of a goal. The graphic above is a visual demonstration of Chapel Hill’s rubric for making disciples and encouraging believers to progress in their spiritual development until the point of spiritual maturity that is demonstrated by behavior, speech, and attitude. After all, what one really believes and prioritizes is demonstrated (made manifest) by one’s actions, attitudes, and words. In the following weeks, I will begin explaining Chapel Hill’s plan for helping you to become a mature follower of Jesus Christ who will, in turn, help another to become a mature follower of Jesus Christ.
This is an exciting and great time to be a believer in Northport, Alabama, and it is a great time to be a believer at Chapel Hill Baptist Church. Let me admonish all of us when I say, “may we all grow up unto spiritual maturity and attain to our goal and example Jesus Christ! If we do, God will use you and me to change the world — literally.