1 Corinthians 16:19
The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.
1. Make the Family Group a Smaller Version of the Church
Small groups are the backbone of a large church. This is where people get individual attention, get their needs met. The center of life for the early disciples was in people's homes. The synagogue was a place of preaching and persuasion. Worship took place at home. This presents a unique challenge, but also creates a unique opportunity. There's no place you can offer as much love, warmth and hospitality as we can at home.
As disciples we should get along with every person in our family group, where they are, where they aren't. We also need to be instrumental for the growth of our group.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9
5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task.
6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
We have the responsibility to plant and water. God makes things grow.
The family group can mirror what the larger churches have done, like sending mission teams. It hurts the sending church to send out talented leaders, but it produces even more fruit. Once the sending church has recovered, though, it can produce more fruit again.
2. Make the Family Group a Larger Version of your Physical Family
Resolving conflict within the family group is just like dealing with our physical family. People know that we'll sit down, open up the Bible and see what we can do to help. The family model really works well in the small group. Bridal showers, groom-honorings . . . Any get-together is bonding. We need to learn to love and pull people in who have special challenges.
1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
16 Be joyful always;
17 pray continually;
18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
Another thing we can do in building family is to get a lot of input from one another. We need to be patient with everyone. The scripture says always try to be kind to each other. Is our family group a place of prayer, a place of thanksgiving, a place of joy?
1 Thessalonians 2:6-9
6 We were not looking for praise from men, not from you or anyone else. As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you,
7 but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.
8 We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
9 Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
It's a challenge to make sure we are close to everyone in our family group. It takes spending time. It takes time for people to trust us enough to share the deeper things with us. Often people think things don't effect them, but they really do. Need to talk about those things. This adds to the tight, family nature of the group when people feel they can trust us.
Leading a family group is something we can do for the rest of our life. It will never get boring, never get old, never be too much for us. It's exciting.
2 Corinthians 3:18
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.