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John Piper on Small Groups

February 12, 2010

Friday-Saturday are slow blog days, but I wanted to share this.  I know John Piper is a spiritual hero to many people at The Bridge… he’s been one of mine as a young pastor.  Here’s John Piper on the purpose of small groups.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott Shoopman permalink
    February 13, 2010 11:27 am

    Great post – I love to hear John Piper’s heart! I think he has experienced the true meaning of “doing life together, really” through a small group. I just don’t think he could speak with such passion if he was on the sidelines.

  2. Dan Kassis permalink
    February 16, 2010 1:11 pm

    I have to agree completely. Small groups will fail if, at the moment (love the tie-in to John 4 & the Samaritan woman!) we pierce the heart of another believer in loving conviction, there is no desire for repentance or change. Small groups must go deep. They must be allowed to spur one another on to love and good works. Foremost, they must be reverent toward and passionate about God’s Word. That starts at the top with the pastor and trickles down into small-group leadership. So we know The Bridge has the first part in place. Josh, you love and revere the Word. That was obvious Sunday as you introduced 1 Corinthians. But what about the next part?

    I’m convinced that everything a small group should be about must and will flow out of its attitude toward teaching. Fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism thrive when biblical teaching is in place in a church body. So, if we’re going to call small groups “the real church” (as I’ve heard them called in several congregations) does that mean small-group leaders are “the real pastors?” This question is not to detract from the lead pastor’s authority, but is in support of it. If a small-group leader is asked to be a shepherd, with what is he feeding his flock?

    Small-group leaders must be trained and equipped in the skills of rightly handling God’s Word. I think that’s the main problem with such groups in the church today. We can’t hand a group of believers over to a person who does not know basic biblical teaching skills, or worse, who does not have the desire to learn them. The church that implements small groups must be ready to support leaders with training, encouragement, and accountability.

    I believe that Christ-following men can and should learn to be adequate teachers, and that those gifted to teach are the ones who should both lead and train. Those men must find support from other believers whose gifts support and fill out the teachers’ weaknesses. I’ve been in too many small groups in the past 21 years where these skills were lacking and things never went well.

    Josh, I’m thankful and excited to see your passion for biblical teaching and for Jesus, Himself. He’s going to do great things through small groups at The Bridge.

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