Our High School Life Groups recently went through the “What on Earth Am I Here For?” a small group series by Rick Warren. One of our great small group leaders, Nathan Wells (who happens to also blog at http://www.nothingworthreading.com/) told us about something really cool they did during week 3′s topic of fellowship:
When we got to week three, the topic was on Fellowship and this unknowingly opened a Pandora’s box for our guys to get real. In this series Pastor Rick divides the concept of fellowship into four main categories:
- SHARING Together (Your Experiences, Your Support)
- BELONGING Together
- SERVING Together
- SUFFERING Together
We asked the guys to rate themselves on a scale of 1-5 of how they thought they act in general and how they act in Life Group in these four categories. Some rated themselves more graciously than others. After which, we (the leaders) made a general statement to the whole group that we didn’t think they were as high rated as some of them thought they were. (This was an intentional sting to get them to critically analyze this idea; we have a 3-year relationship).
The product of this was a strong conversation about what our problems are in our Life Group. We put each category up on the wall and made a list of things of why they felt it was hard to fulfill these categories. On a following week, we then drafted plans on how we could resolve these problems. We went through each item critically and devised solutions on how to counteract them,
By the end of the three weeks and after many conversations, we typed up all the things that were shared. We needed to have a way of organizing the commitments they developed to help change the problems, so we decided to borrow the format of the US Constitution for organization purposes. This can be misleading, because it is not a list of rules or laws, but rather a list of commitments. We also noted that our Life Group operated within the same checks and balances as the U.S. government.
- God – Judicial (Ultimate Authority)
- Adult Leaders – Executive (Final Authority)
- Students – Legislative (First Authority)
All in all, the students produced a well thought out document that shared their heart and passion to be committed to one another and encourage one another to grow in their relationship with Christ together. We had communion together before signing it and prayed together as a way to honor God as the leader of our Life Group and then everyone signed copies so each student could have a signed copy. Because they wrote it, they have faithfully upheld it and are engaging more in fellowship.