I am sure you have heard about launching campaigns: sermon series and small group studies that are aligned. (Some churches actually include their students and kids ministries in this alignment.) Some of the benefit from these campaigns is the strength the church gains as ‘explorers’ and ‘followers’ journey together over these few weeks. Campaigns also serve as a time to help more people connect to a small group. It is much easier for people to join a Small Group/Bible Study Group/Class when it is just starting than to join one that has been together for a while.
I am happy to report that at LifePoint we now have campaigns two times a year for five to six weeks. Our campaigns include discussion guides for groups, suggested service opportunities and, in my opinion most importantly, daily devotionals. Our Pastor is great about encouraging people to get connected with others for these few weeks to discuss the sermon and life. We add to our on-campus class options by including a couple of “Connections” classes. These are mid-size groups offered on Sunday and Wednesday with the focus being relational Bible Study around the campaign.
LEARNED: Daily devotionals are key to helping people establish an on-going relationship with God. This is not the end-all-be-all of your discipleship journey. BUT, the relationship with God is key to transformation of our lives. Having a loving and caring small group who helps us stay in the Word daily by discussing the devotionals and concentrating on the same subject for six weeks will move us several steps on our journey to be more like Christ. Relationships grow deeper as we spend more time together…with our group….with God.
LEARNED: Another learning is documented on our campaign check-list, do not offer too many questions or pages in the Discussion Guide for groups. One small group leader said “If I have to say ‘now on to number 2’ we’re probably not having small group.” Getting through a list of academic questions is not the goal in campaigns, it is to have open discussion that leads to transparency and deeper relationships with God and each other.
We launch our spring campaign this Sunday (February 17, 2013) “Beyond Sunday.” You can watch the sermons here.
You can download the discussion guides and daily devotionals here.