Discipleship Small Groups:
A Proven and Effective Way to Disciple Believers
Small Groups in the New Testament Church
- You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house. -- Acts 20:20 (NIV)
- Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. -- Acts 5:42 (NIV)
- No fewer than 20 major events in Acts took place in believer’s homes.
The verses above give us the Scriptural foundation for Discipleship Small Groups. Believers in the New Testament Church met in homes and invited neighbors to fellowship, study, and pray with them regularly. Discipleship is not an option! Jesus gave us clear instructions that we make disciples. The mandate of the Master is to raise up genuine Christ-imitators who will bring others to him Celebrating Holiness in our daily lives.
CareRing Small Groups are designed to extend into our lives the messages we hear preached. They are designed to help us live out the Bible lessons taught in Sunday school. In this way, they intensify the power of the preached Word and apply the truth of the taught Word to be the living Word daily.
These tested and proven small group Bible studies are easy and inexpensive to use. The Guidelines offer a fun and creative study resource. They include leader’s guides that enable any small group leader to easily prepare for a quality small group study.
More than a “study” of the Bible, Guidelines include practical suggestions for personal application, with the goal that participants actually live out biblical principles. Discussion starters, or “Ice Breakers” are included. In most of the Guidelines, group members are challenged to follow through and obey the Word in daily life. This is the most practical and effective way to help one another Celebrate Holiness.
Guidelines provide leaders with suggestions, fun activities, and even possible answers to many discussion questions, so the leader can be effective with minimal preparation. As each group will vary in age, interest, and experience, it is the CareRing leader’s responsibility to adapt the Guidelines to fit the spiritual needs of their own groups. As a leader, do not feel you “must” discuss every question in a study or that you could not add other questions that fit the needs and interests of your CareRing participants.
Guidelines are designed to be used easily. It is vitally important to have a copy for every participant. So leaders, just copy the number of studies your group needs on the front and back of a page, cut them in half (each study is designed to be on the front and back of half sheets), and pass them out as the meeting begins.
The Guidelines come with an Index or list of all the studies so you can quickly find one that fits your needs.
1. Look up a topic or subject in the index that you want your group to study and apply. Copy that week’s Guideline and Leader’s Guide.
2. Suppose your CareRing wants to study a verse on which your pastor preached on a given Sunday. In the index, look up a particular Scripture, make copies of that Guideline and your group will discuss exactly how the Lord wants them to live out what your pastor preached.
In all of this you will be following the mandate of the Master that we “make disciples” … authentic and true Christ-followers in the principles of holiness. May the Holy Spirit grant us the wisdom, courage, and guidance to make disciples!
(Note: Find more CareRings resources and workbooks at the top right of this page.)