The witness section of our time together is about each of us feeling supported as we live out our lives following Jesus in a watching world.
Luke 10 describes Jesus sending out the 72, before this happens Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
So what do we pray for. The harvest? No, the workers: you and me and our friends in the small group with us.
The witness section of a small group should be the climax of our time together, not just because it comes at the end. However, in reality it either doesn’t happen at all because the rest of the evening has over-run, or it is dreaded by most group members because they feel they will be put under pressure to share their faith with their friends. Or, even worse, invite them to come to a future meeting. So, what do you do with this time in the group? How do you make it have value without sending people home feeling guilt-ridden?
Here are a few ideas to stimulate your thinking and make this part of your time together enjoyable and productive.
This is about our individual connections with the world around us. This may be our workplace, the school gates, clubs that we belong to, family connections etc. It is often surprising how little we know about each other and these other areas of our lives.
The passage mentioned earlier from Luke 10 encourages prayer for the workers who go out into the harvest. These workers are the members of our small group. One way we can do this is to have one person each week share about their lives on the front line where they work and live, so that we can pray for them.
You can use three simple questions to help, built around three Ps:
1. Presence: How or where do you sense God’s presence?
2. Pressure: Where are you feeling pressured?
3. Purpose: What do you feel is your purpose?
Give time for the individual to share around these areas and then simply pray for them. As it is often towards the end of the meeting time it is good to pull a chair into the middle of the room and stand around the individual as you pray for them. This re-energises the group and shifts the focus onto the individual you are praying for. Encourage the group to listen to God as they pray, and share any words or pictures that they receive.
You can work around the group over a number of weeks, ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to share and be prayed for.
We at Cell UK have created a set of cards that break down into eight themes, each taking your small group on a journey, renewing minds and creating new rhythms for life.
These Missional Ideas cards will be integrated into Homegroups.org.uk during the next few months and have a total of forty ideas to enable your group to have an outward heartbeat, a missional focus. Each idea will take about 15 minutes and give practical ways to encourage and empower each other as we seek to love those around us.
Some of the ideas are aimed at the group doing something together, whilst others are designed to encourage us as individuals to live active lives as followers of Jesus in a watching world.
We have listed below the eight areas with a short description of the things they cover.