It is impractical to think the ministerial staff alone can deal with the hurts and staggering needs that most congregations face. In truth, this work should be the responsibility of the entire local body of Christ. Churches in New Testament days were built on the assumption that believers would minister to each other. We can learn from this example and become people-helpers.
Following the example of Christ’s earthly ministry, Living Free believes in a team approach to ministry. In Mark 3:14, we read: “He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.”
We feel there is strength in numbers. A team of people dividing up the responsibilities of helping hurting people can help more efficiently than one person who is trying to do everything. Helping people with life-controlling problems is a big job—too big for one person.
The team approach to ministry not only benefits those who are being helped, but it also benefits those who are doing the helping. As you serve Christ on a Living Free Team, you will experience the joy of helping others, and you will also experience the encouragement and support of your fellow team members. What a comfort to know that others are there to help you with tough problems, to encourage you to be faithful to your calling, and to pray for you specifically.
The basic group in Living Free’s system of small groups is the Insight Group. The Insight Group is a meaningful nine-week experience to help your entire church family and community.
We suggest that the group have two group leaders (called facilitators) and a maximum of about 12 group participants. Having more than 12 may prevent some from being a part of the much needed discussion. The facilitators should meet prior to each group session to pray and make final plans for the session. They should also meet after each session to discuss any follow-up that is needed.
In the orientation session (Session 1), the Insight Group Workbook should be distributed to each group member. Facilitators should have a thorough understanding of the workbook before distributing it to group participants. Encourage group members to complete the appropriate session prior to each group meeting. The group member guide prepares them for each upcoming session.
The Insight Group offers:
It pictures life-controlling problems as a downward spiral that pulls a person deeper and deeper and then presents the character qualities found in 2 Peter 1:3-11 as a ladder that helps us climb out of the deep hole of a life-controlling problem.
It enhances people’s understanding of each other and how this relates to everyday practical problems.
It helps bond people together in meaningful relationships.
It helps prepare people for more meaningful relationships in subsequent small groups, such as home groups and life groups.