And a little boy will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6b)
I’ve been involved in the ministry in Eastern Europe for a long time. Over the years I’ve really appreciated the emphasis that Larry Thompson and Virgil Anderson placed on simplicity. One of Larry’s key principles in working with volunteers was the ministry needed to be easy. It should be easy for anyone involved with GCM to succeed.
This focus on simplicity was also emphasized at Saddleback Church which we attended from 1999 to 2005 when we were in the US. Rick Warren always told everyone at church that what you needed to be able to do in order to lead a group, was to be able to operate two devices: a coffee machine and a VCR (DVD player). Obviously the volunteers who opened their homes for small groups received additional training later, but the basic entry point was very simple.
Simplicity is one of the things I also like about MC2. Vital Biblical fellowships do not have to be complicated. In our home fellowship, we practiced Discovery Bible Study. It’s simple enough that everyone in our group has led the study at least once–everyone except one of our children. A few weeks ago, I was in Budapest for our GCM team meeting. Before I left, I asked Anton, our 13-year-old to lead the group while I was gone. We spent time praying and preparing. He and our other children have always been a part of our group. So they’ve observed how we do things and participated in the reading, retelling and application-focused discussion. So while I was gone, Anton led our home fellowship (yes, my wife helped him some). He asked everyone if they had applied the lesson from last week, started the worship (we use YouTube to stream worship karaoke on our TV), led the Bible study, and helped the group members come up with application questions. He didn’t do a perfect job, but it was a good step of faith for him and I appreciated his willingness to serve. In fact, I was really proud of him.
The principles in MC2 are so simple that even a child can lead a home fellowship group. That’s not to say that a child can do everything that is necessary to make a home fellowship succeed in the long run. There’s a lot more needed: cooking and organization, building relationships with the people in your group, caring for them in difficult times, providing mentoring and support, while reaching out to new people over coffee. But the basic mechanics of our time together is simple enough so that even a child can lead us. I like that.
And I think that should encourage us to challenge everyone in our home faith communities to take a turn leading the group, because stepping out in faith to lead the group is really easy and it’s also really rewarding.
What about you? Whom in your group can you challenge this week to take a step of faith?