Have you ever made the decision to lose weight or start exercising (or any number of other things) only to find that you really couldn’t do it alone? The benefit of a training partner or participating in a weight-watchers group is unquestioned. Yet, when it comes to spiritual next steps, most of us attempt to make changes without the benefit of a partner for accountability and encouragement. Why? There are several very understandable reasons:
- We’re private people and uncomfortable sharing what’s really going on in our lives.
- We’re afraid to be the first to ask for help. Very much like Junior High dances…no one wants to go first.
- Even when we know we need help, most of us are great procrastinators.
Can I make a suggestion? Isn’t it time to take a first step? Aren’t you really ready to put your toe in the water? If you’re ready, let me give you a simple way to begin:
- Test drive the idea of a spiritual training partner with a limited first step. The next time your small group meets try pairing up at the end of the session to share prayer requests and pray together. Guys with guys and gals with gals. Nothing permanent, just for the session.
- The next time your group meets, look over the study ahead of time and decide which of the questions lend themselves to "sub-dividing." Rather than doing every question as a large group together, sub-dividing into groups of 2 to 4 allows your members to participate more fully. Have them stay together to share prayer requests and pray.
- Print off copies of the Purpose Driven Health Assessment and ask your members to complete it. Then, take advantage of the growing familiarity your group has with sub-dividing to ask them to pair up with someone (guys with guys, gals with gals) and have them share their results. A next great step is to have your members use the results from the assessment and create a Health Plan.
Craig Groeschel recently posted an excellent set of questions that could be used for members who really want to grow spiritually. You can find them right here.
The spiritual discipline of accountability is an essential ingredient in the life-change process. Few of us really have the capacity to change on our own. Why not take advantage of these steps to move in this direction?