Gathering Small Group Leaders to Grow the Church


There were many things that I learned from Pastor Mponzi’s visit to St. James last fall. The Lutheran Church is Tanzania is the fastest growing Lutheran church in the world. Not only are they growing in numbers but more importantly they are growing in faithfulness and discipleship.

One of the things at the heart of this growth is a small group ministry model. Each week, there are about 62 groups that come together for a few hours to check-in with each other, pray, and study scripture. The Diocese (their version of the Synod) provides study materials for groups to use and to grow in their faith. Pastors have supported this growth, grounded in the study of God’s Word, but it is being made possible by a variety of adult leaders.

Lent is traditionally a time for spiritual growth. This year, inspired by the ministry of our sisters and brothers in Christ in Idunda, I am forming small groups to come together, pray, and study the scripture that we will be using on Wednesday evening. I have written a brand new Bible Study to accompany our Lenten theme: Broken and Blessed. Also connected is a daily online devotional.

I am looking for ten people who would be willing to facilitate discussion and serve as a Ministry Host for a small group. The Ministry Host is responsible for setting the time and place that the group will meet for the five weeks in Lent (in Holy Week, I will be doing a combined evening for all small groups). It is my intent that we have a variety of choices for people to sign up for a group that works best for them.

I will provide weekly videos (which will contain the Bible Study content), discussion questions, and a proven format - everything that the leader needs to be successful. In addition, on this coming Sunday, at 11:00 a.m., I will be hosting a Ministry Host training.

Growing the church is a step-by-step process that involves us all. As a pastor, although I would like to see numerical growth, I am concerned that we grow spiritually as followers of Jesus. There is no easy way to do this. However, regular scripture study, prayer, and conversation head in the right direction. Combined with worship - these practices will nurture growth for our church.

If you would like to help the church grow, then I need your help. Again, I can’t do this by myself. Please prayerfully consider volunteering to serve as a Ministry Host for this Bible Study effort. Sign up using the form below. Not sure? Come to Sunday’s training (Sunday, February 24) at 11:00 a.m. and learn more about it.

As always, I look forward to seeing you in worship,

In Christ’s Light,

Pastor Walt