We use the phrase “full circle” to talk about an individual Christian who is growing mature in their faith. But the concept also applies to small groups. In fact, small groups and individuals grow mature together.
What Is a Mature Christian?
Followers of Jesus become mature not just by gaining more Bible knowledge of deeper friendships, but when they start helping other people pursue God. Maturity is represented by a circle.The Christian life starts when we trust Jesus. As a person grows, they begin to honor God in more and more aspects of life. Eventually, a Christian grows mature by helping others – particularly by helping others start and complete the circle themselves. So our ultimate goal is that a growing disciple goes “full circle” by making other disciples, whether in the family, through a small group, or in individual mentoring relationships.
What Is a Mature Small Group?
A small group also goes full circle. A typical group will go through three stages, similar to the stages of pursuing God.
- The first stage is start-up. In this phase, the group gets launched as a healthy group. The vision and values of the group are established. People come to trust each other.
- The second stage is growth. Members of the group grow in their faith. The group grows numerically. Potential leaders are identified and grow in their leadership.
- The final stage is reproduction. In this phase, your group gives birth to a new group. Two healthy groups exist where there was only one before.
People and Groups Go Full Circle Together
When group members are going full circle in their own lives, this catalyzes a group to go full circle. As people catch a vision to help others pursue God, they will become invitational. More people will start coming to the group. As group members mature, they will desire greater leadership responsibility. This helps the group move forward.
Likewise, when a group is moving toward maturity, this catalyzes the members of the group toward maturity. When the vision of reproducing is always before the group members, they are motivated to take on more leadership and to invest in others to make it happen.
As a member of a small group, your goal is to go full circle in your own life. As a group member or leader, your goal is also to help your group go full circle by growing and reproducing.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you agree or disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- “As a member of a small group, your goal is to go full circle in your own life.” Do you agree or disagree, and why?
- “Your goal is also to help your group go full circle.” Do you agree or disagree, and why?
- What stage do you think your small group is in? Explain.
- What do you think it will take for your group to go full circle?
- How do small groups help individuals go full circle?
- How do individuals help small groups go full circle?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.