We ended our look at the Five Habits of Highly Missional People with a focus on going forward.
The best way to do this is to find a few other people who will help you develop these habits. Such groups do three things:
Disciple: Discipleship is about teaching and learning. In this kind of group the role of teacher and student trade off from occasion to occasion organically as each is gifted or in need. Sometimes in the process of going out and being missional we come across questions that are not easy to answer. Having a group where you can discuss these issues is important. Further, when sharing how God has been at work in your life during the week you strengthen one another, you teach each other about God.
Nurture: Nurturing involves strengthening each other when we are weak. A common problem with any program to develop habits is that people tend to quit after minor setbacks. They blow their diet one week and rather than just starting again they give up. You are going to have rough weeks, you are going to get sick or work is going to be stressful. The Nurturing aspect of the group reminds us that set backs and even failures are part of life and the best thing we can do is move forward.
Accountability: Nurturing is the gentle uplifting of a friend who has stumbled. Accountability is call to hold them responsible to their commitments. When some one in the group is showing signs of being lazy or reluctant or distracted we lovingly bring them back on the path. Also when we feel convicted, the group is a good place to confess our sins and have friends who will help hold us to our repentance.
So what do you need to form a DNA group?
- Trust. This may take time, but to work most effectively the group needs to be a fully trusting and safe environment. Not only is no information about the members shared outside the group without permission, nothing about the people and situations discussed is even acknowledged outside the group. You can ruin the work someone else is doing by a breach of trust.
- Focus. This group has to be about the work you are doing. You may need to schedule some time before or during your time together to get socializing or other matters out of the way. This is not meant to be a prayer group, a Bible study, or anything else. If you want to include those things in your group, fine, but you need to make sure you are saving space this purpose.
- Commitment. Everyone has to commitment to supporting each other in whatever way you have agreed to do. If need be, start this on a trial basis. Commit to three months, or even 6 weeks. Supporting one another is a habit to develop along with the rest. BE consistent.
What should you do?
Ask questions about the process. Have each member write down:
- Whom did you Bless this week? What questions, issues, or learning arose from this habit?
- With whom did you Eat? What questions, issues, or learning arose from this habit?
- What did you hear from the Holy Spirit when you were Listening this week?
- What did you Learn or Relearn about Christ the week?
- Share something from your journal about how you are Sent to help others see the Kingdom of God in this world.
The members of your group need not be fellow church members, just fellow Christians. You don’t have to meet in person. You should figure out what works best for the group, within the above guidelines, and make it fit.