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A Small Group Path to Worshipful Submission


For this question I want to expand on the traditional definition of worship. Here it means complete submission to the Holy Spirit, total surrender, including sacrifice of the junk that is in us. The small group point person is the starting point for worshipful submission throughout the ministry. Our example trickles down through our leadership, so our personal submission and surrender to the Lord is a critical factor to everyone we lead. We must continually put ourselves on the altar as living sacrifices (see Rom. 12:1), knowing that God wields the knife as a surgeon, not an assassin.

A Small Group Path to Worshipful Submission

The following habits have kept me going for thirty-five years in ministry:

• Quiet time. Whatever it takes, I make it happen. I am a terrible reader, so I use audio via the Drivetime Devotions app. Ten minutes of Scripture sets the table for me to reflect with the Lord. Spend time with God to be used by him.

• Tithing and time. When God owns your finances, he owns you. When God owns your calendar, he owns you. Giving is worship.

• Community. Authentic human relationships—especially with those who love you in ways that improve you—make you more Christlike.

Worship helps you and your leaders connect the ministry dots so every- one “gets it.” Helping all your leadership connect with God will do more than a hundred times as much as training. So in sustaining your ministry, keep yourself and your leaders in close touch with your best advocate, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit held first century churches together through – out all the chaos and turmoil, and he will do the same for yours. You may think you control your ministry, but it is his ministry, and he controls it. Plan for and expect meaningful experiences that allow God to do what only he can do, and it will make your job a lot easier!

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Steve Gladen has been on staff at Saddleback Church since 1998; he currently oversees the strategic launch and development of small groups at Saddleback as well as the staff of the Small Group Network. He has focused on small groups in several churches for almost 20 years. Steve oversees 2,500 adult small groups at Saddleback and loves seeing a big church become small through true community developed in group life. He has co-authored several books, including 250 Big Ideas for Small Groups, Building Healthy Small Groups in Your Church, Small Groups With Purpose, Leading Small Groups With Purpose, and Don't Lead Alone. Steve does consulting and seminars championing small groups and what it means to be Purpose Driven in a small-group ministry.