A Leaderâ€™s Guide for Missional Communities
- Stephen Trout
- Oct 3, 2007
- Series: Discipleship
A Leader's Guide for Missional Communities
The following guide has been prepared to help you facilitate a missional community. It will be helpful to review this guide often to assess the health of your group, and to remind you of your group's Gospel purpose, characteristics, and goals.
I. What is a missional community?
II. Group Dynamics and Structure
III. How we Gospel one another - Helping Others Look Like Jesus
IV. Group Leader Checklist
V. Appendix 1 ~ Gospel Promises
VI. Appendix 2 ~ Identifying Your Idols
I. What is a Missional Community?
A missional community by nature is intended to be more than a typical bible study. First, let's be reminded what characteristics we should expect to see in your community group.
What should you expect as part of a missional community?
- A welcoming atmosphere for strugglers and real sinners (Christ is for real sinners!) "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Mt. 9:13; "If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One." I Jn. 2:1
- A family learning to live out of the Gospel "As you have received Christ Jesus, so live in Him...."Col.2:6 "I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge..." Eph. 3:17-19; "Let us love one another, for love comes from God...He sent His one and only Son" I Jn. 4:7,9
- A safe place to share your struggles, confess your sins, and expect to be pointed to Jesus. "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." Rom. 8:1; "Confess your sins to one another...." James 5:16
- A family learning to celebrate grace! "Rejoice with those who rejoice..." Rom.12:15
- A place to be quick to listen and sympathize with another's struggles, and respond with compassion and prayer, and if you can, practical help to meet the need. Avoid superficial, pat answers that don't address and encourage the heart. "Be devoted to one another..." Rom. 12:10; "Everybody should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry..." James 1:19; "Pray for each other..." James 5:16; "Honor one another above yourselves...Rom. 12:10b; "mourn with those who mourn..." Rom.12:15
- A place to worship God by enjoying one another and God's good gifts (new people, food, art, etc.) "Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate...." Luke 15
As you can see, the Gospel is never static, but moves us into grateful action. As we hear and believe the Gospel again and again, the love of Christ working within our hearts energizes us to practical works of love. We begin to ask, "What does loving my neighbor really look like?" This means that we will also want to avoid anything in our community group that does not have this goal of Gospel motivation and love:
What should you not expect in a missional community?
- A lengthy teaching monologue or lecture by one person
- An overly- academic group of theological debaters who don't address matters/struggles of the heart, and how the Gospel applies to them (see I Cor.13:1)
- An affinity group to make you happy (...although sweet fellowship in Christ should occur and will bring joy.)
- A place to have your every need met (...although as we serve one another in love, many of your true needs will be met, prayed for, and clarified.)
II. Group Dynamics and Structure
As Tim Keller has suggested, "The Primary Goal for the fellowship group is to develop a Christian community where Jesus Christ is experienced in his presence and power."
This means that as the leader (or co-leader) of your missional community, your primary responsibility is to facilitate "Gospel conversations" and practical works of love among the group members. A key characteristic that will grow from this is Gospel transformation in the lives of the group members, and hopefully, those outside of the group who will be ministered to as a result.
While your group will differ in exact structure from another community group, all groups should contain at least the following four essential characteristics:
God has designed us to respond to His great worth and beauty, be awed by His glory, and celebrate His goodness. Keller notes that the worship of the true God "brings health to our souls and substance and weight to our lives." It is the very purpose for which we were made. Eugene Peterson notes that without the worship of God, we fail to see Him at the center of our lives and live "manipulated and manipulating lives." While our whole lives are meant to be an act of worship, setting aside special time in the community meeting to praise and celebrate God (and how He meets us through Christ) will bring joy to God and refresh His people. The use of well known hymns and songs which exalt Christ, reading Psalms responsively, responding in prayer, meditations shared by group members (including poetry and written prayers), instrumental music, the use of candles, etc. may all be used to help the community respond in worship.
2. Christ-Centered, Gospel-focused Bible Study
Hearing the Gospel story from all parts of Scripture builds our faith. Our goal in studying a particular part of Scripture in our community groups is not to focus on the details, but to arrive at the broader, general meaning of the text and to understand how it fits in the greater Gospel narrative. Remember, the goal is not to merely fill our heads with knowledge, but to have the Gospel move our hearts to worship and transform our lives! This vital time of hearing God speak to us can often be interwoven with the sharing time for maximum application.
(As noted, the temptation is strong for the Bible study portion to become a lecture which will take up most or all of the group's time. However, a good rule of thumb in our community groups is to limit teaching time to approximately ¼ of the overall meeting time to leave time for valuable relational sharing and ministry. For ex., a 90 min. group will have approx. 20 -25 mins. of Bible study)
3. Sharing, or "One Anothering"
Effective sharing, as Keller notes, is prompted by the following question: "What work of power and grace does Christ wish to do in our hearts right now?" This includes two facets of fellowship: a.) sharing what God is doing in our own hearts (convicting, encouraging, creating repentance and faith); and b.) pursuing others in a love agenda. (We'll cover this in more detail in the next section, How to Gospel one another.) Notice too that the "one-another" commands of scripture paint a rich, organic portrait of activity: "Serve one another, carry one another's burdens, be devoted to one another, submit to one another, accept one another, honor one another up, greet one another, be of the same mind with one another..."
4. Kingdom-Centered Prayer and Missional Focus
Prayer, as Piper has said, is our "walkie-talkie from the battlefield." In prayer we actually participate in God's redemptive plan to save the world. As we speak to our great God and Father in adoring praise, confession of sin, thankfulness, and supplications, He is pleased, as another writer says, to "gather our cries and our praises, our petitions and intercessions, and use them." (Note: Sometimes the activity of talking about prayer requests can use up the time of actually praying for them. Encourage the group members from time to time to be aware of this, and to share their hearts in the share time. Also, you may choose to break into smaller sub-groups to pray, or remain a single group.)
Finally, make it a priority to leave time in the meeting to discuss the group's particular missional focus and activity. As Keller puts it, you want to ask "How does Christ want me (or us, as a group) to touch the hurts in the world this week?" Commit this to prayer, and follow through with actual steps to carry out the vision. (Be sure to delegate and involve group members as much as possible in each facet of planning and follow-through. Remember the "body" metaphor of Scripture!)
In the next section, we want to provide a practical overview and summary of how we "Gospel" one another, which is in essence how we help others change so that they look more and more like Jesus.
III. How we "Gospel" One Another - Helping Others Look Like Jesus
As a community group leader you will want to facilitate and aim for effective "Gospeling" of one another in your group. This means, (as noted above under group characteristics) that you will want to create a certain "atmosphere" in the group where the Gospel can thrive and people are effectively entering one another's hearts and lives. As also noted above, this will not happen most effectively if the primary group dynamic is a teacher-student relationship where information is dispensed in a classroom-type atmosphere. (Note, this does not mean that good teaching won't take place, but again, in weekly missional home groups we wish to capitalize on the relational opportunities for Gospel fellowship that often cannot take place during a Sunday morning worship service.)
To facilitate effective, holistic Gospeling in your community, note the following four elements of a loving ministry relationship, as formulated by Paul Tripp:
Four Elements of a Loving Ministry Relationship: Enter, Incarnate, Identify, Accept
1) Enter the other person's world
The Gospel tells us that Jesus entered our world, as the "Word became flesh (Jn. 1:14)." Loving another person well means entering their life in order to be an effective instrument in Christ's hands to bring hope and help to that person. This is impossible to do unless we take the time to know the other person well, and to find out what is going on in the real "control center" of their lives: their heart.* The most effective and gracious way to know someone, whether a believer or unbeliever, is to learn to ask good questions. A sample of such questions would include:
"What are you struggling with right now?"; "What are you feeling?"; "What's bothering you most about this struggle?"; "How are you connecting with God right now?" ; "What questions do you wish you could ask God?" ; What are you afraid of?"; "Are you feeling angry?"; etc.
Notice that "heart-focused entering" does not stop at merely knowing about a person's particular circumstances. Rather, it seeks to compassionately understand how the person is responding to their circumstances. Are they doubting God's promises to them? Harboring anger or bitterness towards others or God? Nursing a demand to have others meet their agenda (even if it appears to be a good and God-honoring desire? Remember, even a good desire, elevated to a craving or demand that must be fulfilled to give a sense of self-worth and meaning, can become an idol. See appendix 2 for a more in-depth treatment of idolatry). Asking good questions (and we certainly do not want to bombard someone with more than one or two questions at once!) and learning to be an active listener invites a greater depth of sharing among group members. An effective leader will model this heart-focused entering by first being a humble, receptive "chief repenter" of his own idolatry, (demonstrating, as Tripp refers to it, "the humility of approachability"), followed by a qualitative and loving relational commitment to those present in the group.
*Note: The "heart" is used some 960 times in scripture and is a dominant theme. We understand the heart to be the emotional and intellectual center of a person's life, and the "steering wheel" of their behavior. For example, Proverbs tells us that it is out of the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. Our hearts are always "busy": continually worshipping God or the creation, assigning value to things, people, God; craving, demanding, , desiring, lusting, being puffed up and hardened in pride or softened in humility. See Appendix 2.
2) Incarnate the love of Christ
Loving a person well means more than asking good questions. It includes the vital aspect of assuring the person you have heard and that God hears and understands their struggle. Christ became flesh in order to meet us personally. As the physical body of Christ on earth, we are Christ's ambassadors to bring tangible compassion and practical love to one another, which is how we bring the vertical dimension of our relationship with God to the horizontal dimension of human relationships. All believers share in this priestly aspect of ministering by Christ's Spirit to one another and the world. More than just words, effective leading means that as we minister Christ in this way, our non-verbal cues also matter, for we are to become "the look on his face, the tone of his voice, and the touch of the Savior's hands (Tripp)." This also means that how we speak to one another (in patience, gentleness, and kindness) should never take a back seat to what we wish to say. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am nothing....(I Cor. 13:1)"
3) Identify with suffering
Hebrews 4 tells us that Jesus is able to sympathize with us because in his humanness he was tempted and struggled with the same kinds of things we struggle with: sorrow, suffering and death, hunger, loneliness, being tempted to find his purpose in earthly power and riches (by Satan in the wilderness), etc. "Being Christ" to one another means that we learn the vital ministry of "mourning with those who mourn" ( and here we do well to pray for the gift of tears, not Biblical platitudes), as well as "rejoicing with those who rejoice." Scripture also gives us the great privilege and calling to "carry one another's burdens" (Gal. 6:2 ), even as Christ has borne our disgrace, shame, and burdens for us (Ps. 68:19;Heb.13:13).
4) Accept with a love-agenda for change
A proper understanding of the Gospel means that we who are trusting in Christ are righteous by virtue of Christ's perfect law-keeping for us, his sacrificial death on our behalf, and his victorious resurrection for our justification. This acceptance because of Christ also includes His loving commitment to our change, or what we call progressive sanctification. It is His grace that teaches us to say "no to ungodliness" (Titus 2:11), and "yes" to humility and repentance, hope in Christ, thankfulness, rejoicing, and self-less love. Such self-less love and recognition of God's amazing grace (which comes to us as sinners) reminds us that a critical, impatient, self-righteous spirit toward someone who is struggling in our group is inconsistent with the grace that we have received. He calls us to remove this log from our eye, that we might proceed to effectively and humbly help others to see clearly (See Matt.7:1-5). (Note: Sometimes a particularly "long-winded" group member will tend to monopolize the group's share time. Be sensitive to the other members of the group if this occurs by offering to listen and speak further with the member after the meeting. Also, be aware when a person's struggle is being met with an overload of "good advice" or criticism from the group that does not bear in mind the above important principles for offering compassionate, Gospel-centered help. Good morals or behavior is not our ultimate goal. Believing the Gospel is our greatest need, which calls us to even be repenting of our righteousness and ongoing attempts at reforming ourselves!
IV. Group Leader Checklist
1. Are you regularly praying for the members of your group?
2. Do you have a desire to see the members of your group living out of the Gospel?
3. Are you aware of the gifts of your members, and how they can contribute to the four aspects or goals of the group? (worship, Bible study, sharing, and kingdom-centered prayer/missional focus?)
4. Are you learning to talk less and facilitate/listen more by asking good questions of the group?
5. Are your questions directed to the hearts of your group members (as well as your own heart?)
6. Are you responding with compassion, patience, and the hope of the Gospel (i.e., an ambassador for Christ, and not trying to force change?)
7. Have you set ground rules for agreed upon confidentiality where necessary? Are you gossiping about the sins confessed in your group? (If so seek the group's forgiveness)
8. Are you encouraging/modeling flexibility and a welcoming attitude in your group towards new attendees?
9. Is there good accountability going on in the group?
10. Are you identifying potential group leaders and how your group might plant other groups if it becomes too large?
Conclusion: Martin Luther said that "the cross is the test of everything in the Christian life." Long before Luther, the Apostle Paul knew this to be true, and declared "I resolve to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified." It is the same for us today: we live and progress in the Christian life by believing the Gospel. It is this story that we must learn to tell again and again, in a variety of ways and with numerous examples, for it is the one story that fuels our faith and gives us hope and new strength to love in the realities of everyday life. Your missional group is a wonderful opportunity to see your life story (with all its failures, moments of peace, struggle and victory) as a vital part of the greater Gospel story of Christ - because God has designed change, growth, and ultimately the ushering in of His new Kingdom, to happen in community.
Below are a list of "Gospel Promises" to learn and meditate on. Refer to them again and again (perhaps you'll want to read them daily or commit to learning them with a friend) as you seek to live out of the Gospel, and your new identity in Christ:
John 14:18: "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you."
(No fear!) Isaiah 43:1: "Fear not for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, and you are mine..."
(Adopted in love!) Ephesians 1:4-8: For the Father chose us in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love God predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will-to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
(Your True Identity) Galatians 4:4-7: "But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, (or "daddy") Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."
(Who I am in Christ) Isaiah 61:10 "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness..."
(He does not forget you) Isaiah 49:16 "Zion said...the Lord has forgotten me." "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands..."
(Who is Jesus?) Matthew 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
(A Good Shepherd who brings Hope) Psalm 23: "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul...surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
(The Gospel! The "great exchange" for sinners, and your new identity in Christ) II Cor. 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him, we might become the righteousness of God."
Matthew 7:11: "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
(A Compassionate Savior) Mark 6:34: "When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things."
(Forever Faithful) Heb. 13:5 "...Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."
Psalm 100:1 "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture...give thanks and praise his name for the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations."
(Parable of the Prodigal family and the Loving Father): Luke
"So the son got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. And the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate." "My son," the father said, "you are always with me, and everything I have is yours."
Romans 8:15 "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father.""
(He gave it all) Romans 8:32: "God who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all-how will the Father not also, along with Christ, graciously give us all things?"
(Nothing, not even your sin, can separate you) Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Galatians 3:26: "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus."
Micah 7:18 "Who is a God like You, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea."
(Unfailing Love!) Isaiah 54:10 "Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you."
John 16:27: Jesus said, "The Father Himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God."
Psalm 130:7 "O Israel put your hope in the Lord for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins."
The worship of the true God or idols is a central theme in Scripture, playing out in a myriad of ways in the life of a Christian. We need not (and should not!) go on a "witch hunt" with ourselves or someone to discover the idols at play. Our behavior in the situations and stresses of life will often reveal what our heart is craving or demanding at a given time. As one writer says, for example, "an outburst of anger could have arisen because you demanded the peace of not being interrupted, because you demanded that things go smoothly, or because you demanded respect, etc."
The following helpful resource by Tim Keller is provided to help you recognize the typical idols that often grip our hearts. Keep in mind that the idols you may be prone to may be different for others. Also, as idols are revealed, bear in mind this helpful adage by McCheyne: "For every one look at your sin, take ten looks at Christ!" Our sins will never have the final word. Our hope is always in the finished work of Christ.
IDENTIFYING YOUR IDOLS
(By Tim Keller)
A. USING "PROBLEM EMOTIONS" TO IDENTIFY IDOLS
a. If you are angry. Ask, "is there something too important to me? Something I am telling myself I have to have? Is that why I am angry â€‘â€‘ because I am being blocked from having something I think is a necessity when it is not?" Write down what that might be:
b. If you are fearful or badly worried. Ask, "Is there something too important to me? Something I am telling myself I have to have? Is that why I am so scared â€‘â€‘ because something is being threatened which I think is a necessity when it is not?" Write down what that might be:
c. If you are despondent or hating yourself: Ask, "Is there something too important to me? Something I am telling myself I have to have? Is that why I am so 'down' â€‘â€‘ because I have lost or failed at something which I think is a necessity when it is not?" Write down what that might be:
B. USING "MOTIVATIONAL DRIVES" TO IDENTIFY IDOLS
"... that most basic question which God poses to each human heart: "has something or someone besides Jesus the Christ taken title to your heart's functional trust, preoccupation, loyalty, service, fear and delight? Questions... bring some of people's idol systems to the surface. 'To who or what do you look for lifeâ€‘sustaining stability, security and acceptance... What do you really want and expect [out of life]? What would [really] make you happy? What would make you an acceptable person? Where do you look for power and success?' These questions or similar ones tease out whether we serve God or idols, whether we look for salvation from Christ or from false saviors. [This bears] on the immediate motivation of my behavior, thoughts, feelings. In the Bible's conceptualization, the motivation question is the lordship question: who or what "rules my behavior, the Lord or an idol?" â€‘â€‘ David Powlison, "Idols of the Heart and Vanity Fair"
We often don't go deep enough to analyze our idolâ€‘structures. For example, "money" is of course an idol, yet in another sense; money can be sought in order to satisfy very different, more foundational idols. For example, some people want lots of money in order to control their world and life (such people usually don't spend their money, but save it) while others want lots of money for access to social circles and for making themselves beautiful and attractive (such people do spend their money on themselves!) The same goes for sex. Some people use sex in order to get power over others, others in order to feel approved and loved and others just for pleasure/comfort. The following outline can be helpful in letting people consider different foundational "idolâ€‘structures". Dick Keyes calls them "farâ€‘idols" as opposed to "near idols". Remember, these are all alternative ways to make ourselves "righteous/worthy":
Answer these diagnostic questions:
a. What is my greatest nightmare? What do I worry about most?
b. What, if I failed or lost it, would cause me to feel that I did not even want to live? What keeps me going?
c. What do I rely on or comfort self with when things go bad or get difficult?
d. What do I think most easily about? What does my mind go to when I am free? What preâ€‘occupies me?
e. What prayer, unanswered, would make me seriously think about turning away from God?
f. What makes me feel the most selfâ€‘worth? What am I the proudest of?
g. What do I really want and expect out of life? What would really make me happy?
Circle the thoughts that are lodged in your heart:
Power idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I have power and influence over others.
Approval idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I am loved and respected by
Comfort idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I have this kind of pleasure experience, a particular quality of life."
Image idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I have a particular kind of look or body image.
Control idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I am able to get mastery over my life in the area of...
Helping idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ people are dependent on me and need me."
Dependence idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ someone is there to protect me and keep me safe."
Independence idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I am completely free from obligations or responsibilities to take care of someone."
Work idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I am highly productive getting a lot done."
Achievement idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I am being recognized for my accomplishments, if I am excelling in my career."
Materialism idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I have a certain level of wealth, financial freedom, and very nice possessions.
Religion idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I am adhering to my religion's moral codes and accomplished in it activities."
Individual person idolatry: "Life only has meaning/ 1 only have worth if â€‘â€‘ this one person is in my life and happy there and/or happy with me."
Irreligious idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I feel I am totally independent of organized religion and with a selfâ€‘made morality.
Racial/cultural idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ my race and culture is ascendant and recognized as superior."
Inner ring idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if a particular social grouping or professional grouping or other group lets me in"
Family idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if my children and/OR my parents are happy and happy with me."
Relationship idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if Mr. or Ms. 'Right' is in love with me."
Suffering idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ I am hurting, in a problem â€‘only then do I feel noble or worthy of love or am able to deal with guilt."
Ideology idolatry: "Life only has meaning /I only have worth if â€‘â€‘ my political or social cause or party is making progress and ascending in influence or power.
Understanding idolatry: "Life only has meaning / I only have worth if - I understand why I am the way I am and understand my idols!"
Safety idolatry: "Life only has meaning / I only have worth if - I am pursuing the safest course of action and not taking risks emotionally or physically"
Authenticity idolatry: "Life only has meaning / I only have worth if - I am not pretending and being honest [shameless] about who I really am"
This Guide was written by Stephen Trout, Counselor at Kaleo Church. It includes material from "The Fellowship Group Handbook - A Manual for Leaders and Coordinators," Version 2.0, by Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 1997, and also "Helping Others Change," a resource of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation by Paul Tripp and Tim Lane, 2000.