Let's discuss how to prepare for a Spirit-anointed class time and the seven ingredients within a Spirit-anointed small group meeting. If I can identify and define these steps, I can pursue them. I don't want things to just happen occasionally by accident. I want to know where I am seeking to go, and a good path to get there.
Receive from God the following pictures, and then gaze upon them as you prepare.
- Ask God for a picture of where He wants to take the students.
- Ask God for a picture of where the students' hearts and minds are currently.
- Get pictures of the steps the students must take to get them from where they are now to where God wants them to be.
- Steps one to three take you and your needs out of the picture and instead place the student and his needs directly in front of the purposes of God for their lives. Thus you have become transparent, and you have brought the student and God together.
- Stay tuned to flow. Keep framing and reframing the steps and pictures in your mind as you progress, until peace registers in your heart. Peace is the confirmation of the Holy Spirit that you have arrived, that all the pieces are properly arrayed by the Holy Spirit (Col. 3:15). Listen for and follow the peace and unrest of the Spirit within you as you develop the teaching outline.
- Once the steps are clearly laid out, then begin to explore interactive methods which could be used in presenting these steps. You want to ensure that the students are drawn into the learning process.
Interactive teaching methods can include:
- Questions and answers throughout.
- Students' sharing of revelations received from doing assigned homework.
- Individuals writing short answers to collect their thoughts.
- Students sharing answers in small groups of two or three or in the large group.
- Journaling and small and large group sharing of that journaling.
- Practicing the skill together.
- Prayer ministry for individuals.
Living truth is truth which lives in the interaction of four voices:
- The voice of God.
- The voice of the subject.
- The voice of the teacher.
- The voice of the students.
The Test of Success
Spirit-anointed truth has been conveyed in the classroom when the student has, with the ear of his heart, heard four voices: the voice of God, the voice of the subject, the voice of the teacher and the voice of the students, and has interacted with each of these, receiving divine revelation which he has purposed to live out.
Seven Ingredients in a Spirit-Anointed Small Group Meeting
1. Begin by building spiritual sensitivity through a time of praise, worship and prayer, welcoming the Holy Spirit as the teacher. You may use either an anointed worship leader or an anointed CD or online worship piece. As a group, enter God's presence in praise and worship and conclude the worship time with a prayer for the Holy Spirit to grant revelation knowledge among the group during your time together (Eph. 1:17,18). Never grieve the Holy Spirit by not honoring and welcoming Him as your teacher.
2. Since personal growth is often difficult, build emotional openness and intimacy with a hug break. Have a short time of mingling and sharing hugs one with another. This touching breaks down walls and builds intimacy among the group, allowing the members to share more deeply during the guided self-discovery discussion time which will follow.
3. Capture everyone's heart and attention with a story. The group leader introduces the discussion by painting a picture of a real-life situation which involves the topic being explored in that class, and relates it meaningfully to the group, showing that having a right or a wrong understanding and application of the topic at hand will have a significant effect on each individual's life. After sharing such a story, have group members share their memory verses, insights, answers to the discussion questions and written weekly summaries.
4. Set the pace by modeling open, honest sharing. The leader may choose to share an anointed insight God gave him through the week's assignment, and how this met a real-life need or dilemma he was facing. The group will not share their lives any more deeply than the leader shares his.
5. Involve all group members in sharing of revelations. Go around the group and have members read verses from the homework on which God gave them revelation insight. Have them share what God spoke to them from these verses and what practical difference it makes in their life. Draw out the timid students by inviting them to share, and limit the naturally talkative.
6. Have an anointed teaching element and/or a filler exercise in case discussion lags. The anointed teaching should be something God has freshly revealed to the teacher concerning this week's or next week's lesson, and which he senses will be meaningful and relevant to the lives of the students. This can come early in the group meeting. The filler exercise is something that would be interesting and beneficial to the students but which won't be tragic if it is missed. This can come nearer the end of the meeting.
7. Close with a time of journaling, sharing journaling and ministry. Give 5-7 minutes for God to speak through two-way journaling. People then share journaling in groups of two, and some volunteers share with the whole group. Let the group pray and lay hands on those with needs. Close with a prayer of thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit for His presence during the meeting.
Mark Virkler, Ph.D., has authored more than 50 books in the areas of hearing God's voice and spiritual growth. He is the founder of Communion With God Ministries and Christian Leadership University (cluonline.com), where the voice of God is at the center of every learning experience. Mark has taught on developing intimacy with God and spiritual healing for 30-plus years on six continents. The message has been translated into over 40 languages, and he has helped to establish more than 250 church-centered Bible schools around the world.
This article originally appeared at cwgministries.org.
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