Hey Small Group Leaders,
We are continuing our reflections on the seven rhythms of small groups. So far we've worked through daily devotion and prayer, and this month we're exploring the breaking of strongholds. For our purposes, a stronghold is defined as an area of sin in our lives where our flesh and Satan have worked together to create destructive patterns that hinder us from living the free and abundant life that God has planned for us. In other words, a stronghold is a consistent sin issue we just can't seem to overcome through our own efforts.
Now, if you've been a part of a small group long enough, you've probably come to realize that this might not be the most popular discussion topic. Most people are not jumping to talk about their deepest, and perhaps most painful, struggles with sin. Instead we often talk around sin issues with vague references and perhaps at best, a commitment to try harder at tackling our private sin on our own.
And yet, scripture tells us that we should make a common practice of confessing our sins to one another and praying for one another so that we can live in unity, healed of our sin (James 5:16). It also promises that while fighting against our sin is indeed a battle, we have been equipped with the "divine power to demolish strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Confession means to "call it as it is." When we confess our sins to God and to one another, it takes what we have kept hidden in darkness and places it in to the light. Confession acknowledges the struggle, removes the shame that causes isolation, and invites others in to help us find healing. As you consider ways to help your small group become more comfortable with confessing their patterns of sin to one another, consider some of the following ideas:
- Break into groups of 2-3 members of the same gender and encourage them to talk through patterns of sin in their lives. Ask them to spend time praying for each other after they confess.
- Practice scripture memorization as a group so that when members are confronted with lies they are equipped to fight back with God's Truth.
- Play a worship song and ask members to pray and consider sin in their lives they need to surrender to God as they listen to the words. Ask them to write down a prayer to God confessing their sin and asking the Holy Spirit to help them. Encourage them to find someone they trust over the following week to share their struggle with.
Can you imagine the transformation of our church and city if all our group members were free from destructive sin patterns in their lives and living an abundant life in Christ? May we be leaders who are creating safe spaces for our people to be challenged to go deeper in their relationships with God. Let's encourage each other to trust God's promise, that He has given us all we need to break the strongholds in our lives and embrace a full and abundant life in Him!