Encouraging Relationships in your Mosaic Groups

 Some of the material in this study has been adapted from This Book
 Small Groups

You don't want this to happen in your group.
You don't want this to happen in your group.
Watch this video and consider the following:
1. What was the negative behavior of this group?
2. What attitudes prompted this negative behavior?
3. What were the consequences?
4. Have you ever been in a group that practiced negative attitudes and behavior?
5. What can you, as a group leader, do to avoid these behaviors within the group?


Intentional relationships are key to sustained spiritual growth. That's why MOSAIC groups are such an important part of our discipleship strategy. MOSAIC provides opportunities for individuals to find "their place" in the larger Christian community. Through authentic relationships, we find love, support, encouragement, accountability and discipline. 


Bill Donahue stated that, "A small group of believers who love one another with God's love will experience the life Christ promised at the deepest level possible.  This love radically transforms them and demonstrates His power."  Small groups, "...meet the individual needs of believers as well as the diverse needs of the body as a whole."


In this lesson we will learn what it means for your Mosaic group to experience Christian relationships.

Shallow Group
Shallow Small Group Bible Study

Watch the attached video and answer the following questions: 

1. Name some of the relational elements of small groups. 

2. How long do you think a group like this would last?

3. Why is relationship an important aspect of a small group?

Relationships in the New Testament


Community is a theme that runs throughout Scripture. God has always been calling out a people for Himself, beginning with Israel and continuing with the church.  Even when the Jews were dispersed among enemy nations during times of captivity, they organized themselves into groups and ultimately formed synagogues, where they could serve one another and carry out their beliefs. 
It was natural, therefore, for Jesus to develop a community of followers and for Paul, Peter, and other church planters to start new communities wherever they went.  These new communities began as small groups, just as Jesus modeled with the twelve disciples.
The community that formed on the Day of Pentecost immediately began to function in small groups.  These groups wholeheartedly devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to the fellowship of one to another, to the practicing of the Lord's Supper together, and to praying for one another.  These new communities were characterized by mutuality, accountability, servant, love and evangelism.  (Bill Donahue) 
Growing Interpersonal Relationships
Ecclesiastes 4:11-3 "Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart."
In his book, Leading Life Changing Small Groups, Bill Donahue lists some important aspects of healthy relationships within a group.
Affirmation:  It is important to affirm and encourage one another, build each other up in Christ, and help each other grow.
Availability:  People's time, attention, insight, as well as material resources must be available to each other in order to meet needs and serve one another.
Prayer: It is said that a family that prays together stays together.  The same is true of Mosaic groups. In every gathering make sure to set aside time for meaningful prayer.  It is in praying for one another that each group member feels valued and understands their own worth.  It is also encouraging to recognize how God is answering prayer in the lives of group members.
Openness: Promote openness and honesty within your group.  It is important for group members to feel safe enough that they can share their feelings, struggles, joys and hurts.  Authentic relationships can only take place in an environment of openness.
Honesty: The desire to be honest with each other is critical to authentic relationships.  In order for trust to be built among the group remembers , they must practice speaking the truth in love, so that, "we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ" (Eph. 4:15)
Safety:  Honest, open relationships must be guarded with an agreement of safety--that what is said in the group will remain confidential; that opinions will be respected and differences will be allowed. 
Confidentiality:  As part of the concept of safety, confidentiality promotes openness by promising that whatever is shared within the confines of the group will not be repeated elsewhere.
Sensitivity:  A commitment to sensitivity to the needs, feelings, backgrounds, and current situations of other group members will help build relationships in the group.
Accountability.  In authentic relationships, accountability is voluntary submission to another group member(s) for support, encouragement, and help in a particular area of your life, giving them some responsibility for assisting you in that area.
Evangelism:  One of the greatest gifts we can give another person is the good news of eternal life through Jesus Christ.  It's much easier to build a relationship with a brother in Christ.
Practical Ideas


Here are a few practical ideas that can help build relationships.  


1. Meet in a comfortable place.  Make sure there is comfortable seating, and provide refreshments whenever appropriate.
2. Minimize distractions.  Find a quiet place.  Offer child care or a separate children's activity if it is appropriate to do so.
3. Pray for the members of your group daily. Write down their prayer concerns and make sure to check back with them later to see how things are going.
4. Attend special events in their lives.  Birthday parties, weddings, baseball games, graduations, etc.
5. Listen---Listen---Listen.
6. Teach the group members to respond to one another's needs.   
7. Lead the way in being transparent and authentic
8. Be prepared to present your lesson.  It's hard to be attentive or build community when you are busy trying to get organized.
9. Be in constant prayer.
10. Have fun together.  Do an activity outside the regular meeting time--bowling, barbecues, baseball, road trips, whatever event you can find to bring your group together.
11. Plan some sort of service project.  Amazingly, it is in serving others that e become spiritually connected.