Recently I was forwarded information from another New Life Church pastor regarding an incident that took place shortly after the gathering of a church small group in another state. With it I was encouraged to pass along some coaching about security matters. As I considered this, I felt that this would be a great week to not only cover that topic, but a few others as well. So, as this trimester moves forward, here are a few practical things I wanted to raise our awareness to.
Security: In Matthew 10:16 Jesus tells us, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Here, Jesus is telling us two things. One, we live in a world where darkness exists, and the people of darkness function. He calls these people “wolves”. Two, because of these “wolves”, Jesus is warning us to be on our guard; watching for danger, and wisely handling ourselves as we navigate our environments. My encouragement, then, is to ensure that we are all aware of our surroundings; keeping watch over one another as we travel about, or as we walk from one place to another. Stay in groups, and though we are to love those around us as we minister the Gospel, it does not mean we have to trust every person we encounter. Be safe in your ministry endeavors, and use wisdom as you gather, and connect. Be innocent, but be shrewd in your thinking, and in your actions.
Health & Physical Wellbeing: Be mindful of the health of other people. Without embarrassing anyone, coach your group to always be respectful of others when dealing with illnesses. Assure them that missing a group night to recover from an illness will not break relationships, nor set them behind in curriculum study. Pray for those dealing with illness, and in wisdom, ensure you will support the ill in their recovery.
In the serving of food, always be mindful of the sensitivities others may have. Learn about, and respect, the needs of your small group members. Warn others when allergenic foods are being served, or, if necessary, avoid them altogether.
Along these lines, consider your pets. Are your members allergic to any animals? Are your pets safe to have around other people? What about the physical environment? Is there anything out or accessible that others, namely little ones, should not have access to?
Weather: It is good that we all want to meet, and to meet regularly. This should always be the case (Hebrews 10:25). However, if weather ever becomes treacherous in any way, do not be afraid to delay, reschedule, or even cancel a group meeting. There is never a time when we should risk the lives or the physical wellbeing of those in our groups due to poor road conditions or other harmful weather related elements.
Purity: As a last item to cover, always be mindful of our biblical requirement to remain pure in all circumstances. Scripture tells us in 1 Thessalonians that we should abstain from, and reject, any kind of evil, even the simple appearance of evil. In other words, steer far from anything that could be impure for those who meet with us or even for ourselves. Avoid the use of alcohol, never meet alone with someone of the opposite sex, and never participate in activities that could cultivate inappropriate thoughts, feelings or relationships. We want to be above reproach, blameless and pure in all that we do (Phil. 2:15). We are to bring honor to our Savior in our activities, in our words, and in our relationships.
Always remember to be mindful of one another. And if anything of concern ever takes place, be sure to inform or speak with your ministry covering as soon as possible.
We are so grateful for your service, and leadership within our church family. Let’s continue to safely and appropriately help others…
Go Deeper and Grow Stronger!