Reproducing Grace Groups Can Influence a Culture

This is blog three in a series on Reproducing Grace. First was “Reproducing Grace: A Church Plant Movement” where I unpacked the first century church planting movement as seen in the book of Acts. We saw that reproducing grace by planting churches in a particular region can be done with little or no money.  Second was “Gathering for a Grace Movement” where I discussed church leaders and believers gathering together to start a Grace Movement in a particular region. I covered how to begin, plan, and launch a Grace Movement in a region.

Building on those ideas, I want to suggest that reproducing grace groups in a region can influence a culture in that region.

The Thessalonian Example

Let’s look again at the Thessalonian Church. Thessalonica was located in a pagan culture full of idol worship and pagan rituals. Those who believe the grace message abandoned idol worship in an idolatrous culture to serve the living true God (1:9).  This grace group shared the message of grace in Macedonia and Achaia and became a great example for all who believed (1:7). More and more people believed the good news and abandoned their idolatry to serve God and they influenced the region with Biblical teaching and a grace-centered worldview.
We can influence the culture in our region the same way the Thessalonians did — by reproducing grace. Start one grace group and it can split like a cell and multiply.

Imitating Basic Biology

Do you remember learning about cells in high school biology class?  An organism is alive. Organisms are made up of cells that split into smaller cells and multiply. One cell splits and becomes multiplied into two cells. These cells split and multiply into four cells and so on. Cells in an organism regenerate and grow naturally. A grace movement in a particular region is an organism. The grace groups are the cells of that organism. They naturally divide and reproduce.

In our churches across the country we already have many ministries designed to reach and influence particular affinity groups: children’s ministry, youth ministry, men’s ministry, women’s ministry, just to name a few.

What if we start an organism with one cell, one grace group, and it splits and multiplies into many groups of different affinities. They could split into grace groups designed for children, teens, young adults, men’s, women’s, young married couples, young families, senior adults; not to mention addiction recovery grace groups, teen mom grace groups, troubled teen grace groups, foster care support grace groups.  There could also be benevolence groups feeding and clothing the homeless and those in need while sharing the message of grace.

All these groups need are resources written specifically for the affinity of the group — free grace curriculums and small group studies written so they could be easily reproduced and facilitated. Some of these resources already exist and are written by the authors of this grace blog.

Influencing Our Culture With Grace

Imagine a region saturated with all of these grace groups.  Imagine the influence that would have on the entire region. It would be just like the influence that the Thessalonian grace group had on the entire region of Greece. With the grace message and a graced-centered worldview, we can impact our region with grace and influence the culture!


Original post taken from 
https://freedomchurchmovement.org/f/reproducing-grace-groups-can-influence-a-culture

 

Joe Filer is an author, speaker, and church planter. Born in Shamong, N.J. he now lives in Lehi, Utah with his wife of 24 years and their two teen boys. His first book was recently published by Freedom Church Movement “Freedom: Your Best Year Yet. Living the Abundant Christian Life.” Joe has been a church planter since 2008 and is currently a missionary in Utah planting underground churches that meet in homes and some pretty unusual places. Joe is also helping to coach 18 church planters in China. Learn more at Freedom Church Movement.

3 Comments

  • Kelley Easley

    Hi Joe. Since you mentioned groups designed around specific affinities and also resources/free Grace curricula, I’ve been wondering something. In my area, at every church it seems, women’s Bible study groups seem to be centered around studies written by women from the Reformed viewpoint…are you aware of any studies written for women by women with a Free Grace perspective?

    • Joe Filer

      Hi Kelley, thank you for your question. Yes I know of women authors who write from a free grace perspective. One is Linda Dillow she wrote “Calm My Anxious Heart, Satisfy My Thirsty Soul” and co-authored “Surprised by the Healer” and “Intimacy Ignited: Conversations Couple to Couple,”.That last one she co-authored with her husband Jody. Another woman author is Asheritah Ciuciu, she wrote “Walking with God: Enjoying God’s Presence From Morning to Night”, also “He is Enough: Living in the Fullness of Jesus” and “Full: Food, Jesus, and the Battle for Satisfaction”. all of which have study guides you can buy to go through as personal study or in a small group. My wife is currently writing small group studies for women’s groups and young adult (collage age) women’s groups. This is part of our ministry, Freedom Church Movement. The goal is to have study material for the different affinity groups I mentioned in this blog. I am sure there must be other women authors who write from a free grace worldview, but these are the only ones I know of.

  • Kelley Easley

    Thanks for those suggestions, Joe. I’ll definitely look into them, and will look forward to seeing your wife’s work published, as well!

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