by Rick Ferguson

Growth Group Manual
Dr. Rick E. Ferguson

Riverside Baptist Church is a metropolitan church. It's membership is made up of people living throughout the vast Denver metropolitan area. Members of Riverside come from areas such as Evergreen, Bennett, Boulder and as far as Colorado Springs. Riverside, therefore, uses growth groups as a creative way to allow believers to develop intimate relationships with other believers, as well as be involved in effective ministry, discipleship and evangelism. The purpose and goals of each growth group are four-fold.

1. Fellowship:Growth groups allow believers to meet with fellow believers of similar age and life experiences on a regular basis. Growth group meetings are intentionally relaxed, with limited structure in order to allow for maximum spontaneity and sensitivity to the ever changing needs of the group. Growth group meetings involve food, laughter and fellowship. One of the primary goals of growth groups is to help believers meet other believers and develop enduring friendships and intimate relationships.

2. Discipleship:Growth group ministry also is designed to nurture personal spiritual growth. Time and attention is given in growth group meetings to practical Bible study, prayer, accountability, sharing of personal testimony and the discovery of each individual spiritual gifts. In the growth group meetings there should be time designated to the following disciplines of the Christian life.

a. Relevant Bible study with practical application - (The Bible study is done in a discussion format emphasizing maximum participation of every person present.)

b. Accountability toward Christian living in: *family responsibility *daily quiet time *church attendance *personal ministry *evangelism *giving of tithes and offerings *personal holiness, etc.

c. Sharing of personal testimonies, answered prayer, specific needs.

d. Payer and worship - (Group members should give time to share prayer requests and to pray ...

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