What Are You Trying to Produce?

By Jay Fennell

As it pertains to your LIFE Group, what are you trying to produce? What, through your leadership, are you trying to accomplish in the lives of your people?

These are questions that LIFE Group leaders must reflect upon regularly. If not, you run the risk of producing something contrary to what Jesus tells us to produce. So the question then becomes: What does He want us to produce?

To answer this question, recall Jesus’ encounter with Peter and Andrew in Matthew 4. The brothers are casting their net by the lake and Jesus approaches them and says, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus was telling them that He would make them into something they are already doing. They would fish, but with a Kingdom purpose. They would not fish for fish anymore. They would fish for people. Notice also that Jesus didn’t tell them He would make them “catch” people. The catching is what He will do. No, the disciples were simply called to fish.

We see also in Matthew 28 where Jesus tells the disciples to make more disciples by baptizing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to be obedient to everything that Jesus has said and done. In other words, they are to fish for people and point them to Jesus.

As LIFE Group leaders, our goal is not to merely produce Bible trivia experts. Nor is the goal to simply uncover a few truths so that group members become better people with modified behaviors that make them feel good about themselves. No, we want to produce fishermen. Our end goal is to invest in people God has given us, help them grow to be like Jesus, and teach them to fish.

Jesus’ offer to Peter and Andrew was so compelling that they dropped their nets “at once” and followed Him. They gave up their livelihood and their family business to fish in a new way. A way that had eternal impact.

Let’s work to produce the same thing that Jesus produced, disciples who fish for people, and who are making an eternal impact for the Kingdom of God.


What Does It Mean to Engage the World?

By Jay Fennell

In Matthew 28, Jesus gave his disciples and us a Commission…”Go and make disciples of all nations.” Those are our marching orders as disciples – to make more disciples and to introduce people to Jesus, the One who lived, died and rose to secure salvation for all those who put their faith in Him. LIFE Groups are perfectly positioned and equipped to engage in this work.

In fact, one of the four functions of a LIFE Group at Brentwood Baptist is to Engage the World. To Engage the World means the LIFE Group intentionally engages in mission opportunities to reach the lost and share the gospel, serving alongside each other to serve God and His Kingdom by making disciples. It also means that the LIFE Group will pray for church-wide mission efforts and stay abreast of the work Brentwood Baptist is doing across the street or around the world to reach a diversity of people with the gospel.

The point of this function is to develop an outward focus and mobilize for mission impact. It’s a function where the LIFE Group is “salt and light” to a world that does not know God. It’s a LIFE Group that acts as instruments of grace, proclaiming a gospel that has the power to save and free people from their sin.

What does an E Leader do?

The “E” leader is the point person for this work in the LIFE Group. He/She urges and encourages members to be on mission with Jesus and organizes ways for the group to engage the community together through service and evangelism. The E Leader is a missions advocate, someone who knows what’s happening church-wide in the area of missions and communicates those opportunities regularly to group members.

A good “E” leader is someone who has a general sense of the gifting and passion of those in the LIFE Group and can adequately lead the group to adopt or engage in a mission initiative that will allow the group to utilize those gifts and passions for the glory of God.