Groups ought to include everyone's insight since we all share in the Spirit


​"Collaboration allows students to actively participate in the learning process by talking with each other and listening to others opinions. Collaboration establishes a personal connection between students and the topic of study and it helps students think in a less personally biased way. Group projects and discussions are examples of this teaching method. Teachers may employ collaboration to assess student's abilities to work as a team, leadership skills, or presentation abilities." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teaching_method


Deception is everywhere and rarely will people confront it. The group process needs an individual strong enough to confront deception in an objective and caring manner. Each person ought to be willing enough to humble themselves to face their own deception for Godly correction.


Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

Luke 13:23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.

​​​​​The only requirement is a desire to grow with God...


How to grow with God

1. Attend and participate regularly with humility, truth, and sincerity.

2. Put into practice what is learned each week and share about the experience.

3. Listen to others for similarities, focus on what to add, and how to assist the spirit.

4. Let the grace of God (love, mercy, truth, forgiveness, generosity, peace, righteousness, justice, etc.) increase in thought and action while carefully observing the benefits in self and others.

5. Attendance each week present with heart and mind, prayer, meditation, seek God-reliance, and regular engagement of God's character.

6. Meet with other/s privately for partnership, confession, spiritual encouragement, collaboration, and self examination.

7. Share openly the experiences of love and suffering with those in the journey.

8. Practice daily prayer for learning, receiving, and administering God's grace.


Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.


"A reaction to didactic approaches such as behaviorism and programmed instruction, constructivism states that learning is an active, contextualized process of constructing knowledge rather than acquiring it. Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment. Learners continuously test these hypotheses through social negotiation. Each person has a different interpretation and construction of knowledge process." https://www.learning-theories.com/constructivism.html


The spirit is alive within us

Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.


Since we seek God and pay attention to God's spirit within us we can share the spirit's message we receive with others. We all sin and suffer as we persevere with God. We can support and encourage one another in love, truth, compassion, and gentleness. 


2 Corinthians 2:9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.


Groups


​Groups can be an excellent means to participate in spiritual activity. Retreats are known to be life changing events and ongoing groups can help to maintain such an experience. As we engage in honest, sincere, and genuine emotional sharing about our inward selves, we can experience together God's quality for spiritual life. Groups can be a safe and helpful place to experience God regularly where otherwise such sharing might be uncomfortable and awkward.


1. Attend and participate regularly with truth and sincerity.


Commitment to regular attendance in truth and sincerity is essential to learning and relationships. Common cliches proven to be true with group participation are "the more you put into it the more you get out of it" and "out of sight, out of mind." Staying with the group as consistent as possible keeps us connected and hearing the message. Even if we fall away from our Daily Development Activity, our regular weekly attendance can  be a reminder to recommit. 


Someone will need to step up to be the rock, the leaders who are always there, the go to person/s to make the group possible week in and week out. This may include holidays when many need the benefit of support. The evil one does not take time off so why should we?


John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Every group needs a leader or facilitator who can help the group stay on point. A strong group can do this themselves which ought to be the goal, but that takes experienced participants in group behavior. It takes time to develop relationships and get comfortable with each other and the group process. The leader ought to be someone who is sincere, honest, respected, unbiased, good listener, humble, and can speak up to redirect others gently. The leader guides the others in depth and insight by being an example of open and honest sharing while demonstrating their own weakness and increased faith. Mistakes happen where the leader can demonstrate humble apologies and God's grace. The leader can also demonstrate hospitality, mercy, and forgiveness. We are all called to be leaders following the spirit of God within us, but most of us are waiting for someone else to take the initial steps because of fear, selfishness, and lack of faith. It is best to begin taking action toward administration of God's grace because in that we may experience the intangible nature of God coming to life within us.


Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.


2. Put into practice what is learned each week and share about the experience.


There are different levels of experience and understanding. Many of us receive regularly third hand experience. This occurs when we receive information from someone who has interpreted information from someone else.


Play the telephone game where everyone sits in a circle and verbally whisper a message passing it from person to person until it completes the circle. The last person will speak aloud the message as they understand it and then the real initial message will be spoken where everyone can view how the message has been changed. It may be best to have the last person write the message on a white board and then the real message below it. This way the group can carefully analyze the differences and take time discussing how such differences can affect the message.


First hand experience and understanding is not only the best and most accurate way, but it is the way God instructs us to learn and grow. Avoiding this is to discount God's instruction. Since we are committed to follow God then we follow God's instructions given by God's leaders.


3. Listen to others for similarities, focus on what to add, and how to assist the spirit in the group.


Often times when attending a new group there can be hesitation, uncertainty, doubt, fear, or an expectation of negativity picked up from previous experience. We evaluate the group experience and what it has to offer to help us decide whether it is beneficial for us to invest our time and efforts. As servants of the spirit we ought to take care to look for the spirit and more importantly to evaluate ourselves to see if we are adding anything of the spirit to the group. Our selfishness will desire taking from the group, but God's spirit knows better. What we get out of the group will be in large part dependent upon how open we are to the group. Are we closed minded, defensive, guarded, and keeping ourselves distant? Are we following fear and worry about what others might think? Are we negatively judging others without offering assistance or help? Humbling ourselves with love, compassion, forgiveness, and mercy is the path toward freedom and peace, but we must engage in it. We ought always to seek the spirit of God within ourselves and others.
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4. Let the grace of God (love, mercy, truth, forgiveness, generosity, peace, righteousness, justice, etc.) increase in thought and action while carefully observing the benefits in self and others.


​Since we agree to seek the spirit of God in ourselves and others for teaching we also agree to give into the experience of God's grace. Each week we learn more about God's grace like an athlete or musician learns through practicing techniques. The more we give into the experience the more we understand it. God is described with intangible character we can learn only by engaging in that character. Reading about love without experience will be of little help to us. Through such engagement we will face our feelings, fears, selfish desires, and frustrations. This is necessary work to better align ourselves with God.


5. Practice elimination of discounting or minimizing attendance, prayer, meditation, God-reliance, and regular engagement of God's grace.


It can be easy to develop reasons... excuses for missing groups, prayers, meditation, bible reading, and church. Often times we justify our actions based upon what other people do. Why should I pray and meditate everyday if no one else seems to do it? It is essential to rid ourselves of this kind of thinking since we serve God. We are to seek out God's will and do as God desires for us with humility, honesty, and sincerity.


​6. Agree with other/s privately for partnership, confession, spiritual encouragement, and self examination.


God's grace is experienced in deep relationships. The more of our inner selves we share with others, in a safe manner, the more we can learn about the spirit and our spiritual condition. Love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, generosity and the like often times requires engagement with other people. Times when Jesus was alone usually had to do with private time with God. Otherwise he was building relationships and speaking spiritual things. We are to discuss our feelings, thoughts, fears, and frustrations encouraging one another toward faith, love, and peace.


7. Share openly the experiences of love and suffering with those in the journey and group.


As we feel lead by the spirit we can share with each other with increasing confidence about our experiences growing with God. Often times suffering is part of the experience and we come to view suffering as a faith building process toward freedom and peace. In the beginning, like anything else for the first time, our openly sharing of feelings and our private selves will be uncomfortable and unusually awkward. With continued practice, like anything else, we adapt to the experience and it can become normalized. This is extremely important to come to a point of our walk where sharing about God's love is normal. We need each other on a fairly regular basis for this to happen. We can develop close relationships with each other in just a few months with regular intimate sharing, a closeness few experience, and closeness that is absolutely priceless.


8. Practice daily prayer for learning, receiving, and administering God's grace.


We ought to keep the applying a level of effort to continue our growth, learning, and knowledge of God. Our continued sifting through our conscience for misunderstanding can increase our ability to administer the grace of God. We ought to continue down the path of correcting the misunderstandings within us and adding new knowledge about God's grace. The more we engage in that grace the closer we can be with God.