Discipleship on the Courts
I am excited about the launch of the Enter Into His (Tennis) Courts group this summer. Yep, it's a small group for people who want to get together every Saturday to play tennis.
I believe that you can create community faster by playing together for one hour than you can over a year's worth of discussion-based meetings. I can learn the most about people by playing with them and praying with them.
So what makes this a small group? There's no Bible study?
This is what we would call an "interest group" in the free market small group system. Some interest groups include Bible studies in their activities. Others do not. The goal is to create community around a shared activity and then begin to disciple those people. Most of Jesus' discipleship did not happen with his disciples huddled around Old Testament scrolls. It happened when they were doing life together. Fishing, going to parties, road trips. Every interest group leader has one goal: to help each member of their group walk one step closer to Christ over the course of the semester.
There might be non-Christians in the group. For that person, the leader's goal might be to share the Gospel, share their testimony, or invite them to church. For Christians that just aren't interested in Bible studies, the goal might be to help that person recognize the importance of reading and studying the word of God. Sometimes, groups like these are the best ways for newcomers to get connected to the Body of Christ.
First and foremost, it's about creating environments where people can connect to the Body of Christ and connect to God. The goal is always discipleship. But the wineskins can look different.