One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How do you find a fellowship?” Well, my answer was to start one, so today I’m going to give you 10 steps I took that have proved the most helpful in doing that. Grab a notepad and pen, Friends! Let us explore some strategies for developing deeper fellowship with whole Bible believers.
The importance of prayer in the development of a tribe cannot be over-emphasized. Effective tribe-building is a supernatural experience, Friends. It happens because the Holy Spirit makes it happen. Don’t neglect prayer in this endeavor.
- EMBRACE THE DESERT
While feelings of loneliness are difficult, there can be great joy in being one-on-one with YHVH. There is purpose in the waiting. Don’t resist Him.
- INVEST IN PEOPLE YOU ALREADY KNOW
Have you noticed anyone who seems curious about your whole Bible lifestyle? Do you have a friend or family member that likes to “talk Bible” with you? These people may become your tribe. Perhaps you do not have such people in your life. That’s okay; keep praying, and keep your eyes open. YHVH is very creative in how He orchestrates others to cross our paths.
- BE ACCEPTING
As your tribe begins to form, do not expect everyone to be just like you. Accept people where they are. My own in-person tribe has members from a variety of backgrounds. However, we are all aligned in the goals that we have set as important for our tribe.
- STUDY THE BIBLE
Speaking of aligned goals, I recommend that any whole Bible tribe be about the Bible. This may sound like a no-brainer, but if it was, we would not be starving for whole Bible fellowship. Put away the latest trending Bible study workbook, and elevate the Bible as your small group text book.
- CREATE A CULTURE OF ACTIVE PARTICIPATION
This one can take some getting used to, as most of us are used to the “sit and get” model. As your tribe determines goals, set expectations for participation. Break the cycle of “sit and get.”
- DETERMINE GIFTS AND TALENTS
Is someone good at facilitating? Are there those who have the gift of hospitality? Perhaps someone is an effective communicator. Figure out what talents and gifts are in the room, and put them to work!
- SET GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS
People need to know what to expect. Time is an economic commodity, and it can be spent in many ways. Your tribe members are choosing to spend their time with you. Begin and end on time. Keep discussion focused on the goal. Be willing to pull the group back on track when discussion begins to move away from the goal. This doesn’t mean that there cannot be time to socialize. Just plan for it separately from the agreed upon study time.
- KEEP THE DOOR OPEN
Closed organizations die. Create a system for accepting new members. That does not mean that the door must revolve at all times, but there does need to be a plan for growth at agreed upon intervals.
- REVISIT THE PLAN
Healthy organizations reflect, evaluate, and set new goals. Our tribes should, too. As goals are met, celebrate, then determine next steps.
I hope this gives you a blueprint and some confidence as you pray about developing your tribe. I can’t wait to hear your testimonies!
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