10 Proven Steps Toward Establishing a Stable Set Apart Fellowship
My son, hear your father's instruction, and do not forsake the law of your mother;
for they shall be an ornament of grace to your head, and chains for your neck.
Proverbs 1: 8-9
Because knowledge gained outside of the context of relationship
is only half of His plan for us.
These Steps Focus on the Often Forsaken “Law of Your Mother!”
You Can Easily Complete This Coaching Course for Leaders in just 10 weeks!
Each Step Guides You through Personal & Group Preparation, and lists Study and Scripture References
Coursework will come directly to your email box for study at your convenience.
Set Apart Ministries reference materials are included free of additional charges.
Participation in Leadership Development Teleconference groups provides an opportunity to discuss your personal questions as you complete the course.
Coaching Course Fee: $25
You Know You Will Grow Through This! You can start right now!
Usually a group new to walking in Torah will be preoccupied with topics such as what it means to observe Shabbat, dietary changes, and calendar/moedim observance questions. This is a wonderful experience indeed, yet it is easy to miss an important aspect of our walk.
It is common and necessary for new groups to be focused on the knowledge and lifestyle changes that come with pursuing Torah and our Messiah, the Living Word. During this phase of a group coming together, little attention is given to the development of YHWH honoring character development, interpersonal relationships, conflict management and boundaries, or what is called “Mama’s Torah.” Yet this area of study and preparation is crucial for the stability of the group to develop if they are to remain a viable group over time. The newness and excitement of it all carries the group for a season but at some point, unmet expectations and personal character issues begin to surface. If the group has no shared foundational basis to effectively deal with them, strife and division are inevitable.
If possible, before that uniqueness wears off or when an “opening” occurs to highlight the importance and need, you can bring into play the additional question of development of YHWH Honoring behaviors, character, and becoming more like Messiah, “Mama’s Torah” that we are exhorted not to forsake. This is important not only in individual lives, but in the corporate life that is being developed together. (Ephesians 5)
Some people understand that there is need not only for the knowledge but also for the personal maturity and desire to increase relationship intimacy with Messiah but this is very unfamiliar ground for many. It has been viewed as a very personal process. Most people have little or no experience of the corporate aspect. They often fear to be more personally vulnerable to other people. Most people have not ever specifically looked at the Scripture references that pertain to their actual daily behavior and the need for maturity. Many think that if they believe in God, that He will simply “fix” their issues. They will need to understand that this is not so. Personal and spiritual disciplines are needed just as Yeshua observed that people are harried and helpless without a shepherd.
Many people feel ill-equipped as a leader or shepherd to deal with these development and relational matters and so forego them to their later regret. We at Set Apart Ministries maintain that these gifts pertaining to shepherding people are distinct from teaching gifts, though they are both needed, just as Solomon affirmed that we are to include both aspects of teaching for our well-being in our Torah walk together. Before broaching these topics with your group, do some advance reading and prayerful consideration of the various issues you will need to be comfortable with in order to keep the discussions on track. The series that follows will provide step by step, week to week suggestions for your preparation and process. There are many resources that have been involved in developing this course. Should you want to study more on any or all of them, I will be happy to direct you to the resources.
Each week’s recommendations for study should involve a time investment of perhaps 1-2 hours, though additional studies are often available.
There will also be suggestions for how and when to address the topics within your fellowship group. This study does not provide specific foregone conclusions or directions for you but rather assists in the exploration of how our Father is leading you and your fellowship.
May you find these ten steps a blessing for you personally as well as for those you serve.
Watching and praying,
Barbara L. Klika, MSW
Personal Life Coach
10 Steps Course Outline
1) Prayerfully prepare yourself through exploration of your reason/motives for providing leadership. Address vulnerabilities in preparation.
Consider the differences/similarities between responding to a calling, an anointing, an ordination, personal desire, or simply being pressed into service.
Scripture References: 1 Peter 5: 2-7, Isaiah 1:23-27, Romans 1:11-12, 1 Timothy 1: 13-16, 2 Corinthians 6:1-10; 2 Corinthians 10:1-7.
2) Review materials about dealing with various kinds of people and situations and maturity for your own preparation.
Discussion and review of information on stages of maturity, personal and corporate needs, personality disorders and dysfunctional behaviors such as what is called “passive-aggressive behavior” and various other mental health aspects along with the spiritual connections, conflict management in individual and corporate situations. This material will then be discussed in terms of how to prayerfully recognize and effectively deal with it. There is a great deal of material here for personal study or supplemental coaching in addition to what we can cover in the course.
Scripture References: Psalm 1, Proverbs 6:16-19, Romans 1: 20-32, Nehemiah,
3) Review materials on group boundaries, process or expectations in preparation for discussion with the whole group.
Beginning the process of development of halacha for the fellowship. Establishing which expectation will prevail: that group process will be based in seeking His Truth together or in personal opinions/previous experience. Group dynamics as they play out in small fellowship groups will be explored and analyzed to draw out effective management needs. Preparation to address these issues with the fellowship before difficulties arise.
Scripture References: 1 Timothy: 6: 2-21, John 10: 1-18, Ezekiel 34
4) Discussion of leadership with group; draw out various people’s understanding of what it means.
Assimilating information and experience in preparation to lead group conversation/discussion about their expectations –hopes and fears--of leadership. Formal/informal; hierarchy or organization/organism; single/plural; Sample questions or outlines to be developed through discussion.
Scripture References: Psalm 1, Ecclesiastes 12: 7-14, Proverbs 1: 1-9
5) Discussion of plural leadership model in scriptures…informal/formal leadership roles.
What is the accepted basis for leadership? Jewishness, gender, knowledge, maturity, calling, need
Preparation to open discussion on perceived leadership qualifications to help the group more clearly define and recognize Scriptural directions as opposed to personal opinions or tradition. We are in a transition period in which qualifications obtained through either the Christian Church or Rabbinical sources do not accurately reflect the acceptance of both Messiah Yeshua and His Whole Word. Biblical patterns for leadership during transitions.
Scripture References: Isaiah 1: 25-26, Judges
6) Discussion of the need for balance between knowledge and relationship; topics and character development. Who among the group has the authority to function as one who “calls out” when something needs to be addressed?
Presentation to the group of the dual need to pursue not only knowledge of His Word but also the personal maturity and character development and sanctification process that occurs both individually and corporately. Draw out their impressions and challenge members to study, not simply offer opinions.(a halacha matter!)
Scripture References: Proverbs 1: 1-8, Proverbs 6:20-23,
7) Discussion of desire to grow to be more like Messiah: ask what it means to do so, and whether it can be done entirely alone or with mutual exhortation. Social ship or fellowship desired?
Discussion of expectations regarding focus on Messiah and what they have experienced compared to what is presented in the Word as a basis for goals in this group. This discussion is a crossroads experience for group and leader. What will it be “like us” to do?
Scripture References: Listed in Set Apart Ministries Goals Chart and Narrative
8) Discussion of the importance of finding unity/echad in Him and together because of the pressures of the world, the flesh and the evil one. The crucial nature of the need for prayerful undergirding individually and corporately. The differences between personal and corporate prayer patterns.
A spiritual warfare primer, or more in depth discussion as participants are able, about the personal and corporate aspects of a community desiring to grow in Messiah. Prayer in positional authority/ prayer from unbelief or fear; need for leaders to “overcome socially correct” behavior to encourage and redirect where needed.
Scripture References: Ephesians 6, 1 Peter 5:8-9, John 17
9) Discussion of specific behaviors to encourage and/or discourage in the fellowship then bring in Scriptural references that are very specific actionable goals.
Preparation to present and lead discussion on the specific goals of personal maturity/behavior the group sees as essential to their unity, growth, maturity. Importance of leader/people being able to “overcome socially correct” behavior to offer or receive exhortation.
Scripture References: Proverbs 6:16-19, Romans 1: 20-32, Ephesians 4:29, 5:4
10) Discussion of confusion between evangelism needs and development of “set apart” lifestyle.
Seeker friendly vs. spiritual formation or discipleship in Messianic fellowship.
Preparation to present and lead discussion on the challenges of meeting the needs of both those “new” to the faith walk and those who desire to mature in their faith without compromising either group. Identify elements that keep individual and corporate growth limited and what opens up the growth options.
Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Hebrews 5:12-14