About the
Love Cares - Small Group Members' Guide

The “Love Cares –Small Group Members’ Guide” is a handbook to help small group members learn how to care for each other in small groups. It contains simple but practical insights and suggestions that can be applied in their daily walk. The book is structured so that each of the 40 concepts can be shared on a weekly basis in a small group meeting.

Why 40 weeks?
Well, as Christian’s we need to learn how to care. That sounds like a ridiculous comment but we are so influenced by the world and its ultra selfish tendencies that most of us don’t really know how to care. And even when we do know how, we lack the discipline to turn that knowledge into practice. So to answer the “why 40 weeks” question – if you actively work with the concepts in this book for an extended period of time they should become a habit in your life. In other words, active use over an extended period should result in caring become a habit

Why work in a small group?
Virtually everyone lacks the self discipline, desire and drive to do this on their own. It’s a bit like a diet – we start out with great intention and determination and maybe avoid those “bad foods” for a week or so but then temptation comes along and it’s all over! The doughnut is in the mouth and all the good work of the previous week is gone. The structure of the Love Cares book is such that small group members should be providing weekly feedback to each other on their activities for the previous week. This creates a level of accountability and peer pressure that helps you avoid the “doughnut sins” of selfishness, laziness and business.

Are the concepts biblical?
Most definitely, YES. The topic for each week is supported by biblical references. The references used through the text are taken from different translations of the bible so that it is easier to understand in the context of the topic being discussed. For ease of reference the scriptures used are quoted in the text so the reader does not have to sit with 5 different books in front of them in order to get achieve accurate and easy contextualisation.

How practical are the concepts?
Head knowledge is useful to a point. Practical application of that knowledge is what actually works in the real world. Each topic presented in the Love Cares books closes with a list of possible things that can be done to achieve that practical application. Some weeks are easy and some more challenging but they are always understandable and “do-able” so please rise to each challenge and help change lives.

How much of a commitment is this?
Everything that is worth anything requires a commitment. Knowing full well that time can stifle almost every good intention the structure of each topic is such that your small group will need to spend a little bit of time each week (about 15 minutes) in their meeting to go through the feedback and the notes and then each group member should spend a little bit more time each day (5- 10 minutes) to action the suggested activities.

What happens in the feedback sessions?
These should be positive and uplifting. Obviously there will be times when people have struggled with, or been rejected because of the actions. These seemingly negative times should be turned to a time of ministry so that they have a positive result. With this in mind group members should go to each group meeting prepared to share what they have done during the week and the effect their actions have had on themselves and the people they have been involved with. If they were the recipient of caring during the week group members should be willing and prepared to share that with the group in order to edify, uplift and encourage other group members.

Why is this book focussed on small group relationships?
The primary reason for this is that the inspiration that God provided for this book was specifically around small groups. This is most probably because so many small group relationships are shallow and uncaring and God wants us to be a close family.

Can we apply these concepts outside of our small groups?
Most definitely! Caring is not a concept restricted to Christian Small Groups. The weekly challenges provided in the book can be applied in any environment where people interact with each other. That being said God has also set the author the challenge of writing 3 more books – one focussed on caring in the workplace, another on caring at home and then a another on caring outreach into a small group’s local communities!

Contact Information
Andrew Fraser
Email: andrew@lovecares.co.za Jenny Fraser
Email: jenny@lovecares.co.za

Tel: 011 976 4360
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