When the Lord first spoke to me about iGroups He said,
Ministry in America is about to change. Gas prices are rising, travel is changing, and how people receive ministry is shifting. Those who hold on to the old paradigms will be ineffective and obsolete in just a few short years.
It was in this dialog with God that I saw the next great wave of effective ministry.
One of the keys to effective ministry is timing: knowing what to do and when to do it! It was one of King David’s secrets to incredible success. When describing the men who surrounded David and helped him prepare for battle the Bible says the sons of Issachar had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. (1 Chronicles 12:32)
In the 1950s and part of the 60s, church revival meetings were the place to go in order to touch people’s lives. In the late 60s and early 70s coffee houses became the gathering place for young people to know Jesus. In the late 70s and throughout the 80s there were large conventions and conferences. People filled the halls and arenas to attend these types of meetings. In each of these times it was essential to utilize the methods that people sought out.
One type of gathering that has existed from the first days of the Church all the way through each movement is home-meetings. Home meetings, whether formal or casual, are probably the most powerful, consistently effective form of developing people into fully committed followers of Jesus that has ever existed. They meet all the deepest needs of people. They’re always culturally relevant because homes change to fit every culture. People always long to have personal relationships and be part of a group. Homes are a safe environment conducive to conversations, questions, personal prayer, and intimate friendship.
The greatest lack in home meetings has always been finding someone who was an effective communicator of truth. People will openly discuss a message; conversation and discussion is seldom lacking. But the need for a group leader has often been the demise of home groups; today that problem is solved!
With the advancement of digital recordings, online broadcasts, computers, or compatible phones weekly I can step into your home and share a relevant message for your group. You can now have weekly groups in your home, church, business, or anywhere that you can bring people together. Your desire to reach your community and my passion to touch the world can now become a synergistic effort that grows beyond what either of us could ever do alone. iGroups are the fulfillment of more than 30 years of my small group ministry experience, and the specific fulfillment of a plan that God unfolded for me over the past several years.
I believe in synchronicity, the seemingly coincidental emergence of thoughts, ideas, and efforts. Because we’re listening to the same Holy Spirit, the plan God gave me and your desire to touch your community puts us in sync with one another and God’s plan!
- This week I started an IGroup in my home. We are studying and applying what we learned in “Wired for Success, Programmed for Failure.” God is so faithful and met our group of 9 women the first morning. This is a diverse group but each one knew someone in the group from previous encounters in meetings or other churches. That created an atmosphere of familiarity and trust. Isn’t God awesome? Everyone is anticipating that God is doing great things and we will all be transformed through this study. It was a great Holy Spirit led first meeting. I love teaching and leading groups and have found such great material to use with your books, CDs, and resources, Jim. I am faithful to give credit where credit is due, so your name comes up a lot. We love God and all the people He uses. Thank you, Jim, for your faithfulness and diligence in unpacking the Word to help us all ‘Live Transformed.’ I am honored to partner with you to see the world changed one IGroup at a time.
- I am just starting to meet once a week with a couple I’ve known for years. They saw the change in me and want what I have. I felt the Spirit urging me to start a small group and I see His hands on the situation and in the blessings He gives to those I share with. I was talking to a woman yesterday after church and she was crying like a baby as long as I was talking to her. There is a great need around me and I need to start a bigger group as soon as possible. Please pray for me and for my church leaders to be open to the teaching of the Gospel of grace and peace. Thank you, Pastor, for your teaching about the heart. I’m so deeply in love with Him; it is great. My first love was little compared to what I live now. Thanks again. God bless you all and may He multiply you greatly.
- I have been teaching a group of 20-30 year olds (a complete cross-section of cultures, colors, and creeds) every week and [the majority of the] response has been overwhelmingly positive with most saying their lives are changing dramatically as they learn more about what Jesus did for them on the cross. I have never been in a group that is so hungry for the Word and who have so taken on the love of God for themselves [as well as] taken what I’ve given them and are giving it out to others. It makes my heart purr! Last night I had a girl come to me on the brink of suicide. Simply explaining what Jesus did for her on the cross and God’s love for her turned her around and she went home alive and smiling. Today I received an email from her that said, “It feels good to give Jesus my pain because I feel relieved and I know for sure that that pain of mine is not too much for Him and He can handle it much better than me. You made me realize that it’s so true that to love others first I have to be filled with love myself. Thank you so much. I hope to see you again soon.”
- We have such opportunity here to minister to so many nations. There are 193 different nationalities represented in Dubai. Imagine what they can take back to their home countries with them – and so many WANT to learn… Let’s see where God takes it! Thank you!