Thursday, April 22, 2010

LTGs: The Basics with Character Questions

I have been trying to put together a little information about Life Transformation Groups (LTGs) so that people that want to start a group can do so. LTGs are very simple, small and focused, because of that they are very powerful.

Here are the basics:

LTG’s meet once a week for approximately one hour.

LTG’s are groups of two or three people (the addition or a fourth person is the beginning of the second group and multiplication is imminent).

The groups are not co-ed but gender specific. If you are guy you meet with all guys, if you are girl you meet all girls.

There is no curriculum, workbook or training involved.

There is no leader needed.

Three Tasks are to be accomplished in a LTG:

1. Confession:
Sin is confessed to mutual accountability partners. The group must be a safe place of honesty, confidentiality and integrity. “What is said in the group stays in the group.”

2. Scripture Reading
Scripture is read repetitively in context and in community. Each group decides what will be read each week. The goal is 25 to 30 chapters a week. If any one person was unable to finish the reading that week, then the whole group does the same reading for the next week. If this amount of reading seems overwhelming you can start with a small goal of 7-10 chapters a week.  

3. Prayer 
Souls are prayed for specifically and continuously each week. Typically the group prays for people who they would like to add to the group. A soul that you know needs to encounter the transformative power of Christ in their life. Each person can create a list of 5 to 10 people and those people are prayed for individually each week.  

Character Questions
While the group meets they ask one another Character Questions to hold each other accountable and confess sins. They discuss the scripture that they have been reading during the week. And they pray together.

Here are a few sets of Character Questions for different groups:

Character Questions for Men:
1. How have you experienced God in your life this week? What is God teaching you?
2. Have you been exposed to sexually alluring material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate sexual thoughts about another person this week?
3. Have you lacked integrity in your financial dealings or coveted something that does not belong to you?
4. Have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back or face to face?
5. Have you given in to any addictive behavior this week? Explain.
6. Have you continued to remain angry toward another person?
7. Have you secretly wished for another’s misfortune? ______________________________________
8. (your personalized accountability question)
9. Did you finish the reading and hear from God?
10. What are you going to do about it?
Have you been completely honest with me?

Three specific questions for Husbands and Fathers
  • Have you modeled Christ-like behavior with your family?
  • Have you shown proper reassurance to your wife through your words and actions in love?
  • Have you been available to your kids –eye contact, affection, listing?
Character Questions For Women
1. Have you been a good example of Christ in your words and deeds?
2. Have you been exposed to sexually alluring material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate sexual thoughts about another person this week?
3. Have you lacked integrity in your financial dealings or coveted something that does not belong to you?
4. Have you been honoring, understanding and generous in your impart relationships this week?
5. Have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back or face to face?
6. Have you given in to an addictive behavior this week? Explain.
7. Have you continued to remain angry toward another person?
8. Have you secretly wished for another’s misfortune?
9. Have you allowed any person or circumstance to rob you of your joy?
10. Have you taken care of your body through exercise, proper eating and sleep?
11. Did you finish the reading and hear from God? What are you going to do about it?
12. Have you been completely honest with me?

Three Specific questions for Wives and Mothers
  • Have you modeled Christ-like behavior with your family (refrained from yelling, kept emotions in check, patient)
  • Have you worked proactively to build a better relationship with your spouse? Have you shown your husband that you respect him in your words and actions?
  • Have you been available for your kids –eye contact, affection, listening?

Character Questions for Single Girls (what about questions for single guys?)

1. How have you experienced God in your life this week? What is God teaching you?
3.  What sin do you need to confess?
4. Have you been a good example of Christ in your words and deeds?
5. Have you been exposed to anything sexually alluring ( people or material) or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate sexual thoughts about someone this week?
6. Have you properly guarded your heart and femininity?
7. Have you been honoring, understanding and generous in your impart relationships this week?
8. Have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back or face to face?
9. Have you given in to an addictive behavior this week? Explain.
10. Have you continued to remain angry toward another person?
11. Have you secretly wished for another’s misfortune?
12. Have you allowed any person or circumstance to rob you of your joy?
13. Have you taken care of your body through exercise, proper eating and sleep?
14. Did you finish the reading and hear from God? What are you going to do about it?
15. ______________________________________
      (your personalized accountability question)
16. Have you been completely honest with me?

Phil Helfer, pastor of Los Alto Brethren Church in Long Beach, CA, has simplified the LTG
1. How have you experienced God in your life this week?
2. What is God teaching you?
3. How are you responding to His prompting?
4. Do you have a need to confess any sin?
5. How did you do with your reading this week?

The Highway Community in Palo Alto, CA has adapted the questions in the following way:
1. Did I invest the proper quality/quantity of time in my most important relationships?
2. Did my life reflect verbal integrity?
3. Did I express a forgiving attitude toward others?
4. Did I practice undisciplined or addictive behavior?
5. Was I honorable in my financial dealings?
6. Was I sexually pure?
7. Did I spend time with the Lord this week, completing the Bible reading for the week?
8. Did I pray for my pre-Christian friends? Did I talk with someone about Christ?

Neil Cole developed a list of less specific questions:
1. What is the condition of your soul?
2. What sin do you need to confess?
3. What have you held back from God that you need to surrender?
4. Is there anything that has dampened your zeal for Christ?
5. Who have you talked with about Christ this week?

I've been in dialogue about LTGs with a number of people. Much of the information given above is not from my own creation, but comes from the work of others such as: Bill Tracy, Daniel Countinho, and of course Neil Cole. Many people have been developing their own character questions. Several of the ones I have posted here come from a church called The Journey in California. Visit The Journey's website here if you are interested in seeing even more character question. 

1 comment:

danielfnc said...

Hey man,

I think this post is just great! The concept is so simple yet so helpful to growing in maturity as a Christian. And you did great at showing how easy it is to do one. So many of us need something like this but, for one reason or another, we simply aren't involved in anything like it.

Thanks for mentioning my name, but you and the people you got the information from deserve all the credit. My prayer is that many people will read this and see how easy and important it is to be a part of a group like this so that, in the end, God may receive all the credit, honor, and glory from transformed Christians.

Love you bro!

Daniel Coutinho