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What is a LTG (Life Transformation Group)?

It is a group of 2 or 3 men or women who meet together on a regular basis to support and encourage one another in their Christian walk and growth.  It is one of the simplest forms and expression of authentic spiritual community, and yet it can produce some of the greatest results within the lives of existing and new believers.  It seeks to allow prayer, the Word of God, confession of sin, and the Spirit of God to motivate people internally.  It is the practice of these three things – EXHALING, INHALING and OVERFLOWING.  This kind of purposed meeting together with 1 or 2 committed believers will bless its members in miraculous ways and empower the common person to do that they never thought possible – the work of reproducing and multiplying true disciples.

Overview of a LTG:

q      Meets once a week for approximately one hour.

q      Groups are made up of 2 or 3 persons of the same gender.  When a 4th member is added, the group becomes pregnant and the group will soon multiply to two groups of 2, each then seeking to add a new 3rd person.

q      There is no curriculum involved other than the Bible.

q      New members will naturally learn as they join an existing group, so no on-going training is required.

q      There is no leader in these groups.  They are peer based and everyone participates.

Who should be in an LTG?

Not everyone will be willing nor desire to be a part of an LTG.  This is purely a voluntary activity, and the hopes is that those who practice it even for a short time will experience the positive results it can effect on our lives.  What are 2 qualities to look for in those wanting to join an LTG?

1)      They have a sincere heart and a desperate need for Jesus.

        2)    They are faithful to the process.  

It does not mean that they are perfect.  In fact imperfection is why we are all a part of a group like this anyway.  But they should at least be participating in the spiritual community of their group  and the 3 practices – confessing and encouraging, reading God’s Word, and praying for lost souls.

The Three Practices of an LTG

In an LTG the members will practice doing 3 things - EXHALE, INHALE and OVERFLOW.  And it is in the practice of these 3 things, no matter how imperfect, that we can begin to experience God’s hand in changing and molding our lives for His glory.

Ø      EXHALING – is the confessing of our sins to one another.  In James 5:16 we read, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.“ (NIV).  When we first read James we may find it to be harsh, seeking to expose every area of weakness and sin and leave us no excuse for our selfish actions, but it is in this verse at the end of the book that we discover his purpose is not to condemn us, but to free us.  He desires that we would see every possible sin and transgression we have in our lives in order that we can confess them, receive God’s cleansing and forgiveness, and receive the healing and encouragement received when brothers and sisters in Christ support us in prayer.  We confess our sins to one another in an LTG because it is small enough that we can maintain confidentiality and for the purpose not of being chastised by its members, but of receiving healing and encouragement for our souls.  This is the work of conviction which leads us to freedom, not the work of condemnation which leads us to guilt and worthlessness.  So if the questions for character accountability seem invasive, they are so for the purpose of cleansing and freeing you from every possible sin, so that it can no longer make you its slave.  What is the result?  2 Timothy 2:20-21 tells us, “20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work“ (NIV).  We become vessels PREPARED to do any good work.  We may be empty vessels, but now we are clean and ready to be filled up by God’s Spirit and equipped to do His ministry.  How do we fill up our empty, clean vessels?  This leads us to our next practice.

Ø      INHALING – is the practice of feasting on the Word of God.  “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

(Matt. 4:4  NIV).  Once we have exhaled and gotten rid of all the crud in our lives, we are not clean vessels ready to be used by God, and needing to be filled up.  One very important thing we need to be filling up on is the Word of God.  This is one food you can never eat too much of.  However, you can eat too little of.  Why the Bible?  Because 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, “16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  God’s Word will thoroughly EQUIP us for every good work.  Not what man has written about God’s Word or other Christian self-help type books, but God’s Word in and of itself is all you need to equip you for every  good work.  So we inhale the good stuff, and not just a little, but lots of it.  Begin with 15 chapters a week and work your way up to 30 chapters a week.  When each person in your LTG finishes all the reading during the same week, then move on to a new reading.  Otherwise, all of you return and read again the same chapters until everyone finishes up at the same time.  This is not a bad thing, but a good thing.  It is great to get to read the same chapters over and over.  There are so many riches in God’s Word that you will never exhaust them.  If your whole group is finishing the agreed upon reading each week, then you need to increase the number of chapters you are reading.  The max should stay around 30 chapters a week.  For example if you are reading 15 chapters a week, you can read the book of Mark together, or half of Matthew or Acts.  You could also take a book like James and read 3 times in the week.  If 30 chapters, then read Mark twice, or all of Matthew or acts, or read James 6 times.  If you are not hearing this yet, let’s repeat it – “Repetition is a GOOD thing.”  You read scripture in context.  You begin to see the big picture better.  And when we are feasting on God’s Word in this manner, it will have a powerful changing affect on our lives.  Try it, and chances are you will really like it.  It will fill up your vessel until it begins to OVERFLOW.  Why?  Because the Word of God equips us for every good work.  This leads us to our 3rd practice.

 

Ø      OVERFLOWING – is what happens when we exhale and become clean, inhale and fill ourselves up to the point we begin to overflow with love, hope and faith that ministers to and touches the lives of those around us.  For this practice we will do a simple thing which starts out small, but bares big results.  Each member of the LTG will share the names of two lost people they know and see on a regular basis.  It could be family members, friends, work colleagues or others.  It is good for members to share the names of those from the same gender.  The group will then begin to regularly pray for this list of 4 to 6 people.  It will have two effects – one upon God working in the lives of those you are praying for, and two it will affect the lives of those doing the praying.  How?  Those praying will begin to see those lost people they pray regularly for and others with more spiritually sensitive eyes.  And when it happens and it will if we remain faithful to the task, some will begin to accept Jesus as their Savior and Lord.  We will want to integrate these new believers into LTGs.  One may join your group of 3 so that it becomes 4 and is in a state of pregnancy.  If the new believer remains committed to the group and the practices, then the group can give birth and now become two groups of 2 each looking to add a third, hopefully from the list of other lost people they are praying for.  So begins the process of multiplication and reproduction.  The LTG can become a great place for discipling believers old and new and molding into their lives the act of spiritual reproduction.  The great thing about it is that it is not dependant upon us as disciplers, but rather more emphasis is given to confession, the Bible, and prayer as the guiding change agents at work in the lives of believers within the context of authentic spiritual community.  All we need to do together is to EXHALE, INHALE and OVERFLOW.

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An LTG is simple, yet powerful for bringing a believer into a dynamic relationship with one or two other believers where they glean the values of authentic community, see their lives transformed, and experience the blessing of reproducing disciples, as they learn together to confess, feast on God’s Word, and pray prayers of action for lost people around them.

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Want to learn more?

If you want to learn more about LTGs you should get a hold of a book to read written all about LTGs and authored by the person who was first led by God into the discovery and application of this simple and yet life transforming practice.  His Name is Neil Cole, and the book is titled "Cultivating a Life for God."  In the back of this book will be four bookmarks which you can tear out and use for starting a new group.  There is also an appendices with a list of questions used by other groups for accountability.  I especially like the Wesley's Band Meeting Questions.  Another new title of Neil's which is also well worth a read is "Organic Church." 

To buy these books you can go directly to Neil's site or ChurchSmart-Resources and order on-line or by phone.  The later site only carries "Cultivating a Life for God."

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Want to get started right away?

Here is a list of accountability questions for and scriptures to pray for your list of lost persons:

ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS:

Exhaling : Confessing Sins One to Another

We confess our sins to the other believers in our LMT so that they can pray for us and bring healing to our souls.  Sometimes the council of our LMT can prove helpful, but the main focus here is to receive each other’s prayers, accept God’s forgiveness, and receiving His cleansing so that we become vessels prepared for any good work.  Here is a list of questions that can help us through this process.  These are to be asked on a weekly basis.

1)      Have you in your actions and words been a witness for Jesus?  Have you shared your testimony and/or the Gospel with others this past week?

2)      Have you in your actions or words cause hurt or damage to another person – either directly or behind their back?  What can you do to reconcile?

3)      Have you honored others; been kind, understanding and generous with others?  How have you treated those most important to you?

4)      Have you lack integrity in your home, community or place of work in your words or financial dealings?  Have you coveted someone else’s processions? 

5)      Have you given in to any addictive behaviors?

6)      Have you entertained any inappropriate sexual thoughts; looked at materials or sites on the Internet you should have avoided; had inappropriate sexual thoughts about another; and/or found yourself wrapped up in a romance novel or desires to be in emotional or romantic relationships with persons other than your spouse?

7)      Have you become excessively angry, bitter or disappointed with others?  Have you hung on to these feelings?  Have you secretly wish for another’s misfortune?

8)      Did you finish the reading?  Did God speak to you through His Word or through other means this past week?  What did He say?  How are you responding?

9)      Add your own question: .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

10)   Add your own question: .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

11)   Have you been truthful with all of your answers to the above questions?

PRAYING:

Overflowing: Praying Strategically

Each member of the group should identify 2 or 3 persons whom they know and see regularly and feel led to pray for their salvation.  Share these names with each other and list them on this book mark to be kept in your Bible so that each member can pray for these persons daily when they do their reading.

 

O                                              O                                     

 

O                                              O                                     

 

O                                              O                                     

 

O                                              O                                     

 

O                                              O                                     

 

Here are some scripture that you can pray through for the people represented by the names listed here:

q      Lord, please draw                 to Yourself  (John 6:44 ).

q      May Your Word that                hears be received, bare fruit and become known to them as it actually is.  May it be at work in                  ‘s heart and mind  (1 Thess. 2:13 ).

q      Free             .  from the trap of the devil, leading him/her to repentance and the knowledge of truth (2 Timothy 2:24 -26).

q      Lord, may Your Spirit convict                  . of his/her sin and his/her need for salvation (John 16:7-14).

q      Lord, send out more workers into the harvest fields, and send some to witness to                    (Matt. 9:37 -38)

q      Lord, provide the opportunity for me to proclaim the mystery of Christ clearly to            . May our conversations be seasoned with salt and be filled by Your grace (Col. 4:3-6).

q      Lord, help               to turn from his/her sin and follow Jesus (1 Thess. 1:9-10).

q      Lord, help               to receive and believe in Jesus putting all his/her faith in Him (John 1:12: 5:24 ).

q      Lord, help               to confess with his/her mouth and believe in his/her heart that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9, Luke 8:15).

“My heart’s desire and prayer to God … is that they may be saved”  (Romans 10:1).

 

 

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Last modified: March 07, 2006