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What Does Being “Intentionally Invasive” Look Like?

Written by Bob Martin on

Group Members

Being “intentionally invasive” is one of the essentials of a Small Group at College Park.  This means connecting at a heart level with others.  We want to come alongside each other in struggles: whether the core of the struggle is sin or suffering.  

Being “Intentionally Invasive” sounds intimidating, but it mainly just involves asking questions to get at the heart level: 

  1. Compassion: I first need to care about the other person. I need to have compassion like Jesus (Matthew 9:36) and a vision for their maturity in mind (Colossians 1:28) so I don’t become a “sin-hunter.”  
  2. Questions: Then with that compassion, I ask heart-level questions:
  • “How are you doing spiritually?”
  • “What are some of your struggles right now—so that I can pray or come alongside you?”
  • “How can I be a blessing to you?”
  1. Scripture: Finally, I look for ways to breathe God’s Word and the encouragement of God’s character and promises into a situation.

Everyday Entrance

Intentionally invasive conversations can happen at different levels of intensity.  A starting point, or “Everyday Entrance,” involves asking questions like:

  • “What’s going on in your life that I can pray for?”
  • “What are some things you are trusting the Lord for lately?”

With these questions, I am not seeing any evidence of struggle, but, rather just asking questions that give me ways to be involved in a person’s life.

Evidence Entrance

A next level involvement, or “Evidence Entrance,” is where I see something or hear something from a person that lets me know what’s going in their life.  Questions like the following can be used:

  • “You mentioned that you had struggled with forgiving Karen.  Can you tell me more about that?”
  • “Thanks for mentioning how you felt after that situation. Would you say it’s a regular challenge not to focus on feeling ashamed?”

With these questions, I can dig a little deeper and see where they are struggling and provide hope, discern problems and heart struggles and help them dig out to trust the Lord more.

Extreme Entrance

At the highest level, or “Extreme Entrance,” I see where there is so much evidence that it becomes urgent that I involve myself and possibly others to help someone mature in Christ.  Maybe I hear of an intention towards divorce, or someone divulges an addiction or some other extreme circumstance.  This is very different than an “Everyday Entrance” because I know what the issues are already.

  • “I wanted to find out more about how you’re handling your separation with Phyllis. What can we do to move forward in a godly way in this situation?”

If you don’t know how to handle an “Extreme Entrance” situation, feel free to reach out to your Small Group Leader, Coach and/or elder(s) for support or involvement.

With any of these entrances, a Small Group member or leader has means of becoming involved in a person’s life with the goal of helping them grow to maturity in Christ and in a heart-level relationship that provides depth, fellowship, and spiritual encouragement.

Bob Martin

Bob first joined staff at College Park as a Pastoral Resident in 2011 and has served in several important roles since that time. He now serves as the Pastor of Membership & Connection. Bob is passionate about seeing men and women enter into community with others to find hope together. He enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and friends.

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