Sin affects us on a variety of levels: personally, relationally, socially, physically and spiritually. When God saves us, He calls us out of our brokenness into a community of grace-filled transformation. He uses our brothers and sisters in our lives as He trains us in His grace together. Our church is experiencing this in our Shepherding Groups and our Restoration Groups. For the most part we do not have sin-specific small group care or counseling. We are seeing God’s Spirit merge gospel truth with honest speech to produce real change. For example I was involved in a group that included 10 men who struggled with a variety of issues: drug addiction, same-sex attraction, abuse, fear of man, insecurity, porn, self-righteousness etc. I was unprepared for the way the Spirit would speak to such a diverse group in such specific ways. We might have been applying the truths of the gospel to the man who battles addiction and a man who faces deep insecurities sees some things about his own heart he had never seen before. Our sinful tendencies may vary in expression, but our hearts are the same. And all Christians share a common new identity in Jesus; just as we are often messed up together so we typically find hope and are changed together. There are things about my own heart that I will probably not see apart from honest interaction with my brothers.
The best place to start is with a How People Change class by Tim lane and Paul Tripp. The study guides and dvds can be purchased from New Growth Press. We use this as the place to begin to understand how the gospel brings about lasting change. When someone has completed How People Change, we often will recommend that they attend Redemption. Mike Wilkerson and his team lead us through the Exodus and apply God’s powerful grace in a loving, confidential group context (see redemptiongroups.com). God is using these two Restoration Groups as well as others to expose lies, reveal truth and provide hope for change.