I like to call them life groups, which I believe is a better description. For now, however, Faith calls them small groups. Don’t laugh, but I once heard a pastor call them a fad. What do you think? Are they important? What are your experiences with them?
Have you thought about participating in a small group, but then kind of ignored the idea? That’s my story. They’re intimidating from the outside. All that sharing of life and personal stuff! Who wants to do that, right! That’s what I thought. Sunday School on steroids. Too much work for me, protecting my façade. I didn’t want anyone to really know me, my immature spiritually and theology, my immaturity in general, and especially the fact that I sinned. And, why would anyone want to know me or share life with me. What did I have to offer them? Is that familiar?
Over time, as the Lord drew me into small groups, I began to see the value. One of my fondest memories is that of a small group Bible study on Romans. One evening as we discussed Romans 5:2, someone asked if the verse was true, could he really pray directly to the Lord. You could almost see the light bulb come on when he asked us. I know we have these kinds of revelations in corporate worship, but this experience sold me on the importance of a more intimate setting.
Later on, I received training in leading small groups. However, I didn’t take the opportunity to go all in until a crisis occurred. I can tell you that my small group was, and still is, a life boat. The fellowship and shared experiences carried me through a storm. That period of time will always be a milestone for me. I could share numerous stories of how the Lord worked through each of us, healing heartache and loss. And although we studied the Word, I see now that the primary purpose for that period was healing.
"Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 NLT
Sometimes, small groups serve a very specific purpose like healing or it may be all about learning the Word. At other times, its purpose may be to simply provide a way for brothers and sisters to connect through shared interests. Whatever the purpose, all that’s needed for a small group to work is a host home, one or two people willing to coordinate the activities, and people willing to give it a go. I know it’s a not a small commitment, but it’s a commitment that returns much more than the investment, and will help you grow stronger together.
Strong small groups equal a strong Faith Christian Community. What would it take for you to do life in small group, to host it, or to lead it? As I mentioned, small groups have various purposes, but perhaps more importantly, they are extremely flexible, consisting of everything from a Bible study meeting at 6:00 a.m. at Kaladi’s, to what we use to call a Sunday School class meeting at 9:00 a.m., to a more elaborate fellowship involving food, or to whatever the Lord puts on your heart.
Are you interested? You can contact me at email@example.com, or take a look at the opportunities on the Community page for more information. Share your experiences with small groups in the comments.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. Acts 2:42 NLT
Published on April 26, 2017 @ 5:03 PM AKDT
When a big hurt hit my life a few years ago, it was the strength of having my small group walk along side of me that helped me through a very difficult time. Those friends helped me keep my eyes on God's light as He guided me in some troubling decisions. The burden was so much lighter because of believing friends who helped carry the load.
Posted on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 @ 8:16 PM CST
I'm a big believer in small groups. I had been involved with one years ago that walked with me and loved me through some of my toughest moments in life. It was a tremendous blessing, but unfortunately it dissolved when leaders moved away. A year or so ago God give me the opportunity to be involved in a new small group, just as I was feeling isolated and experiencing great challenges through difficult life circumstances. The ability to share from the heart with transparency and safety, encourage one another, pray for one another, and apply the word of God to what we experience in life has been healing and life-changing. I'm convinced that small groups are an integral part of healthy body life and connections in the church family.
Posted on Wed, Apr 26, 2017 @ 10:05 PM CST