When my wife and I lived in Alliance, for years we were part of a 20 to 30 year olds small group that will forever be a special time in our lives. In fact, it’s where my wife and I met! At this group we all brought a food dish to share, played some board games or yard games, studied God’s Word and prayed. What started out as just a handful of people, soon grew to the point where it was getting awkward to meet in a home! The church ended up buying, renovating, and utilizing an old building downtown for groups like this and to use as an outreach center. I think this group grew because people longed for the genuine Christian fellowship we were experiencing!
As we seek to start up some more of our own small groups this summer, I want to remind us of the WHY. Why do small groups? Why join a small group? We don’t want to do small groups because everyone else is doing them or because we think we need something going every night of the week. We don’t want to just be busy doing Christian things. The book that our church board is planning to go through is literally called “Why Small Groups?” by C. J. Mahaney. In the very first chapter, the author answers the WHY question with 4 purposes for small groups – purposes that I can personally affirm from experience!
Purpose #1 - Sanctification
"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
I can’t tell you how much that being a part of a small group has helped me in my own spiritual walk because I’ve seen others go through things I hadn’t been through that became my examples later, or, because I was connected to others, had someone else to walk through something with me. Small groups provide accountability. Solomon wrote,
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up”
Purpose #2 - Mutual Care
“God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that part which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same care for one another. And if one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if a part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it.”
Purpose #3 - Fellowship
When you get involved in a small group, your main desire should be fellowship – centered around the things of God. As each member learns and shares about their relationship with God and how God is revealing Himself to them, there is mutual encouragement and refreshed passion to follow Christ together! This creates momentum in our spiritual lives and the life of the Church.
Purpose #4 - Ministry of the Holy Spirit
As we exercise our gifts, an environment for true Christian fellowship is fostered. When you meet with your connect group this week, expect the Spirit of God to be powerfully present and to participate in it. Expect God to work!
Staying connected this summer,