In Acts the Bible tells us we need to be in relationships for our personal and spiritual growth. As Paul and the early Christians taught and received teaching "from house to house," we too must respond in our walk with Christ in each others homes (Acts 5:42; 20:20)! Even in the shadow of the Temple they did this, even in the shadow of your Church you can do this too. Why did they do this? Because they needed to be connected to one another in their fragmented and persecuted world, we desperately need to be connected too! They needed a way and place to do as Christ modeled and taught them, the multiplication of disciples, leaders, and churches so that God's Kingdom will be built and glorified.
Are you thinking this is great but not for me? Perhaps you are like me, struggling a very busy full plate in life. A plate that is overfilled with mounds of things that you need to do and are responsible for in your life. Perhaps, they are overflowing your dish. We all struggle with the demands of our career and all of the frustrations and stress placed on us, such as goals, deadlines work flow and the office high jinx. Then there are our family obligations, taking the kids to school, picking them up here and there, dealing with all of their demands and obligations too. Then maybe you are already volunteering for something in the church or community. Maybe you are juggling work and school and family, to the point there is not a free minute in our week. Then you are asked, "hey, why don't you join our small group?" What??? I do not have the time! I can not possibly commit to anything else. I am overloaded and overwhelmed! Well, to be honest, then you are the person who needs to be in a small group the most!
Here are some more reasons to ponder
- Small groups are the perfect place to understand and practice authentic relationships to feel apart of God's family.
- Small groups are the perfect place to practice our call to be discipled and make disciples
- Small groups are the perfect place for Spiritual growth to make His truth come to life in our lives (Matt. 28:18-20).
- Small groups are the perfect place to understand the Bible and heartfelt prayer and put it into action.
- Small groups are the perfect place to unwind, release your stress and reprioritize your life.
- Small groups are the perfect place to have our needs met and dealt with and fulfill those burdens in others is in a stable community. In this way we can handle stress, crisis, changes and the pressures of life better.
- Small groups are the perfect place to be in study of His Word and to be in prayer, we do this individually but we are also to do it in community.
- Small groups are the perfect place to welcome your friends into the church and introduce them to Christ.
- Small groups are the perfect place to develop our skills, leadership and ministry so we can be better servants of our Lord.
- Small groups are the perfect place to understand how to share Christ with loved ones and coworkers.
- Small groups are the perfect place to deepen your understanding and practice of worship.
- Small groups are the perfect place to put into practice the teaching you are receiving from your church, radio, web and your personal devotions. Remember the phrase "one another" is used over 50 times in the New Testament to describe our relationship to other believers. So, small groups are the perfect place to be with one another!
I am excited to be apart of a small group on my church for over 15 years now and that small groups are a part of the vision of my church. And the main reason I have stayed with my "home" church even as a pastor in other churches is the relationships I have developed and experienced through the Bible studies and small groups! We will not get much out of church if we just come to the services as good as they are, we have to get involved and small groups are the perfect place to do this! Your church needs you, and I believe you may need them too. So if you would like to host a group, lead a group or just attend a group: Please take the initiative and get yourself plugged in! If leading or hosting scares you remember this: At Into Thy Word we have excellent training and resources for you. In fact no experience is needed, because we have curriculum that teaches itself, all you have to do is show up.
Richard Joseph Krejcir is the Director of "Into Thy Word Ministries," a discipling ministry. He is the author of the book, Into Thy Word, and is also a pastor, teacher, and speaker. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena California. He has amounted over 20 years of pastoral ministry experience, mostly in youth ministry, including serving as a church growth consultant.
© 2003 R. J. Krejcir, Ph.D. Francis A. Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development www.churchleadership.org/