Devotional

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead. 

Let’s be honest here. We all know there is a gap between who we are today and who we want to be. Maybe you want to develop a new skill, improve a relationship, or get in shape. But we all want to grow into that better version of ourselves. Christians aren’t immune from this desire. We each have things we want to change. Change comes as we practice the teachings of Jesus. But it’s hard work, and it is nearly impossible if we’re trying to do it alone. That is why small groups are so important.

Small groups are an integral part of what we do at Northstar. If you think about it, Jesus had a small group of 12 disciples. Jesus expected that His followers would participate in public worship, but He knew that discipleship was about going deeper in community with those who are committed to Him and the church. Small groups are a primary vehicle for making disciples. With the support of a small group, we can learn and grow in our relationship with Jesus.

The truth is we need each other: the support, the encouragement, the help along the way. The Christian life is not easy and there are so many hills and valleys along the way. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

But the biggest way that small groups effect change is that they take church beyond Sunday. Imagine you want to lose weight, so you go to the gym for one hour a week. While it’s good that you exercise, you probably just end up sore, tired, and sweaty without the real long-term effects you were seeking. Losing weight and being healthy requires a good diet and regular exercise. If a person’s spirituality is limited to one hour a week, it will be difficult for them to grow. A small group leads to growth by creating more opportunities to learn and grow spiritually. And small groups enable you to take what you have learned and put it into action. James 1:22 says, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”  In worship services, we listen to the Word, but it’s in our small groups where we focus on helping each other apply the Word.  

God gives us community as a way to become more like Him. There’s something powerful about believers joining together, making each other accountable and being a sort of witness of one another’s lives. We need people checking in on us, asking the hard questions, and challenging us to really live out our faith. If you are not a member of a small group, please consider joining one this semester.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you have someone or a group of people that you can be authentic, be yourself with, without any facades or false fronts? 
  2. Small groups are about doing life together. A place where you can grow closer to God, closer to others, and closer to your purpose. Agree or disagree?