“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.” – Hebrews 10:24-25.
The word community is a familiar one in churches across America and the world. Most people understand what the word means, but are not as comfortable with it’s dynamics. What would you say community is? Is it small groups? Is it first Wednesday? Is it getting together with other church friends? Whatever the case, community likely involves church people getting together for one reason or another. And a small group is a good place to start for the following reasons:
It is a place to discover God’s truth. A small group will help you learn and understand the Bible. A weekly sermon is helpful, but in a small group, you can share and process the truth together. You can ask questions, test your ideas, and hear insights from others. It is a place to build authentic relationships. In a small group, you’re more than just a face in the crowd. You are cared for and celebrated like a part of the family. You share joys and sorrows with others who face the same life situations as you. Relationships are not always easy, and neither are small groups. But the deep, lasting friendships and benefits are worth it.
As was discussed on Sunday, small groups will help you endure the stresses of life. Small groups provide great support in times of crisis, change and stress, when it really helps to know that people care. As you lean on your small group, you receive encouragement, stability, and security to see you through the rough times that nobody should ever go through alone.
Small groups are a great place to experience life change. I have seen people grow spiritually in small groups at a faster than normal rate. As you grow deeper in your relationship with God, you begin to change from the inside out. The group helps you shape new habits and overcome old ones, based on the Bible. They provide the support and encouragement to put God’s truth into practice in everyday life.
And finally small groups are a good place to develop your gifts. All of us have God-given talents and abilities that can benefit others. A small group is a great environment to discover and practice yours, because everyone gets to participate. You can discover where you could best serve not only in a small group, but in church as well.
- What about small groups appeals to you the most? What appeals the least?
- Do you believe community can make a big difference in your life? Why or why not?
- Is there something that is keeping you from joining a small group? What can we do to motivate you to give small groups a try or another try if you had a bad experience?
- Pray and ask God whether He wants you in a small group.