Do you meet with Christians for worship, fellowship, and instruction outside of your weekend or midweek service? Do you do it regularly? With relatively the same people? If not, you’re missing out on a dynamic that is so incredibly conducive to spiritual growth! I’m talking about the concept of small groups (some churches call them community groups, connect groups etc.) Allow me to show you why meeting regularly in smaller groups of Christians is so important to attaining God’s purpose of you- to be presented to him “perfect in Christ” (Col. 1:18).
This concept is biblical. Early Christianity was marked by small groups and local churches that met in homes (Romans 16:5).
Church history has demonstrated its value. Revival movements throughout church history happened as a result of small groups. The emergence of denominationalism–which in this case was good because groups of people broke from a rigid, cold, & empty religiousity–happened largely through small groups/house meetings. Among these movements are pietism, including the Anabaptist, Moravian, & Methodist traditions.
Allows for a different style of learning. Discussions often lend themselves to a more effective comprehension of God’s word. You can’t ask questions or share your input at an ekklesia of 100+, or often 1000+ people. But you can in the safe environment of a small group.
Creates better unity. The unity of a church as a whole will only be as strong as the ties between individuals and families. Strong relationships are built when you regularly meet with each other!
Offers Christians necessary accountability. It’s so easy to get lost in the crowd of a worship service, or slip in and out of a building without being noticed. Not so when you meet with the same 10 or so people every week! If you’re missing, you’ll be missed. Furthermore, as relationships deepen you’ll find people who you’ll feel safer to open up to about your spiritual strengths and weaknesses.
Some Christians value small groups so much that they put a cap on how much they want their church to grow numerically before splitting or planting another church. This is an extreme and doesn’t take into account the fact that in Acts “all the believers” met together at Solomon’s Colonnade (5:12). Large churches are healthy and biblical. But for most Christians, the value of small groups has yet to be realized!
Hear your pastor repeatedly suggest joining an existing small group in your church? Do it at the next opportunity you have!
Are you part of a church that has yet to discover or fully realize the idea? Talk to your pastor about what you can do to help- whether it be hosting, leading, preparing refreshments etc.
Unity; accountability; fellowship; growth; discipleship; worship; you’ll find these and other great things in small groups! Find one, create one…join one somehow.
by Andy Dragos