Whether you call them small groups, life groups, core groups, cell groups, community groups or any of the other marketing names churches use to differentiate their groups, they all exist with the goal of furthering one question, “Who are you becoming in Christ?” In fact, no matter what activity we engage in, the question should be, “Is this bible study, men’s group, women’s group, ministry gathering, service project, personal bible reading, prayer, etc., bringing me into a deeper relationship with Christ?”
Matthew 18:20 (NASB) notes the incredible promise about meeting in small groups, “For where two or three have gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.” Wow, have you thought about the Creator of the Universe attending your group?
It’s been said that a church is like a ship and small groups are like the lifeboats attached to it. Both are vital to each other and support the mission of the other. However, just “belonging” to a small group isn’t enough, it’s also the intentionality we each take to discover the mission God crafted specifically for us and to embrace a daily surrender of our lives to Jesus.
What are the advantages to small groups?
Connect with others. The big becomes small. In the weekend worship services, there are 100’s of people, but a small group lets you meet and connect with only a few people. Especially if you are new, a small group is a great place to spend time with other people who are in a similar life stage or geography.
Grow spiritually. A small group is a safe environment to explore, learn and ask questions through discussions and to learn through others experience.
Help with stress and worry. Talking about challenges and issues, in a group setting, allows others to share in those pressures with you. You’d be surprised how many others are going through or have gone through what you are experiencing. The biggest benefit is having others lift those concerns up in prayer.
Generosity. From bringing snacks to serving together with your group, group members experience life outside of the church in support of others. You’ll find that it’s contagious!
Accountability. As we grow in our faith, a small group can become an accountability partner. From asking about our quiet time to challenging us to grow in our time, talents and resources, a small group cares and encourages each person as they discover who they are becoming in Christ.