Recently I was reading over a brochure that is distributed by a recovery group, and I discovered 8 things they encourage in their members that churches would do well to promote among their members as well.
In this post, I will highlight the seventh of these tenets.
Get involved in a small group.
Many churches call it Sunday School. Others call it small groups, life groups, fellowship groups, or cell groups. But whatever the name, the function, purpose, and strategy are the same. Small group Bible studies exist to help the church accomplish its purposes — namely, discipleship-fellowship-worship-ministry-evangelism. Your small group should be a microcosm of the church and should accomplish the church’s purposes within that group.
There are many reasons to get involved with and connected to a small group Bible study:
1. A small group helps you maintain closeness. The point here is, the smaller size will enable you to better know one another’s needs, know what to pray about, how to be an encouragement and what’s going on in each other’s lives. One of the primary reasons that Alcoholics Anonymous is so successful in helping people is because it utilizes the small group approach. Bill Wilson, one of the founders of AA, and his friends found out that when they met regularly to talk about their weaknesses, downfalls, and near-downfalls, that it gave them a sense of strength to overcome their temptation to drink.
2. A small group helps you serve others. When you serve others you are less focused on your problems. And, of course, you have other people that are focused on your problems for you. Sometimes you get in tough situations that you can’t get out of by yourself. It’s good to have a small group of friends around to untangle you! It’s good to be a part of a group you can serve and be served by.
3. A small group helps your spiritual formation. Ever wonder why Jesus only chose twelve apostles? There were several reasons, but one thing this small group approach did was give the members a greater sense of accountability. If you knew there were others keeping up with what’s going on in your life, you would be more conscientious about how you live as a believer. As I said in the last post, there are no “lone ranger Christians!” However, you’ve bought into the “rugged individualism” concept so much that you’ve forgotten you’re not alone on the planet. You have unhealthy hang-ups about not opening up to other people. You don’t want to share your struggles with others because you don’t want them to know you don’t have it all together. Here’s a revelation for you: we already know you don’t have it all together. None of us has it all together. We need one another.
Are you part of a small group Bible study? Why or why not?
Disclaimer: The main points of this post were written nearly ten years ago. It was pieced together from other sermons. If I have quoted your work by mistake I sincerely apologize. Please let me know so that I may give credit where credit is due.