Wednesday, August 14, 2013

3 MORE Reasons Small Groups are Essential to Growing as a Disciple of Jesus

Here are three more reasons I believe small groups are essential to growing as a disciple of Jesus.

1. A Place to Belong. Belonging is a basic human need. It's also a basic need for a disciple. All of us are encouraged and strengthened by the friends we make and regularly meet with. We also need the affirmation and welcome that friends being into our lives. A small group can be a place where a disciple can know the belonging that strengthens the heart to faithfully follow Christ.

2. A Place to Serve. All disciples are part of the body of Christ and as part of the body of Christ (i.e., the Church) are called to serve other disciples. A small group is a planned setting and environment where disciples can serve each other. I see this in two ways. While the group meets, each member serves the others by listening, encouraging and sometimes challenging. At the same time, the group is an avenue of serving one another outside of the group meeting by attending to needs that come up in the lives of group members.

3. It Creates the Right Size for Connection and Ministry. Even in a small church it isn't possible to connect to everyone at the level faithful Christian discipleship demands. A small group creates the social space for the deeper connection and fellowship to happen in the lives of disciples. Obviously group members know and minster to others in their local church. But much of how the New Testament envisions Christians connecting to and serving each other can only happen in a small group.

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