Small groups are vital for student to become fully devoted followers of Christ. The need for small groups is vital to people learning how to grow in their walk with God and each other. The Bible gives us the foundation of spiritual growth within the Christian community.
In the Old Testament we see the importance of the unity between God and man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:27). God set up an important relationship between Adam and Eve. The sin that separated them from God was relational. The need for community was in place after the fall of Adam and Eve.
In the New Testament, Jesus set the example of pouring His life into the disciples. He spent a majority of his time explaining and living out the truth of God’s Word. Jesus did not spend his time mainly with the multitudes, but with a small group of world changers (Matt. 13:36).
In Acts 2:46-47 it says, “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
In James 5:16 it says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
Here are a few observations from Acts 2 and James 5:16 on community:
1. Eat together (Yes!)
2. Meet in homes (better environment and openness)
3. Authentically live for God (glad and sincere hearts)
4. Relational (enjoying the favor of all the people)
5. Grows numerically (true disciples make disciples)
6. Maintains healthy accountability (grace meets pursuit of God's glory)
The early church is a great example of people that loved each other and spent their time and efforts on building relationships. (Acts 2:46, 12:12, 20:8, 20:20; Rom. 16:4-5; I Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:5; Philemon 2).
Small group is the best way for people to learn and grow in their faith. The essence of small groups is creating an environment where people can open up to one another and grow spiritually. Healthy small groups are essential to lead people to become like Christ.
What would you add to the conversation on small groups?