For the past four years on Tuesday nights Julie and I have hosted a group of folks in our home that we call “Community Group.” This group is an integral part of our weekly routine and family life. If we are out of town or our routine is upset our kids will ask, “Are we not having group this week?” To be honest during the Christmas break Julie and I will often look at each other and say, “I can’t wait for our next group meeting.”
Why is that? Why has this group become so important to us? What is it about that group of 8-15 people that has marked our lives so much?
Is it the realtionships? Yes, the relationships have been so important to us. The folks in our group are our best friends. However, there is something more to it.
Is it the prayer we share together? I would have to say, “YES!” I have seen God move in the lives of the friends in my group in some very powerful ways over the last few years and even months. Even with how powerful the prayer has been in our group times, there is something more to it.
Is it the Bible study and discussion? Sure, the Bible study has been good. The discussion of God’s Word – though off topic at times – has been very powerful and challenging. Yet, with all the great moments we’ve had digging into God’s Word together, there seems to be more to it.
So, why has this group impacted my life so much?
After a good bit of soul-searching and personal inventory, the answer is one word – Discipleship. Through the time spent in deep relationships, powerful prayer times and diving into the Word; God has made me a better disciple. I see my weaknesses more clearly. I rely on his strength more fully. I see how important small group gatherings are in the process of making disciples.
Being a pastor and student of the Word, you would think that I would know that. However, just like the first generation believers, I had to experience myself. Here is what they experienced…
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. – Acts 4:42-47 (ESV)
Here’s the truth – You will never know how a small group of believers will make a better dicisple until you get involved in a small group of believers. So, as I was up this post, I want to ask – will you get involved? Will you make the effort to become part of a small group and experience the growth that will happen in your life when you commit to being a disciple in a small group. It may be a group of men, a women’s Bible study, a Sunday School class, a fellowship of Christian motorcycle riders, etc. Just find a group and jump in.
If you would like help in getting connected to a group, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help any way I can.