Eight Reasons to Join a Small Group at
If you’ve ever listened to a Bible teacher or preacher and wanted to stop that person and say, “But what about…?” or “I don’t understand,” then a small group is for you! In a small group setting, you can ask questions, participate in a discussion of the text, and hear others share insights and illustrations of the truth you are trying to grasp. The Bible must be applied to your own personal situations, and that happens best in small groups.
Most people who have been a part of a group say the greatest benefit is the close relationships and friendships that develop. They will frequently telephone each other during the week to share an urgent prayer request or an exciting answer. We are instructed to love one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, accept one another, bear one another’s burdens, and build up one another. If you’re lonely, the answer to your problem is to join a small group.
Many people are hesitant to pray in front of others, especially in a large church. In a small group of 6 to 12, you will learn to participate in prayer by having a conversation together with God. No one is pressured to pray, but as you become comfortable, you’ll be able to pray sentence prayers and join in. There are many promises in the Bible related to group prayer. In praying together with a few others, we are drawn together and we find answers to the needs in our lives.
Small groups provide excellent support in times of crisis, change, and stress. You’ll have a sense of stability and security knowing there are people who really care for you and are committed to standing with you.
It may be that some of your friends who don’t know the Lord wouldn’t be caught dead in a church. In a small group, your unbelieving friend can ask questions and express honest doubts without feeling “put on the spot”. When your friend sees the love and warmth and honesty of your group, it will make him/her more receptive to the Good News. Small groups provide a safe place to share.
The Bible teaches that every believer is given certain talents or “gifts” to benefit others in the family of God. As you share and participate in a relaxed small group setting, you’ll discover your confidence and self-esteem rising. This will help you at work, at church, and in every other relationship.
Many believers mistakenly believe that worship can only happen on Sabbath morning in a large group with a sermon, a choir, and an offering plate! Worship happens anytime we focus on God! Sometimes, that happens best in a smaller group in praying or singing together.
The book of Acts is very clear about how God intends for His people to grow and have their needs met in the church. We will never be able to hire enough professional pastors to meet all the individual needs in our family. God calls each of us to minister to both the body of Christ and those not of the body. Consider these verses:
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Every day they continued to meet together…they broke bread in their homes and ate together…and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42, 44, 46-47)