Many small groups are simply groups that meet one night a week for a strictly kept hour or two, simply study the Bible, pray together after for five minutes and that’s it. This year I’ve had the privilege of leading one that has become so much more than that. I think the key component is that we’re not just a kind of focus group, but we’re a community. And even more than that we’re an intentional community focused on exhorting each other to be more like Jesus and going out together to act upon what we learn from the Bible.
I feel blessed to be a part of a group of guys that see community not as a selfish thing for pleasure but a missional tool for transforming lives, both within and outside of the group. To give an example, one of the guys in our group has set up a weekly time on Tuesdays for our guys and other Christians to hang out with people that don’t know Jesus. As they get food and share life together, Jesus naturally comes up in conversation because He has so radically transformed the lives of these guys, bringing them out of the darkness of heavy drug and alcohol use, that there’s always interest in how this is possible. I look forward to meeting each week to study the Bible and get into each other’s lives, because I know the men in this group are using the knowledge they gain, passing it on to others and being the Jesus they learn about in the Bible to those who don’t yet know Him.
Be encouraged, because I know that many of you have small groups that have a harder time gathering momentum. I’d challenge you to take risks and do things that are different. Go out and serve at a homeless shelter together. Meet outside of your weekly Bible study time to do community and invite people that don’t know Jesus. Text each other throughout the week to let each other know what you’re praying for one another. I think it’s a shame if all small groups do is study the Bible but don’t help each other apply what’s being learned outside of the living room. James 1:22 says, “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Let’s help each other be doers, because God designed us to walk this life together. If you’re in a small group, be a positive, encouraging influence in it to help make this happen.
Author: Jeff Oleson