When it comes to Christianity, many people are content with attending church on Sunday mornings and calling it good. But what about the rest of the week? God wants to meet us on Tuesdays just as much as he does on Sundays.
The Christian Church was never intended to be a Sunday-only experience, as growth, discipleship, and worship are meant to take place on a daily basis. And that’s why most churches these days offer small groups during the week.
Mid-week small groups allow members of a particular Christian community spend more time together in a more intimate setting. These settings allow for more questions, direct discipleship, and life-giving fellowship with other believers.
And while the Sunday corporate church meeting is vital to the Christian experience, there’s just so much more available to Christians. Wondering if you should join a local small group? Keep reading below to see how small groups can deepen your faith today.
Small Groups Provide Fellowship
When Jesus walked the earth, he rarely did so along. He was almost always surrounded by his disciples. And he spent many evenings in people’s homes, sharing a meal, laughing, and connecting with others.
If this is the life that Jesus modeled, shouldn’t we follow his example? Fellowship, which is essentially just enjoying the company of other believers, is vital to the Christian life.
As Christians, we need to connect with one another. We need to have deep friendships with the people in our church. And small groups are the perfect opportunity to cultivate these relationships. With just a handful of people in each group, you can actually get to know people in a real, raw way.
Spending time in fellowship gives us the opportunity to practice loving people. You do this by listening to each other’s stories, hopes, and struggles while sharing meals.
Fellowship is a vital spiritual practice that ultimately brings us closer to Jesus Christ, and helps us to model the life that he lived.
Fellowship naturally leads to discipleship. Discipleship is the ongoing process of becoming more like Jesus.
This happens through the biblical teaching shared in small group settings, discussions about Jesus and biblical principles, and normal conversations with fellow believers.
The people in your small group can help you work through your own fears, doubts, and questions so that you can build a solid foundation of devout faith in your personal life.
It’s one thing to occasionally have a conversation with your pastor. But pastor usually has hundreds, if not thousands of people in their congregation. It’s impossible for them to know each individual in a personal way.
But it’s important to have people who truly know you, and the things you are going through, speaking into your life and offering encouragement.
It’s hard to become the people God created us to be without accountability. When you get to know people in your small group, their goal should be to help you mature in your faith.
While nobody enjoys confrontation or correction, it’s extremely important for believers who actually want to mature. We all mess up, and we all develop bad habits. And much of the time, we can’t see those things for ourselves.
That’s why we need fellow believers who can see those things and bring them to our attention in a loving way. Biblical correction and accountability are how we grow and become healthier Christians.
Prayer With Members of Your Christian Church
The life of a believer is to be a life of prayer. Paul said that we should pray without ceasing. While it’s impossible for us to pray 24/7, it should be our goal to pray as much as possible.
And just as important as praying to God directly is having other people pray for you. Small groups are a safe place to share your needs and concerns with others so that they can lift these things up in prayer.
And you get the opportunity to practice your faith on a regular basis as you pray for other members of your small group as well.
Modeling Healthy Spirituality Outside the Church
It’s one thing to observe healthy Christians on Sunday when they are at church surrounded by other Christians in a spiritual environment. Everyone tends to be on their best behavior, and it’s difficult to see how people act on a regular basis.
But it’s another thing when you are in a small group, meeting in a home. The environment is very different. It feels more intimate, and people feel that they can lower their guard.
As a result, you get to observe how people talk and act in the real world. For young Christians, this can be very helpful. They need to witness how their spiritual fathers and mothers operate on a day to day, without the real or perceived expectations of a church environment.
Deeper Bible Study
Small groups offer believers a chance at studying the Bible in a deeper way than can be done on a Sunday morning. With a smaller, committed group, you can spend more time in the scriptures together.
The Bible can be taught, and questions can be answered and discussed. Small groups can unpack theological principles in a way that everyone understands. And all of this works to develop unwavering belief in the goodness of God and his word.
Small Groups Provide Leadership Training
Do you want to lead people in the future? Small groups provide the perfect opportunity to practice your leadership abilities.
Since groups are so small, responsibilities can be delegated to each member of the group. You can lead by hosting a small group, or leading discussions.
You can offer to share your testimony and to pray for others. And if the small group grows and grows, you may be able to multiply and start another small group, leading the new one.
When it comes to leadership, and seeing God move through you, it always starts with the smallest steps. Small groups let you start today.
Find a Church to Call Home
Small groups are not a replacement for the Christian church. Rather, they are intended to complement the church. They provide the opportunity for members of a local church to connect with one another during the week.
This is where friendships are made, disciples are sharpened, and faith is exercised on a weekly basis. If you aren’t currently part of a small group, you are mission out on a deeper level of Christ-centered community.
Are you looking for a church that you can call home? Do you want to be part of a small group so you can connect with other believers? If you are in the El Paso area, we would love for you to visit us at Healing Place Church this week!