Showing posts with label #SmallGroups. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #SmallGroups. Show all posts

08 November 2018

Should you lead a small group?

If your church doesn’t have a small group to join—or does, but not the sort of small group you’d really like to join—you do realize you can start one, right?

They’re not at all hard to start. I’ve started many. Pick some people whom you’d like to involved in your group, pick a time and place, and start meeting. Since you’re doing this above board (right?) let your church leadership know you’re meeting, but otherwise that’s all it really takes.

There are only three things that’d prevent you from starting such a group:

  • YOU. You don’t wanna run one, don’t have the time, or don’t feel you’re qualified.
  • YOUR PEOPLE. They don’t wanna come. Or they’re awful.
  • YOUR CHURCH LEADERS. They don’t want one.

I’ll deal with each of these issues in turn. First, let’s talk about you.

A lot of Christians would love certain ministries to exist in their churches… but they don’t. ’Cause reasons. They might cost money, or the church lacks proper facilities, or Jesus hasn’t specifically appeared to them in a vision and ordered, “Go thou and start a ministry.” Whatever lame excuse works for them. The reality is just about any Christian could step up and start one, but nobody wants the job. We’re all looking at one another, waiting for somebody else to do something, and in so doing get us off the hook.

“I don’t have the time” is a pretty common excuse. Some ministries do require a time commitment. A bible study requires prep time, ’cause the study leader actually has to study! A book study requires that somebody reads the book, right? So that’s a chunk of time you’ve gotta carve out from the rest of your week… which you were planning to use to watch football, play a video game, binge-watch a TV series, read a novel, sleep in on Saturday, or some other recreational activity which doesn’t build relationships with your family members. Much less the people of your church.

“I don’t feel qualified” is likewise a common excuse: Christians feel they need some training or education before they can lead others. And yeah, it wouldn’t hurt to read a book, take a class, or listen to podcasts about leadership. But God’s only qualification for Christian leaders is maturity: We gotta be fruitful Christians who can encourage others to likewise produce the Spirit’s fruit. Most of us have no problem organizing parties, or coordinating friends to meet up at some event, and really that is the extent of the actual “leadership” necessary for small groups. Seriously. Just get ’em to show up!

Our personal excuses for not starting a small group are, bluntly, crap. Don’t kid yourself. If you wanna start a small group, ain’t nothing but your own immaturity stopping you.

01 November 2018

Small groups. Are you in one?

Jesus feels it necessary for his followers to have a support system. That’s why he invented the church. That’s why we gotta go to church. We need family: Sisters and brothers in Christ with similar experiences, who’ve been through what we’re going through, who can aid and encourage us. We’re not meant to go it alone!

But many churches are so large, it’s really easy to be alone anyway.

Sunday morning services are where we’re meant to worship God together, as a group. But they’re seldom set up to be interactive. Interaction slows things down, y’know. And when a church is full of non-social or antisocial people, they kinda like things that way: They can go to church, talk to no one, never share, never get to know one another, never give a testimony. They’ll sing with the music, listen to the preacher, take holy communion, and that’s it: They didn’t interact with one another. Just with God… assuming they aren’t just going through the motions of dead religion.

You could have a church full of shouting Christians, exclaiming “Amen!” and “Preach it!” every two minutes. Yet they still don’t interact with one another.

How’re Christians gonna be a support system to one another when we won’t interact? Well, we won’t be.

Hence small groups.

Christians call our small groups by all sorts of names: Bible studies, cell groups, core groups, home church, study groups, ministry groups, prayer circles, love feasts, supper clubs, book groups, inreach groups, family groups, life groups, whatever. Regardless of the name, what they have in common is they’re relatively, purposefully small. Small enough to be interactive.

Their stated purpose might be to learn more about bible, pray together, minister together, watch a video series, study a book, or share a hobby. Their real purpose is fellowship. They’re so Christians get to know one another. The other stuff is secondary.