Let me take a moment and ask you a very real and important question. Please don’t rush to answer this question. Really take some time and reflect on your answer.
Have you ever had someone ask you, “How is your soul doing?”
A small group is an opportunity for one to engage in community. The dictionary defines community as, “experiencing the feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.” Truth is no one likes to be alone. We all long to feel apart of something bigger than ourselves, to feel connected and like we belong. I believe we were created this way and that life together is always better than life alone. So, why not have a community of people that we can share the most valuable interest of all, our belief in Jesus Christ?
The reason I am where I am today in my faith is because of engaging others in a community. From Mr. Moreno who helped me understand my call to ministry, to Mr. Mcllwaine who helped me clarify my faith, to Jerry Tucker who taught me that God desires intimacy not just religion, to Tony, James and my group of friends from high school who helped me navigate the crazy world of adolescence to my current group who consistently encourages me and nudges me to deeper faith in my Lord. Community has been the single most significant factor to my faith development.
So, what is a small group? It is an opportunity to engage others who are looking to define and deepen their faith. It is an hour a week where you will gather with others who have questions about God, life and the obstacles we all face. Small group is a place where real life and the truth of God’s word intersect with community allowing us the chance to experience God in a very real and practical way. It is a place where you can belong and enjoy walking together with others.
So, what about you? Will you take a chance to experience this kind of community and JOIN A GROUP?
The above title is actually an African proverb I came across while watching a movie about the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. As these children, ages 5-12, were faced with insurmountable obstacles to survive, they banded together to create a family and walk more than 700 miles to safety. This “family bond” was a major contributor to not only their survival, but also their ability to truly live.
I get it, I really do. We live in a culture that values the individual above all things. And yes, there are advantages to being alone. We really can go fast. It can make it easier to obtain certain goals or dreams. It doesn’t put us in awkward positions of choice. You know; “Do I do what’s best for the other or do I do what's best for me?” Those decisions can really be difficult to figure out.
But the truth is, the success of going alone yields fast but short lived results. And when it comes to faith, what we learn is that alone begins to erode our faith. It begins to diminish our commitment to faith. Fact is, if we want to stay faithful to our Lord, the great I AM, our Creator, then I need you. We need each other. We need our church family. Proverbs 27:17 tells us that, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Tony Campolo puts it this way, “You need to be surrounded by people who in fact revitalize your faith.”
We live in a world that looks at what we believe and calls it absurd. We need each other to strengthen, deepen, challenge, and encourage our faith in the one true God. Alone we may go fast, but it requires together so we can go far!