Tonight I would like to take some time to explain why being in a small group is just as important as attending your local church each week. “Isn’t church enough? After all, I can only handle so much Bible teaching and preaching in a single week!”
I understand, but going to church and small group have two very distinct purposes, so let me explain them to you.
First, going to church is not for YOU, it’s for GOD! We do not call it WORSHIP SERVICES for nothing! Who is the worship for – is it you, or is it God? Of course it is God. When we attend a church service, and there is WORSHIP music, and the pastor gets up and teaches you more about God’s Word, and you take communion to remember what Jesus did for you, while all of these things may make you feel better, they are all in worship to God.
For me, there just is nothing better than getting up on Sunday morning, heading over to church, watching all of the people enter the chapel and greet each other and talk a bit before they take their seats. Then the worship music starts and people stand and move to the music and raise their hands in praise to God. Then the Pastor comes up and shares what God wants us to know about Him this week. Then we get to take communion and remember that no matter how awful I was this week, no matter what happened to me this week, no matter how many things I did not do that I should have, Jesus died for me so that my sins would be paid for and I get to spend ETERNITY with Him in Heaven! All of these things make me look to God and show Him respect for His position, show Him that I understand just how badly I need Him in my life daily, and thank Him for the very air I breathe. Church is about God, not about you!!!
Now let’s talk about you. You have needs, wants, dreams, worries, fears, heartaches, joys, and loves. What happens if you keep all of that to yourself? Well it all goes nowhere and you continually suffer in the bad stuff and the good stuff fades quickly because it never gets shared with anyone. Here is where the small group comes in!
At a small group, anywhere from 5-15 people gather together either at a person’s home, or a designated meeting place, like a Starbucks, or at the church. A leader for the group is chosen, and this leader usually know a bit about the Bible but more importantly, they know how to manage a group of people. This means they know when one member of the group is judging others instead of listening to them and they shut that down in a very loving manner. The agenda of each meeting usually goes something like this: a theme is chosen such as ‘What does the Bible say about marriage?’ and some Bible verses are chosen to be read and discussed. Then each person in the group gets to say what they think about the topic and what the Bible verses meant to them. As well, if they have something on their minds, meaning maybe something that has come up during the week that is troubling to them, they mention that to the group as well for discussion at the end. this way you DO NOT KEEP YOUR HURTS TO YOURSELF, not do you keep your joys to yourself.
In small groups, you get to be the star while you learn about God and learn about and invest n the lives of others in your group. I know of some small groups who have been meeting for over 15 years now and the people in it tell me they could not dream of not meeting together each week. Of course sometimes not everyone can make it, but that never stops the group from meeting.
Small groups will also help to hold you accountable to what you are trying to achieve in your life. Things such as weight loss, or a sin you are trying to kick. Again there is no such thing as ‘self help’. After all if you could help yourself, why would you not have already done so!! It’s because you can’t! God made us for Himself and for others!
So I pray that you will consider joining or starting a small group with some friends so that you too can enjoy the deep relationships and loving friendships that always get made from this precious time spent investing in others and having them invest in you.
Have a totally blessed weekend! With love,
Pastor Brad Komgenick