Tuesday, July 17, 2012

12 Reasons Why You Should Join a Small Group

Here's an article I wrote for the August Newsletter at Riverview.  We'll be launching a small groups ministry this September at Riverview, so I figured it'd be appropriate to try to provide some motivation for people to join a group.  Here are 12 reasons I thought of that make joining a small group something worthwhile. 

1. You can become more like Jesus.  As you study the Bible and have biblical fellowship with other believers, spiritual growth happens; growth in holiness happens; becoming more like Jesus happens.  Being a part of a small group is a good way of taking an active part in your spiritual growth process and becoming more and more like Jesus and more and more free from sin.

2. You’ll be able to pray for people in ways you normally wouldn’t.  You can only pray for people as deeply as you know the person.  In a small group you’ll get to know people and how you can pray for them more specifically.  Plus, as people get to know you, they can be praying for you in specific ways as well.

3. You’ll be able to utilize your spiritual gifts.  Don’t know what your spiritual gift is?  Joining a small group could be a good way to find out!  If you do know what it is, a small group is the perfect way for you to be able to put it to good use.  It’s also a good way to be served by others as they use their gifts!

4. You can help other members of your group carry their physical and spiritual burdens.  We all go through difficult things in life, like the loss of a job, illness, death of a loved one, financial difficulty, fear, doubt, questions, etc. and it would be nice to have someone to help us go through those things.  In a small group you can help others when they need it, and they can help you.

5. You’ll be able to share your spiritual experiences with others.  How is your walk with Jesus going?  Good?  Not so good?  Whatever it is, the more we share with one another, the more we can celebrate in the good times and encourage one another by sharing our struggles with sin and doubt in the down times.

6. You can confess your sins to others.  Scripture tells us to confess our sins to one another.  Most of us don’t do that, though, probably because there isn’t anyone we know well enough that we’d feel comfortable confessing to.  In a small group you’ll be able to cultivate relationships over time and take them to a deeper level that makes confessing sins not only possible, but rewarding and encouraging as you receive assurance and encouragement from your fellow group members.

7. You’ll be able to serve other people in practical ways.  We all have physical and spiritual needs that can be met by others.  In a small group you’ll not only have the privilege of serving others, but you’ll be able to be served by others as well.

8. You can connect what you hear at church on Sunday to the rest of your life throughout the week.  Each week we’ll be looking more in depth at the scripture from the sermon preached during the previous Sunday’s service.  Pastor Wick is writing special study guides based on his weekly sermons for our small groups to go through together.

9. Riverview people are interesting and cool.  Riverview is full of all kinds of different people from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life.  In a small group you’ll be able to establish and deepen relationships with people God has uniquely made and is forming into his likeness.

10. There might be food.  Your small group can decide if, as part of the meeting time, you want to eat together.  Maybe pot luck style, or maybe pizza.  Either way, you could get a good meal!

11. It’s convenient, and it will fit into your schedule.  Small groups will be able to decide what day and time work best for them to meet.  Mondays?  Thursdays?  Fridays?  That’s up to your group.  5:00?  6:00?  7:00?  Again, that’s up for the folks in your group to decide.  How many times a month should we meet?  2? 3? Every week?  Whatever works best for you and the people in the group.

12. There’s a small group meeting near you.  Our small groups will be located throughout the area in which our members live, so chances are that there’s a small group meeting somewhere near where you live.  

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