“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1
Small groups are something that is common among Christians. Many churches have Bible studies and groups. However, some people may ask the question, “Do we need to be a part of a small group?”
With schedules packed to the brim with activities, work and academics, adding another thing to the list may seem like the last thing you want to do. Isn’t going to church each Sunday enough? Can’t we get the same thing out of doing a Bible study by ourselves?
While you can go to church every Sunday and do your own personal study, you don’t get the same thing out of it that you do when you come together with others. One of the key things is discipleship. A pastor once said at my church, “Disciples are not made in the worship service, they are made in the context of small groups.”
That’s not saying that you can’t make disciples during church. Many people come to Christ during a service; however, the point of going to church is to worship and bring glory to God. That’s the time that we dedicate to Him and focus on Him. Small groups are when people come together, get personal and bring each other closer to God.
Why do we need small groups?
Everyone has a mask. We put it on before we go into social settings and leave all problems at the door. It’s easier to answer to someone that their day is going well instead of unloading all their emotional baggage and sins on a stranger. So we throw on our mask, smile and nod and pretend that everything is good.
However, in a small group setting, you can’t keep that mask on. Meeting with people on a weekly basis and getting to know them leads to relationships and like all relationships, it’s harder to hide how you are really feeling. A small group is a place to talk about what is going on in your life and what you are struggling with. In an intimate setting where you can be real together, you don’t have to wear that mask.
It’s also a place for prayer. Your small group can pray for you, help you with your problems and be there for you when you need someone to lean on. It’s a place where you don’t have to hesitate to ask for help because everyone in the group is willing to do anything to help.
The small group will also call you out when you need it. They know you well enough that they will be able to be real with you and give you applicable advice that is in line with God. They won’t just tell you what you want to hear as some people will. They will pray for you, look at God’s word and tell you what God wants you to know.
Why get involved?
There are many reasons to get involved in a small group. You can make long-lasting friendships, have people praying for you and guiding you closer to the Lord and be a safe place to admit your shortcomings. A huge reason though that one should get involved is that it’s biblical.
We were created to be in relationship with each other and Jesus called us specifically for this purpose. He himself had his own small group of his twelve disciples, whom he talked with, gave advice and loved unconditionally. In Acts 2:42-47 it talks of the fellowship of the believers, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer … they broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.”
Romans 12:4-8 also speaks about how each person has different gifts that can help each other, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement.” Everyone has something different to offer in the name of Christ and in a small group setting, is very important. Every situation is different and every person has something to offer in how God made them.
Coming together brings God glory and makes disciples. By being a part of a small group, you can have a community that is like a family that will help bring you closer to God and keep you accountable.
Grand Canyon University has Life Groups that meet once a week on every housing floor and study the Word and pray together. If you are interested in joining one, talk to your Life Group leader on your floor and find out when they meet.
Grand Canyon University is committed to following the Lord in all circumstances. If you would like to learn more about GCU’s Christian identity and heritage or would like to read more devotionals please visit our website and check out the GCU Blog.