I’ve been posting recently about Lutheran Via de Cristo. It’s a weekend retreat, but the purpose is not to enjoy a quiet time with God (although that may happen at times). The purpose is to encourage participants to go back into their daily life and form small groups. My husband and I have been participated in small groups for years, and they become vehicles for change–you will change, and you will change the people around you. Think about it. Didn’t Jesus have a small group of followers? They changed the world!
This blog would not exist if a small group of ladies had not decided to create it. Other groups I have been in have undertaken church projects like Vacation Bible School, assembled craft items to give out at retreats, led church workshops, and more. With a small group you can not only study the Bible, you can put biblical principles into practice. The encouragement I have received in small groups truly cannot be measured. There are so many things I would never have tried without the support of Christian friends.
Here are some basics about what a small group should look like, according to Rick Warren:
“If you are a member of a small group or class, I urge you to make a group covenant that includes the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make group a priority (frequency).“
If you’re not part of a small group, I urge you to start one today! You can group with people from your church, other Christians in your workplace or neighborhood, or those with whom you have attended a Christian retreat or event. Get creative — right now I am meeting regularly with a Christian friend on Zoom. Start with Bible study and hold one another accountable in the areas of spiritual discipline and action. Be a friend. Grow in Christ together. You’ll be amazed to see what can happen.
For more about small groups see:
Leading Small Groups by Chris Surratt — Book Review
Small Groups of Saints #2 — Joan’s Experience