Why join a small group?
Small groups, or sometimes called Growth Groups, Cell Groups, or Life Groups, are a small gathering of people for the purpose of Christian fellowship, Bible study, and mutual support. God never intended Christians to be alone. The Bible teaches that we also need each other for many reasons.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? (1 Corinthians 12:12-20) (ESV)
We of course need to meet together for praise and worship on Sunday mornings, but in that setting we usually don’t have the time or opportunity to interact on a personal level. But a small group enables more time to get to know fellow Christians. There can be several reasons or benefits for a small group gathering of people:
- People in a small group, whether based in a home or in the church, are more likely to participate in discussions than in a large group. Since there are fewer people, there is more opportunity to talk and listen to others.
- People often struggle with something they think is unique. When they hear that others have similar struggles, they feel relieved and encouraged.
- God doesn’t expect pastors and teachers to do all the ministering. He has given each of us gifts and talents to encourage, teach, and challenge one another. Small groups provide the perfect setting for Christians to minister one to another.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, (Hebrews 10:24-25) (ESV)
- We can strengthen each other’s faith. In his letter to the Romans, Paul taught us that when we see the faith in another believer, it encourages us in our own faith.
… that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:12) (ESV)
- Group members can pray for each other and help each other remain accountable in difficult situations. God honors and answers prayer. When people become connected emotionally, they are more open to praying for one another. Often, group members exchange prayer requests or become prayer partners.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16) (NIV)
- Some people, including Christians, lack close friends. When people get together in a small group, close friendships can form, and often remain after the group ends.