Confession time. I have attended small groups in the past and thought ‘I’m only here because I should be.’ I attended out of duty, I went along because I thought it was the right thing to do rather than because I wanted to be there.
Today, my small group is one of my favourite activities of the week. Going to a small group has changed from being a chore, to a choice I happily make time for every week.
On the surface, the reasons for this change of heart and attitude are obvious: I go to a group that I have close friends in and the group is part of a church that I love. BUT, the real reasons for change are so much deeper than that, real change that lasts happens beneath the surface.
Things changed when I got actively involved. I stopped taking and started giving. I made a commitment to the group and stopped looking for excuses not to be there.
If you are bored, think about what you want to change, and suggest it to the leaders. If you aren’t being supported, ask someone to pray with you. If you aren’t enjoying what you are learning about, discussing or focusing on then volunteer to lead and do something different. If you’re tired, take a break. Not a break from each other, but a break from your ‘normal’ activities, socialise, hang out, take a break, do something different.
Don’t give up on your group. It’s Biblical to meet together – Hebrews 10:25 states it really clearly: ‘not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.’
The writer of Hebrews (whoever it was? We have to wait ‘til heaven before that question is answered) is actually warning people here. They aren’t making a casual suggestion, they are giving some pretty strong advice. We should meet together, not just because it is good hang out with friends and spend time fellowshipping, but because meeting with other Christians is vital.
HOWEVER: don’t read this as ‘you have to go to a small group otherwise you aren’t a Christian anymore’, no, it’s a nice warning, not a telling-off warning. It’s more of a strong reminder: it is so much easier to walk with God and stay focused when you have a supportive, accountable group of Christian people around you! Praying with you, learning with you and helping you grow. Also, it’s great to feed into other peoples’ lives too! You feel valued and included.
For some refreshing ideas, new resources and more blogs on the questions less discussed in small groups sign up to Small Group Central. www.smallgroupcentral.org.uk/sign-up
About Emily Owen
Emily dreams of travelling the world and writing about the great things she sees God doing along the way. Whilst waiting for dreams to come true, she happily works for CWR, plays a lot of netball and is trying to learn Spanish.