Dear Church Family and Friends,
Have you ever asked a question that made perfect sense to you but obviously didn’t to the person you asked? Have you ever heard someone answer you in a way that you never dreamed was possible, only to realize that there was, in fact, more than one way to understand the question? Happens to me all the time! And sometimes I even do it to myself. Like when asking, “Why small groups?”
Did you know it’s possible to give an answer that is entirely accurate but not entirely helpful? So, last week I gave a great answer as to why SGs are a good thing. But as I’ve thought about it, I’ve realized that while I described a very good thing, I never really answered why SGs are the way of achieving it..
That’s because they’re not the way of achieving it. Make no mistake, there is a kind of intentional, relational, biblical, inter-personal ministry that is essential to healthy Christian growth. And Ephesians 4 does say that without this ministry we are immature children who are easily deceived. Heb. 3:13 does say that without it we are in danger of developing hardened, unbelieving hearts. But the Bible never says that SGs are the only form this ministry must take.
So, why SGs? Because SGs are a great way for this ministry to take place. In SGs, relationships are formed and strengthened around Christ and his Word, opening doors for words of mutual encouragement, words that might feel awkward otherwise. In SGs, we have people who can help us see our natural “blind spots.” In SGs, the work of the pastor in teaching the Word is applied to the lives of the church for living the Word. In SGs, there is a regular, organized opportunity for the ministry of Eph. 4 to happen on purpose. And there are many, many other benefits.
I’m just concerned that in a lot of places this kind of ministry described in Eph. 4 – and other “one-anothering” Scriptures – isn’t taking place at all. Or, if it is, then rarely, irregularly, and haphazardly. The blessings of this ministry are too good to be handled casually, and SGs are one way of helping Christians to enjoy them. Not the way, but a great way, nonetheless.
For His glory and your joy,
 OK, to be fair, it actually says that Jesus ordained this ministry so that we wouldn’t be easily-deceived, immature children.