Dear Church Family and Friends,
In the last few weeks, I have tried to give a bird’s-eye view of small groups (SGs), describing their function and purpose. Now we need to look at things from street-level; what do they look like in action? How do they work? How does one do SGs?
It begins with the pastor preparing a message from Scripture under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He also prepares a list of questions to help the SGs think through and apply the Biblical message. The SGs hear the message, either live or by a recording that is provided for those who were absent, and prayerfully consider the questions in light of the Scripture that was taught. Later, the SG meets together, and the SG Leader uses the questions to guide the SG in a conversation that will allow them to share the work of the Lord in their own hearts with one another.
The questions might be of three different kinds. Some questions seem trivial and aren’t even about the Bible, but they help the SG members to get to know one another better. Other questions help the SG members to expand their knowledge of the Scriptures, often by connecting the message with other Bible passages that maybe weren’t used in the pastor’s message. Still, other questions (the most important kind for SGs) help the SG members explore how the message applies to their own lives, how to live it out practically, and how to use it to encourage others toward the Lord.
As the SG members get to know one another better, relationships are formed and strengthened, and trust is built. In this kind of an environment, different things might happen. Some members might come with questions they need answered, others might need advice on a particular life challenge. Sometimes a member might need to be corrected, and others might need to be comforted. All will need prayer – not the “My co-worker’s daughter’s fiancé has a job interview tomorrow” kind of prayer, but the “I need the Lord’s help to follow Christ more closely in _______, and will you please pray with me?” kind.
SGs will often begin with a snack of some kind and casual conversation. This will transition into a discussion of the Scripture and questions, in the general order I’ve mentioned above. Then they will conclude in prayer for one another. Simple, but what a blessing!
For His glory and your joy,