In preparation for small group ministry, I have been tasked with preaching on small groups this Sunday. So, what are small groups and why would someone want to be in one? Since joining Waterbrooke, I have pondered that question, dreaming and praying with the elders about what small groups could look like. Here's our vision:
Waterbrooke small groups are a refuge for the broken. It is where we can celebrate God's grace together as a family. It is the place where we can be known and loved by one another because we are fully known and loved by God. It is the space where we can be messy yet become mature in Christ together. It is the place where we can stir up one another to love and good works, bear one another's burdens, weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice, pray for one another, encourage one another, and proclaim to one another and our community that Jesus is our only hope.
In short, small group is what we experience in large church gatherings, but on a personal and more intimate context. The church isn't just people who gather in a building to sing and hear a message during one day of the week. The church is a new community of disciples who build each other up throughout the week as a testimony to a lost world in need of Jesus.
This Sunday, we will consider what small group ministry might be for us as a church family by examining the community life of the early church in Acts 2:42-47. For some of us, the idea of doing life together might seem scary or exhausting. On the other hand, for some of us, doing life together seems exciting and life-giving. But wherever we are on the spectrum, know that the Lord doesn't love us more if we're eager to jump in. And he doesn't love us less if we're hesitant to jump in. God is bigger than our eagerness and hesitancy combined. That means we have an amazing opportunity to welcome the Spirit of God to do whatever he wants to with us personally and in our church for the advancement of Christ's kingdom.