It’s nearly impossible to live a Christian life. God’s daily grace strengthens us to press on despite the challenges. He also surrounds us with people who go through the same struggle to make our Christian walk worthwhile.
No church is perfect, and small groups are no exception. Despite this, we choose to join a small group rather than live the Christian life alone. Let’s explore the benefits of joining a church small group.
1. Encouragement and Support
The Lord is active in sanctifying (making us Christ-like)His children daily. As we go through peaks and valleys, we want people who will walk alongside us. It is difficult to live a Christian life alone. Who would understand our struggle with pride and sin? Who would empathize when God is unfathomable? Who would pray with us in our storms? It’s our small group. Every member will have a different experience, but all went through doubt, fear, and difficulties like you. One of the benefits of a church small group is having emotional support and encouragement.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 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.hebrews 10:24-25
2. Building New Relationships
The second benefit of joining small groups is creating new friendships. Because you are in constant communication with one another, you get updates on family life, work, and relationships. You meet them more than you meet your other friends so a deep bond forms which lasts until eternity (literally).
The people in my small group have now become very good friends. We have supported each other’s faith journey and what a joy to see them grow. Of course, we’ve also unintentionally hurt some. But God restored those relationships through forgiveness and healing. While there are a few who moved on, we still keep them close to our hearts.
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.proverbs 13:20
Why do we need to join church small groups? Isn’t it a place for gossip and judgment? It’s unfortunate to have this misconception about church small groups. Again, the church is not a building, it is us–imperfect people. We unknowingly hurt people with our words and behavior. But what sets apart a good church small group is accountability.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.colossians 3:16
To admonish means to counsel, correct, reprimand, or warn. We admonish with the purest intention to gently rebuke and lead back a brother or sister to Christ. However, this only happens when both are humble: one is humble to gently correct and the other is humble to accept correction. We do this in our one-on-one or couple-to-couple accountability meetings. The members are free to share their issues with their small group leader.
4. Prayer Team
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.ephesians 6:18
We have witnessed the power of prayer in the lives of our small group. In all instances, God answered all our prayers. Though a few were not in the way we hoped we accepted what was God’s will.
Isn’t it encouraging to know that someone will pray for you all the time? That is one of the benefits of church small groups. You have a spiritual family lifting your concerns to God and rejoicing with you whatever the outcome.
5. Learn Together
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.Joshua 1:8
Aside from our study of God’s Word, the small group is a venue to look at the practical application of the Scripture. It’s not about how much we know, it’s about how we are using Scripture in our daily walk. We share how it has helped, encouraged, and even challenged us.
Every member of a small group is a work in progress. No one should be ashamed to share their failures in applying the Word. Our humility that we are not always in tune with God helps others be honest to admit their failings. Like I always say, we do not aim for perfection but we strive to become better every day.
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.Romans 12:4-5
Humans need belongingness. We desire to belong to a family, a group, or a community. Joining a church small group fills that need to be with like-minded people. We have the Spirit of God uniting all of the brethren in our small groups and the universal body of Christ. Each member has a role to play too. In the small group, we help you discover your spiritual gifts to serve and glorify God. As a member of the body (church), we have individual contributions but function as one unit.
7. Kingdom Expansion
The Lord puts us in small groups to learn, grow, and reach out to other people. In God’s perfect time, members will take a step of faith and become leaders and create their small groups. To see the members lead is a testament to God’s will and purpose in their lives.
We can’t stay stagnant in our spiritual life. The more we abide in Christ, the more we grow to become the kind of persons God intended us to be. I pray we remain connected to Christ who is the source of all our fruitfulness.
Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.1 Chronicles 4:10
The benefits of joining a church small group outweigh the drawbacks. To be honest, I don’t know if there are any. It doesn’t matter how long you have been walking with the Lord, but being part of a small group will help you grow. You will receive (and give) encouragement and support, build lasting friendships, have an accountability partner to watch over you, have a powerful prayer team, and be your classmates in learning about God. If you are not yet part of a small group, consider signing up for one today. You’ll never know how your life can inspire the life of another.
Are you part of a church small group? What benefits are you reaping today?