As we study the first New Testament church in Acts we see 2 strategies they used. The first is Large Group gatherings for the purpose of corporate worship and instruction by spiritual leaders. The second is Small Group gatherings for the purpose of fellowship and discipleship. Both are important. We all need to gather for instruction and worship as the larger church family and we also need to be connected, disciple others, and be discipled. I love how the Message translation states Matt 18 -19. “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
It connects me to the body of Christ. The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part.
2. I get a better understanding of the Bible. I can ask questions, learn from others, and share what I know.
3. Pray together. “When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”
4. Give and receive care and support. “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”
Expect to know you are not alone.
Expect to find other people who are new to the small group experience.
Expect to start some new relationships.
Expect that trust will deepen over time.
Expect to learn something new.
Expect to have an opportunity to use your spiritual gifts.