Archive for small groups

WHY Small Groups? “The Divine Community”

Jesus’ Prayer for Our Unity in Him.

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. 22 I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one: 23 I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:20-23)

One writer had this to say about God’s heart for us:

“One of God’s biggest dreams for us is authentic community.” (Bill Willits, Creating Community: 5 Keys to Building a Small Group Culture; page 40)

That also seems to be at the heart of Jesus’ prayer for His followers the very night He was about to betrayed,… then beaten, whipped and crucified. You can tell what is most important to someone in those times when they are facing their mortality.

And, even though Jesus trusted and rested in the promise of His resurrection by the Father’s Hand, the reality of what He was about to face in His “stations of the cross” loomed large in front of Him. So did His heart and desire for His followers to remain “one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You.”

And think of what the world might believe about Jesus as God’s “Only Begotten Son” if they witnessed our unity with Jesus in the same way Jesus was united with God, the Father.

WHY small groups?

Because it can be a place where meaningful relationships can both given and received.

Because it was Jesus’ dying wish for His followers… for you and me… for us and the resurrected Him.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Denny Finnegan
Associate Pastor, CPC

WHY Small Groups?

[35] Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, [36] and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” [37] The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. [38] And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?” [39] He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour. [40] One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. (John 1:35-40)

In this article, I hope to offer you different encouragements on WHY being a part of a small group is actually a good thing for your relationship with God, your relationship with other brothers and sisters in Christ, and in our relationship with the world around us for the Kingdom of God.

I’d like to begin with Jesus and His view on “Small Groups”. It is found in the word “Rabbi”, which, in Greek is often translated as “teacher.”

But the Greek view on being a teacher is WAY different than the Jewish view. The Greek view focuses primarily on “information”, while the Jewish view of teaching focuses on “relationship”. And the first 2 people Jesus called into a “teaching relationship” with Him were invited to a small group experience with Jesus.

A pastor friend of mine very well acquainted with Jewish customs was able to calculate the day of the week in John 1:35-40 from the Wedding feast Jesus attended in John 2:1. This encounter with Jesus happened on the eve of the Sabbath. So when Jesus invited them to “Come and you will see” was actually an invitation to spend the whole Sabbath with Jesus, including all the meal preparations and such.

Jesus did not invite them to a “class” on “Jesus as Messiah”. Jesus invited them into relationship with Him as their personal Messiah.

Reflection: If Jesus thought relationship was the best way to grow in discipleship, then I would encourage you to consider finding a small group of people with whom you could share relationship with in Jesus Christ.

Relationship is where discipleship begins. What do you think about this? Please leave your thoughts in the comment area below.

“The Family” – God’s Primary Small Group

[12] “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12, NIV)

[1] Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. [2] “Honor your father and mother”– which is the first commandment with a promise– [3] “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” [4] Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-4, NIV)

Have you ever wondered “why” the 10 Commandments are in the order that they are? I have!

In fact, the 5th Commandment – “Honor your father and your mother – seems rather strange to me. You have the 1st four commandments on Honoring and Loving God before it, and 5 commandments after it about Honoring and Loving our Neighbors. Yet this seems to be the only commandment about Loving and Honoring our Family. Parents seem to be the “bridge” between “Loving and Honoring God” and “Loving and Honoring Our Neighbor”.

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