Sunday, March 6, 2011

What does it mean to be in a small group?

Andrea and I had the privilege to plant a new small group this past September as the Summit Church launched their N. Raleigh campus near our house. We saw this as an opportunity to use the gifts that God has given us to serve the community in which we live through the fellowship of believers as seen in Acts 2.42-47. All groups have phases that are necessary to move through, but I have been impressed and humbled by the group that God has allowed us to be a part of.

In a very short time we have moved passed surface level to a level of transparency with each other. We fellowship together, confess sin and struggles, prayer for each other, serve and worship together and have seen lives changed. Just last weekend we saw two more families become covenant members and three people get baptized.

This past week Andrea and I encountered some unexpected plumbing issues that all came about on the due date of our first born. It turned out to be a bigger issue then we had first thought, which also turned into a bigger financial burden. In the midst of the stress and frustration we knew that we could turn to our small group. This is the one group of people who we knew would have our back and be there to encourage, pray, and offer assistance however necessary.

The group did encourage and pray for us, but we were also able to wash our clothes and linens at one of their houses. They even went a step further and collected money as a group to give to us to relieve us of the financial burden as we see the believers doing in Acts 2.45.

Although this overwhelmed and humbled us, we saw this as a clear picture of what we see the believers doing in Acts, which is why I am sharing this with you. We are not a perfect group and never will be as we are made up of mere man, but we are a group that has been changed by the message of the gospel and live a life structured around the gospel (v.42-43), which results in our worship and awe of God and our fellowship as believers (v.43-46).

A small group living life together in this way is also a picture of the gospel for the community. I do not know of any other group of people who take care of each other like followers of Christ. We don't do it as a means to our salvation, but in response to our salvation (v.47). Now, that is what it means to be in a small group!

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