Benefits of Small Groups

Ever since the day of Pentecost Christians have been meeting together regularly. In the Book of Acts it says,

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. Acts 2:46-47a ESV

Christians met in big groups and they met in small groups. Each meeting had its own purpose but the important thing is that they met! And so we have met, in big groups and in small groups, for 2000 years.

What is it that draws Christians together? Most enjoy being with others who share the same faith. Many go to “get fed” the Word of God. No doubt many enjoy singing songs together about our Lord and His greatness. For some it is a force of habit, for others it is what is expected in their community. Many children go to church because their parents make them go.

However, recent events have caused us all to think through why we go to church. Lately we have all been weighing the positives of going to church against the negatives. Let’s join that analysis by looking at what some Scriptures say about meeting together.

Back in the early church, we read where it says:

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Acts 2:42 NIV

They came together to hear good teaching, to fellowship, to eat together and to pray together. Those are all good reasons and necessary ones for Christians to meet.

Later, in Acts 10, Cornelius called for Peter to come to his home. When Peter arrived Cornelius said to him, “So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” Acts 10:33 ESV

So Cornelius and all his house wanted to hear the Word of God and the good news of his salvation. They called a trusted and mature leader to give them that Word. So when we meet together it gives our pastors and teachers an opportunity to feed us the Word of God.

In the recent crisis our pastors and leaders have been using the internet and social media to teach us the Word. We thank God that we can use the internet this way – I thank God for the many meetings I have been part of in this way without leaving my home!

But the Scriptures reveal teaching is just the beginning of what God wants to accomplish in our meetings.

For example, in the Book of Hebrews, it says:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV

This passage is often quoted, almost as a mantra, to compel our people to go to church meetings. But let’s look at what it really says. In our meetings we are to stir one another to love and good works. Each one encouraging each other. I need your encouragement, and you need mine. This is the reason we go to meetings, so that we can encourage one another to stay strong in our love for Jesus.

Now let’s look at 1 Cor. 14:26 NIV

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

Here we see an emphasis on building up the church, our faith, our maturity. This happens in a meeting where the various gifts that God has distributed among his people are used to build up everyone else.

When I look at these Scriptures, and especially these last 2, I see that more of the Scriptural reasons for meeting together can be accomplished if more of the believers are involved in the ministry.

There are more Scriptures and more reasons. But I encourage you today, to continue to meet together, especially in meetings where a variety of people have the freedom to manifest the giftings and graces of the Holy Spirit within them. Look for the leader of that meeting to be mature and open enough to allow such expression. You will find that these types of meetings will strengthen you, and you will be anxious to return.

©2021 Heart of Titus Ministries, Inc.

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