As a worldwide church, small groups is something we recognise as an important strategy to developing healthy churches. Not only does it serve as a great method of discipleship, but it often serves as a great method of evangelism too. Church members have the opportunity to grow, share their faith and nurture those who are new in the faith. While people who are new to the church can learn and grow in the study of God’s word as they build relationships with church members in the comfortable, non-threatening environment of someone's home.
With all the benefits of small groups, what about us? We have one small group that meets on a Wednesday, but is this enough?
Let me share a story with you. There’s a church over east called Kingscliff SDA Church. This church once was a dying church that had a fair bit of issues. Since leaders and the people of the church have been spending meaningful time in Bible study, prayer, and now with their consistent small group focus, the church has not only become significantly healthier, it is now one of the healthiest, most vibrant churches in the NNSW Conference. Their small groups range from Bible study groups to interest groups, and relationship/marriage enrichment focused groups- and with this focus their numbers are growing. They’ve had significant amount of baptisms, particularly over the last couple of years and they have created a culture of love for Scripture, love for each other and love for the community. They summarise their focus in their mission statement “Knowing, Growing, Going”.
Another more familiar story of small groups can be seen in the success of the early church in the book of Acts. Let me quickly remind you of the Biblical and relational culture they fostered:
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers”- Acts 2:41-42.
So, what will our story be? Will our church be known for our small group culture?
Thought for the week...
Thank you to all our helpers in the outreach program. We value your contribution, leadership and willingness to help make this program a success.
And thank you to Bill for recording all the programs with Pr Barron and for his photos which appear in the header of this newsletter :)