10 Benefits Of Church Small Groups

If you’ve never been part of a church small group, or have been part of a group that was unhelpful, it might be difficult to appreciate their draw. Indeed, the case for small groups is often overstated, as in, “small groups are really where church happens.” To equate small groups with church is to miss Scripture’s emphasis on elder-led (1 Tim. 1:5) Word and sacrament (Rom. 10:14; 1 Cor. 11:17–34), and corporate worship practiced by a distinct congregation (Heb. 10:25).

Orlando Saer puts it well: “The basic ‘unit’ of the church is the church itself, not some subdivision of it.” Small groups are not the essence of the church.

But without something like a small group ministry, it can be difficult for Christians to reflect the biblical pattern of communal life. Again, Saer is helpful: “Small groups can be a very helpful means of achieving ends which certainly are demanded by the Bible of Christian churches.” The Bible does not demand “house churches.” But there is an undeniable beauty in church members meeting publicly as well as in homes (Acts 20:20; Rom. 16:5). Christ’s followers break bread together as a united family in the Eucharist and as smaller groups around tables where common life happens (Acts 2:46–47).

There are many reasons why small group fellowship meetings have been an important part of Christian experience throughout the ages.

1. Discipleship

Small groups provide opportunities for believers to learn from each other as they apply the gospel within the intimacy of relationships (Titus 2:1–8). “Who is Jesus?” (cf. Matt. 16:15) is critical to hear from the pulpit. But we also need friends to help us wrestle through that question face to face. We need people who are willing to get to know us so they can help us walk with Christ more faithfully (Acts 18:24–26).

More at: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/10-benefits-of-church-small-groups


How to Express Empathy without Compromising Truth

We all know the Bible-thumper stereotype.

You know who I’m talking about. The people with signs in sans-serif all caps about everyone that God supposedly hates and how everyone is going to hell. That’s not to mention the megaphones and the yelling and the . . . you get the point.

The struggle to avoid the label is real, and efforts by Christians to avoid it are manifold. But in so doing, we run the risk of swinging too far in the opposite direction. While the screaming clergyman neglects to “speak the truth in love,” those trying to avoid his vice may come off as ambivalent toward Christian doctrine, trying so hard to be meek that those witnessing the discussion may wonder if the Christian has made any truth claims at all.

The Problem

An example of this particular brand of bad communication might look something like this:

“I can’t believe in the Bible because it’s full of ahistorical nonsense.”

“Yeah, some of those things can be challenging.”

“So why do you believe in it?”

“Well, I think you just have to focus on who God is and who Jesus is – that’s what the Bible is about.”

Read more: https://clearlens.org/express-empathy-without-compromising-truth/

How The Internet Can Help Us Model 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Mike Leake  Leave A Comment

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I’ve written in the past about the negative impact of social media on our culture. And, yes, I realize the irony of blogging about the dangers of blogging. Part of the reason I keep blogging and continue engaging on social media is because there are a few good and redeeming qualities. One of them is it gives us the ability to spread the comfort we’ve received to others.

I witnessed this a few weeks ago when a fellow blogging friend, Eric Schumacher, posted a tremendous article on the experience of father’s during a miscarriage. Eric was vulnerable. He shared his pain. He also shared how God has comforted him. And let’s be honest, this is one of those areas where guys don’t really talk about. But they carry around this hurt.

So, it was encouraging to see all those who were helped by Eric’s vulnerability, by his comforting those who had been comforted. And I thought about how much good the internet could do, if we used our platform more for things like this than for sniping others and arguing.

As I preached through 2 Corinthians a few weeks ago I made the point that it is non-redemptive to not share in our suffering. That cuts both ways. It not only means we need to be there for folks a they are suffering, but we also need to share our stories. Consider all of those grieving fathers who wouldn’t have been helped had Eric decided his story was too personal, too gritty, to share. Consider all the ways God has comforted you. How might He use your story to comfort others? It’s wrong for us to withhold this opportunity to give comfort from others.

This is not to say that everyone needs to make public everything they are going through. You don’t need to be a blogger to obey 2 Corinthians 1. But you do need to be active in a local church. Paul’s call in 2 Corinthians is for the local church specifically. We need to have those in our lives who are not only helping us carry our burdens, but also those who we are actively and redemptively sharing our struggles with.

Nothing can replace the local church and this is Paul’s major concern. But I also believe one of the good things we can use the internet for is modeling 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. We can tell our stories of the comfort that God has given us…and in doing this, I’m confident that others will be comforted.

Is Hospitality Your Mentality?


Our house was always open. People were always in and out. Chunks of concrete from our tropical storm-ravaged roof were always falling.

We were young. We had children and were adopting another. It was hot. Large bugs and even larger lizards lived right alongside us. Among those insects and reptiles, we were learning how to make disciples.

It was chaos. It was sacred.


When I was twenty-five, my husband and I packed up our six-month-old baby girl and two 50-pound suitcases and moved to Okinawa, Japan. We went as missionaries to the American military stationed there.

Our job was to live in a large home right outside the base and welcome in-service members and their families for meals, holidays, game nights, and Bible studies.

Every Friday, a handful of military wives and I cooked dinner for a hundred and my husband preached. The Holy Spirit moved. People got saved. Marriages were mended. Men and women walked with Jesus like they never had before.

Continue: http://gcdiscipleship.com/2018/03/11/is-hospitality-your-mentality/

If Paul Needed Friends, So Do We


Too Busy to Love My Neighbor

~ Ryan

I’m a college professor, so my life is marked by the rhythms of the academic calendar. We gear up in August and January for 14 intense weeks, then we enjoy the slower pace of the winters and summers.

This past fall was especially busy. I had new classes to teach, a department to chair, plus other obligations too boring to recount. In addition, I taught a new class at my church for ten weeks in a row.

I’ve had busy seasons before, but this fall wrung me almost dry.

The Effects of Busyness

Looking back at the semester, I noticed one unpleasant effect of this busyness. At least in me, busyness aggravates self-centeredness.

As my to-do list filled beyond to-doing and my calendar crowded to standing room only, I focused more attention on myself than usual. I was concerned about my tasks, my meetings, and my responsibilities.

My time and attention were squeezed, like a half lemon giving up its juice. I felt mentally out of breath—my commitments seemed to rush at me, each one faster than the last. Though my days were full, the mental consequences of this busyness were more damaging than the shortage of time.

With my vision narrowed, I ignored critical areas of my life. I didn’t go beyond the bare minimum in my most important relationships.

  • My prayer life was almost nonexistent.
  • I scheduled no date nights with my wife.
  • I didn’t spend much time in meaningful conversations with my daughters.
  • I didn’t anticipate how I could bless others in my church, my neighborhood, or my wider circle of friends. I neglected all acts of proactive love.

Have you experienced anything like this? I doubt I’m alone when it comes to the detrimental effects of busyness on my heart.

Toward a Solution

Read more of his blog: https://asmallwork.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/too-busy-to-love-my-neighbor/

3 Ways To Look At Others

“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”– C.S. Lewis

Read blog: https://www.christianquotes.info/images/3-ways-to-look-at-others/