Dear Small Group Leader,
As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been sending regular emails to you in hopes that you will connect with an article, a leadership tip, or be reminded of a basic Biblical concept of community as you lead and shepherd your small group. In this email I want to share some nuggets of wisdom about Biblical Community from a book that I’m reading. The book is “Community (RE: Lit)” by Brad House, published by Crossway.
Perhaps these excerpts from the author, Brad House, will encourage you as a Small Group leader at Harvest:
While we can technically survive without community, we don’t function properly without it.
How true. God designed us to live in community and the Bible gives us examples of this from the beginning of time. Your small group leadership is helping people experience Biblical community.
I am not advocating building a commune but rather consciously considering one another and including one another in the everyday moments of life. This can be done by simply inviting members of your community into the rhythms of your life that you typically do by yourself. If your family goes out for pancakes on Saturday morning, why not invite another family to join you? Maybe invite a newly-wed couple from your group so they can experience the chaos of dining out with small kids. This is a simple act that may even seem mundane, but the blessing that comes from sharing your life with others is invaluable, and it is the difference between autonomy and community.
This has been something that I’ve been praying about for our small groups; and a topic that I emphasize when talking with small group leaders. The author has captured my heart with the above comments about being involved with one another outside of scheduled time. In my opinion, seeing relationships grow in this manner could be one of those high-impact, life changing endeavors for our people!
…community groups are not merely Bible studies or social groups, but they have a responsibility for the ongoing growth and care of the church. It also means that leaders must be trustworthy and qualified to care for the small flocks in their hands. When done well, this allows a church to grow to any size and still provide pastoral care for all its members.
This is another reminder about the importance of small groups in our church. Notice how the author refers to doing leadership “well” – being trustworthy to care for our flocks is a humbling responsibility. How are you doing with caring for your flock? Is this reminder something that motivates you? Perhaps it makes you feel a bit uneasy or maybe it makes you wonder if your group is going deep enough? I’m not trying to make you feel bad, rather I hope that you are encouraged to view your small group as a way to bring true life transformation to people as God guides you in your leadership.
There is a biblical expectation that faithful churches will grow. God is in the business of growing his church. Such aversion to large churches in general is a silly notion when we look at the biblical history of the church. Acts 2 tells us that the church began as a church of over three thousand people who met in homes daily. This looks like a megachurch living out the gospel in community groups to me.
Lastly, this is a great reminder of the importance of expecting God to grow the church. I desire to see Harvest grow and I believe this can take place by having fruitful Small Groups leading the way. How do you feel about this? Do you want to see people coming to the Lord and growing in numbers like the book of Acts says? Do you know that your leadership is critical for this to happen? Be encouraged; your Small Group can make a difference in bringing life transformation (a Harvest Core Value) to people in our church.
As always, if you have any questions please contact me. I enjoy meeting face to face to talk about life and ministry with you, please let me know when we can get together. Thanks for leading your Small Group!