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Why Join a Group? – To Be Transformed

October 03 2018
October 03 2018

It’s another activity to add to your already over-crowded schedule. It’s another night of the week that you’ll be out of the house. Isn’t this why you cringe at the mention of “small groups?” Many of us have the same reaction whether it’s a men’s group, a women’s group, or a small group. It’s another thing I have to do and (while we might not say this part out loud) we’re just not sure it’s worth it.

We all have reasons not to join a group and those hurdles stop us from ever showing up for that first meeting. Even still, our church is committed to groups. When the session set goals for our church a couple years ago, one of them was that 80% of our members would be in a transforming relationship with other members – and groups are the leading way we are setting out to do that. So over the next few weeks, we are going to explore why. Why put so much emphasis on groups?

The first reason we think you should join a small group is that they are transformative. Active participation in a small group actually changes us and the Christian life is a life of change. In Romans 12:2, Paul throws down the gauntlet: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Groups provide this place of testing. It’s one thing for me to read my Bible regularly and seek God’s guidance. However, there’s a risk that comes with that. When I study my Bible by myself, Jesus can have a tendency to sound a lot like me. Maybe it is because I go back to my favorite passages and books. Maybe it is because I’m reading in the context of my own preferences and experiences. Whatever the cause, when I study the Bible alone, Jesus can sound an awful lot like me.

Studying the Bible with others won’t let me do that. I don’t just read what I want, but what others want and that might force me to read deeply in areas I had previously just skimmed over. I don’t just interpret the Bible through my own preferences and experiences, but the added insights of others and those insights might push back against mine. By studying the Bible together, we test our understanding together and get a clearer picture of what is good and acceptable and perfect. And when we encounter these things together, we encounter Jesus and are gradually transformed.

If you want to stay exactly as you are, don’t join a small group. But if you want to be transformed – if you want to grow as a more Christ-like spouse, parent, employee, or friend – then consider linking arms with other believers and joining a group. Check out our groups page the Groups@Grace map in the foyer. You’re also welcome to email me if you have any questions.


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