Next Sunday, August 29, is the kick-off for our 2021-2022 Life Group Ministry! We will have an abbreviated worship service and a finger food fellowship following. We will have opportunity to sign up for a life group and will have brief group meetings following/during our meal. Please plan on coming and participating in our life groups.
Last week we discussed how vital life groups are to our discipleship program. We learned that Christian growth occurs with the help of community. At the Boise church, we employ a three-legged approach to discipleship. In the lesson we used the analogy of a three-legged stool. Each leg represents a different kind of group: the worship assemblies, fellowship groups (Bible classes, potlucks, etc.), and small groups (life groups, 1:1 mentoring, and evangelistic Bible studies). Each group is differentiated by size, purpose, interaction, and depth. All three are essential!
In this Sunday’s lesson, I will focus on the power of life groups to facilitate spiritual, relational, and numerical growth. My primary text will be Acts 2:42-47.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
In these verses, Luke is summarizing the work and growth of the early church. Notice they had two venues for assembly: 1) public – the temple courts and 2) private – in their homes. Their assemblies, public and private, produced three kinds of growth: 1) Spiritual – “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship,” 2) Relational – “All the believers were together and had everything in common,” and 3) Numerical – “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Rick Warren explains why small groups were so necessary in the early church and today.
Scriptures such as Acts 1:15, 2:41, 47, 4:4, 5:14, 28, 6:1, 7, 21:20 record the amazing growth of the first church. It is believed that during its first 25 years the Jerusalem church grew from 120 people to over 50,000 people! Where did they put all those people? The answer is small groups. Acts 5:42 tells us that “they met day after day, in the Temple courts and from house to house…” In the first church, the small groups were the base for all ministry and fellowship.
It is paradoxical that the way we grow “larger” is by assembling in “smaller” groups. I’ll say more in my message.
Life group leader training is scheduled for Saturday, August 21 from nine to noon in the church library. This is open to all – male, female, current leaders, novices, hosts, etc. If you can’t attend this session, I will announce make-up dates on Sunday.
God Bless! Joey