Visions from the Vincents

February 3, 2009

Small Groups

Some of you might ask why pastors do what they do at times. New things tend to scare people. There is some wisdom to this. You want to be leery of things that have not been tested. However, there is also a certain degree of danger that we are doing old traditional things that are unhelpful. Just because something is new doesn’t mean that it is helpful or unhelpful, but just because it is old doesn’t mean it is helpful or unhelpful either. We really have to evaluate all things in light of Scripture and in light of the context we live in.

This being said, I am convinced that “Small Groups” are a significant need in local churches. This is one of the things I have been called to do in my particular local church. Though they are new to us, they are not new in general. Many churches have been involved in Small Groups in the past thirty years and that number has exploded over the past 10 years. In fact, it would be difficult for you to find an SBC church or any other denominational local church of two hundred or more members that doesn’t have Small Groups. So, more and more pastors are seeing their value. John Stott, one of our eras greatest teachers, who is about 88 years old (pastoring 63 of those years) said this, “Small groups are indispensable for our growth into spiritual maturity” (Small groups, 97). C. J. Mahanney says “A church following a biblical model will not just “have” small groups. It will not merely “offer” small groups. Rather, it will be built with small groups (Small Groups, CJ Mahanney, 3). Over the next few days, I hope you see the biblical necessity to take part in Small Groups, and why your pastors, and so many others, think they are for your good. What is a small group? It is a group of people meeting together to focus on the application of Scripture. Their primary focus is the edification of the believer, but they can also sometimes serve an evangelistic function (this is not their primary function though). For this reason, I will explore 4 reasons for small groups in the coming week.

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