As a young Christian, I wanted answers: How did this portion of scripture line up with that? What was permissible to do on a Sunday and what was not? Why was this prayer answered and that one not? While my pastor patiently answered what he could, much of my understanding of the Bible stemmed from participating in small groups.
When I was a young mother, I attended a Bible study in my neighborhood with other young mothers. Our kids played in the host’s “recreation room,” and we took turns keeping an eye on them.
Some of our studies focused on relationships—marriage and friendships. Some focused on Bible books—Proverbs or the Gospel of John. Over coffee and cookies we got to know each other, shared child-rearing tips, and supported each other through life’s ups and downs.
For many years my husband and I attended couples’ Bible studies. We took turns leading the group—which also stimulated our spiritual growth—and formed friendships that continue to this day.
Twenty years ago, two women who were young enough to be my daughters asked me to mentor them. We continue to meet weekly to discuss Christian books, chapter by chapter, and to study Bible passages. After a few years, we decided we wanted to serve together as well as study together, so we formed a speaking ministry that continues to this day.
Small groups have impacted my Christian growth as much as any other venue. Here’s how interacting with others in small groups bolsters your faith:
In closing, small groups allow us to grow in grace through fellowship and, as my mentoring experience shows, may even lead to rubbing shoulders in service.
There’s no better way to grow and support each other as we stumble along on life’s journey than through participation in a small group.
Have a blessed day.
Shirley is a member of Friends of the Heart: three women who share God’s love through talks, drama, and song. Her friends Kim and Janine make up the rest of Friends of the Heart, and the three of them have participated in a small group since 1998. You can find their website here: http://www.friendsoftheheart.us
Shirley is also a coauthor of Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides and the author of Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference. You can read more from Shirley by visiting her blog: www.shirleybrosius.blogspot.com. Shirley also has a website that you can find here: http://www.shirleybrosius.com.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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