Jesus was in a small group
And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Matthew 10:1
Who are you walking through life with? Your family? Close friends? Church members? Hopefully we all have loved ones that we connect with day to day. Jesus gave us the example of walking through life with others in His concept of small groups. He chose twelve men to walk through life with to lead, teach, encourage, build up, and serve.
Today’s scripture starts with Jesus calling and empowering His twelve disciples/apostles. This became His small group. In this small group, Jesus taught these men for three years and He walked through life with them. They not only served in Jesus’ ministry, but they served each other including Jesus as the leader. Their connection became so great that after Jesus left, the disciples picked up and continued that ministry so that it goes on even today.
The small group concept continued after Jesus’ ascension into heaven when the New Testament church began having meetings in their homes. They could not go to the synagogue to meet and talk about Jesus without seriously offending someone, so they met daily with each other, caring and serving one another.
Over the years the church has grown and become one of the largest organizations in the entire world. Since the local church has grown and our focus in life tends to get distracted with keeping up in the world, it seems like this is a good time to reestablish small groups for accountability and support. Even though you may have members of your church that you are close to, small groups are a way to get new believers connected so they don’t fall away when pressure comes. Small groups can also become community outreach groups and neighborhood support groups. It is an excellent way to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world!
Today I want to encourage you if you are not part of a small group, get involved with one. If you don’t know how or where, maybe start one of your own. You can start a Bible study group, an activity group (hiking, golfing) or a community service group. If you are new in the faith, ask the person who led you to Jesus if they would be willing to co-lead a group with you to keep you on track as you learn. When leading an activity or serving group, it may be more about the project or activity. Be sure to include a time of prayer, prayer requests, and some discussion of what life is dealing to people in the group. You can do some scripture encouragement and some worship, too. There is really no set structure, just so the focus is connecting closely with others and walking through life together. Remember this is God’s group, you are only leading or participating in His group. Make Him the focus and encourage all who join to walk closer with Him and other people.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 10:1-15
1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
9 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts,
10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food.
11 “Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out.
12 And when you go into a household, greet it.
13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!