Jesus was in a small group
Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, Mark 3:14
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 choosing His twelve disciples/apostles. This became His small group. Actually, it was God’s small group because He gave Jesus the direction to choose a core group to do life and ministry with. 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 their leader. Their connection became so great that after Jesus left, the disciples picked up where he left off and continued that ministry and it goes on even today. Jesus needed this group so that the message of salvation would be spread, after He was gone to be with His Father.
The small group concept continued after Jesus’ resurrection 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 to care for and served 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 can be more about the project or activity, just make 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: Mark 3:13-19
13 And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him.
14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,
15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:
16 Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter;
17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”;
18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananite;
19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. And they went into a house.