Mark 4:1-8 [NLT],Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. 2 He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: 3 "Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. 4 As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on the footpath, and the birds came and ate it. 5 Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn't have deep roots, it died. 7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!"
Ephesians 4:12-16 [ERV],Christ gave these gifts to prepare God's holy people for the work of serving, to make the body of Christ stronger. 13 This work must continue until we are all joined together in what we believe and in what we know about the Son of God. Our goal is to become like a full-grown man - to look just like Christ and have all his perfection. 14 Then we will no longer be like babies. We will not be people who are always changing like a ship that the waves carry one way and then another. We will not be influenced by every new teaching we hear from people who are trying to deceive us - those who make clever plans and use every kind of trick to fool others into following the wrong way. 15 No, we will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way. He is the head, 16 and the whole body depends on him. All the parts of the body are joined and held together, with each part doing its own work. This causes the whole body to grow and to be stronger in love.
As a church, what is our response to these scriptures?
"Our goal is to be a church of Small Groups, not a church with Small Groups."
Who are you doing life with?
Are you in the will of God today?
"Small Groups have one simple purpose, and that is to bring people together."
On a deeper level the purpose is really two-fold: Discipleship and Community.
"It is God's will for every believer to be an active part of a healthy community where they are being discipled and where they are discipling others."
Why do Small Groups exist in our church?
What do Small Groups offer?
1. A place to connect- [1 Corinthians 9:22 TLB]
2. A place to protect- [1 John 3:16 NLT]
3. A place to grow- [Proverbs 27:17]
4. A place to ask questions- [Luke 8:9]
5. A place for prayer- [James 5:16]
6. A place for fun
7. A place to be with Jesus- [Matthew 18:20]
What is God saying?