Why Small Groups?
Bible Studies provide more specialized instruction:
Preaching from the pulpit is essential. Preaching from the pulpit provides direction and edification for the entire local church Body. However, preaching from the pulpit is often not enough. Believers need more specialized and more personal biblical instruction and counseling. Smaller group Bible studies provide this. Believers that share a common a stage in life, developmental needs, and emotional concerns can thrive when they face these challenges together. In addition to pulpit instruction, group studies for children, youth, college, adult singles, men, women and families provide the setting where the individual believer can get more focused, in-depth teaching addressing his or her personal context.
Bible Studies provide intimate mentoring and modeling:
Preaching from the pulpit is essential, but the Pastor-teacher of the church cannot personally mentor every individual as the local Body grows. A group of shepherds and spiritual mentors is required to provide each individual of the local church with personalized spiritual attention (Acts 20:28). Smaller group Bible studies are the context where qualified under-shepherds provide personal attention, instruction, training and prayer for every individual of the local Body. The shepherd of each individual study is himself surrounded with those who assist him in this task. The shepherd of each individual study closely models and mentors those in his group with regard to spiritual growth.
Bible Studies provide intimate relationships and opportunities to serve:
Smaller group Bible studies give believers opportunities to serve and sacrifice for one another in a closer, more personalized setting. The Apostle John said: “we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16). There are over 40 ‘one another’s’ in the New Testament, including: “love one another” (John 13:34); “give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10) and “be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other” (Ephesians 4:32). Smaller groups can foster tighter relationships. The Apostle John also said: “the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).
Bible Studies provide more opportunities to develop ministerial skills:
Spiritually gifted preachers, teachers, shepherds, counselors, evangelists and musicians mature through practice. Smaller group Bible studies provide the ideal context for those who are maturing in ministry, to occupy more weighty and expansive roles in the future.