This topic is adapted from the Joseph Solomon YouTube channel.
Many Christians desire a deeper level of connection with other believers than what is often afforded by simply attending Sunday service. This is one of the purposes of small groups: to help foster Christian community.
We cannot truly and fully live out the commands of the New Testament (NT) without developing Christian community. Christian community is not just about being “trendy” or being “on the cutting edge.” It’s about living out the NT’s vision of God’s people – the church.
Joseph Solomon provides us some practical tips on how to do small groups wells.
Tip One: Be Jesus-Centered
Small groups should be centered on who Jesus is, what he’s done, and what he’s doing. Small groups can become social occasions if we don’t keep the focus on Christ. While they should be a time for fellowship and friendship, it must never be forgotten that small groups are ultimately about growing not merely in community, but in Christian community. We can acquire knowledge without acquiring a deeper heart for Christ. Common interest or common life circumstances or anything else can never trump the goal of Christian community: to grow closer to and to become more focused upon Jesus Christ.
Tip Two: Serve Others
Focusing on Jesus will naturally make you focus on serving others. Selfishness will destroy Christian community. Are we attending small groups and community groups because we first want to serve others, or because we first want to get something for ourselves? Coming to learn or coming to make friends are not bad things in and of themselves, but if our only goal is to “get” and we haven’t at all considered “giving,” we need to examine our motivations.
Romans 12:10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Tip Three: Be Consistent
Meetings can be scheduled or spontaneous. What matters is that they are consistent and that people consistently attend. Scripture calls Christians to encourage one another daily.
Hebrews 3:13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.
This means we should be consistent in our relational connections. This means we should care about encouraging one another and about investing in one another (the whole point of tip two above) and requires an disposition of service to others. Intimacy grows better when we are consistently connected. This is true in group settings, with parents and children, with romantic partners with friends, and with any relationship.
By keeping the focus on Jesus, adopting an attitude of service, and committing consistently to attending and to serving others, you can set your small group on the path toward authentic community and lives lived together on purpose.
Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- Why should the ultimate focus of a small group/community group be on Jesus Christ? Explain.
- Joseph says, “Focusing on Jesus will naturally make you focus on serving others.” Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement. Provide examples.
- When attending a small group or getting involved at church, what has been your motivation: serving, or taking? What has this looked like practically? Explain.
- Do you consistently attend small group or mentoring sessions? Do you consistently attend church? Explain why or why not.
- Why is it important to be consistent in our Christian relationships? What does it look like practically to be consistent?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.