Why Small Groups?

29 01 2009

Someone asked me a few weeks what was the Biblical basis for Life Groups at Epic…

The Biblical basis for small groups, begins in Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness . . . So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” In the Trinity God lives in community and when He created us He stamped us with a desire for community.

When Christ came, His strategy to reach the whole world was to form a small group of 12. “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those He wanted, and they came to Him. He appointed twelve–designating them apostles –that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach.” Mark 3:13-4 Jesus models what it meant to live in community with a small group of people. In John 17, His prayer is that His community would be one with the same oneness that He experiences in the Trinity. His desire for every Christ follower is to experience this connectedness, this love, and this oneness in His community.

Christ’s teaching on community culminates when washes their feet and sets for them an example of how they are now to live and instructs them “By this all men will know that you are mine, if you love one another.” This new community puts the worlds of Christ into practice in Acts 2:42-47. They continue to meet not just in the temple courts, but also house to house in intimate community relationships.

We see community oneness and connection throughout writings to Christian communities in the New Testament. Fifty nine times the words “one another” are used as instruction for the Christian community.

  • Love one another deeply from the heart I Peter 1:22
  • Instruct one another Romans 15:14
  • Serve one another in love Galatians 5:13
  • Carry one another’s burdens Galatians 6:2
  • Confess your sins to one another James 5:16
  • Forgive one another Ephesians 4:32
  • Encourage one another 1 Thessalonians 4:18
  • Build each other up I Thessalonians 5:11
  • Pray for each other James 5:16
  • Spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24

The optimal place to live out these commands is in the context of a small group.

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