Summary: Biblical Basis For Group Ministry
THE VALUE OF COMMUNITY – PART I
The Biblical Basis for Group Ministry
Series Text: Acts 2:46-47 - Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
For the next 3 messages I will be sharing from the pulpit in February, we will be looking at the Value of Community within the local church, especially as a church grows. I have shared these messages with you before, but with so many new people in our midst, as well as an increased focus on Growth Groups, I thought it would be of value to share with you again.
Those of you who have been involved in some of the Growth Groups in the past know how exciting it has been to be part of these groups, and it includes our Sunday School classes as well.
Today, we are looking at the Biblical Basis For Group Ministry, then on the 8thth, we will be talking about The Spiritual Basis For Group Ministry (How do we grow?), and on the 15th, we will look at the Relational Basis for Group Ministry (How important is Fellowship to our growth in God?)
As we begin this Series of messages on the Value of Community, we see group life in:
I. JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES
While Jesus ministered to the masses, both physically and spiritually by the way, He also took time to meet with people on a one-on-one basis such as Nicodemus, The Woman at the well, Zaccheus, and so on, and we also know that Jesus had a group of people that he worked with on a daily basis, and they were the 12 Disciples.
Jesus was able to teach these 12 with words of wisdom, and even how to react in situations that would make most of us lash out at those who misunderstood us.
I believe also that there were times that Jesus did appreciate, and even need the support and prayers of His disciples, especially in times of great difficulty. Remember, when Jesus was here, he felt the same feelings that you and I feel at times, yet He maintained his love for the Father through communion and prayer, and fellowship with God.
Hebrews 4:15 - For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.
One can also think on the time in the Garden of Gethsemane when He went to pray directly preceding His arrest, and some of his closest Disciples went with Him: Matthew 26:36-38
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.  Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Matthew 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
Here was the Son of God in the most trying hour of his life up to this point, and he was asking for the Disciples to be with Him, to pray with Him, and to be there as a support to Him.
How much more do we need the prayers and support of one another, especially during our crisis points in life? We will look at this point in greater detail in later messages, but if we believe that somehow we are going to make it in life as a success in God, and a witness to others around us, yet maintaining our complete independence from people, then we have missed it.
One might say, I’ll only be involved in a group if things are perfect! Well, I need not remind you that the Son of God at times might say that all the members of his group weren’t exactly “perfect” – They were often arguing over position and importance, Peter denied Christ, and Judas betrayed Christ, and the list could go on and on of how these men were hardly perfect, yet Christ knew that they needed him, and he needed them during His time on earth.
Not that Jesus “needed” these 12 men to survive, yet we know that if the work of God was going to be carried on following his ascension back into heaven after the Day of Pentecost, it was going to come as a result of what He had taught these men on a daily basis as they walked the shores of Galilee, and the dusty roads of that day.