Summary: This is a sermon to encourage more participation in small groups
Title: The power of small groups
Text: Acts 2:42-47
A.A contradiction putting “power” and “small” together
B.Because we are conditioned to believe that the power is always in the big things
C.The bigger things are - the more powerful they are
D.but not always so with God.
A.Gideon Army (Judges 7) God’s strategy for victory –reduce the army from 30,000 to 300 men
B.David and Goliath – 9 ft tall –God’s sends a young boy half his size
C.Bethlehem – Jesus is born in a small town rather than the big city
D. The feeding of 5000 – 5 loaves and 2 fish
The power of small groups (Acts 2:42-47)
Scriptures such as Acts 1:15, 2:41,47, 4:4, 5:14, 28, 6:1,7, 21:20 record the amazing growth of the first church. It is believed that during its first 25 years the Jerusalem church grew from 120 people to over 50,000 people! Where did they put all those people? The answer is small groups. Acts 5:42 tells us that “they met day after day, in the Temple courts and from house to house…”In the first church, the small groups were the base for all ministry and fellowship.
Disclaimer - We could not put everyone into a small group. We don’t have enough facilitators. But we can put more people in small groups than we currently have.
What’s so powerful about small groups? (Acts 2:42-47)
1.Small groups are a powerful way to grow spiritually(v42-43)
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.” (V42-43)
Can you grow spiritually without ever being in a small group? I suppose you can.
But How can you know you are growing spiritually unless you are in a small group?
Illustration: how do you know you are good at a certain sport – unless you play with others
And how can others know you are growing spiritually unless you are in a small group?
Objection: I don’t think other people need to know if I’m growing spiritually!
Consider: “Brothers choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them.” (Acts 6:3)
Let me clarify something about small groups being a powerful way to grow spiritually.
A.Clarification: Small groups that are done right are a powerful way to grow spiritually.
By “small group done right” we mean there is a healthy balance of bible study, fellowship, ministry, outreach and worship going on in the small group.
We have a picture of Small groups as just being someone leading a bible study.
But you don’t really need a small group if you only want to study the Bible. There are many other options.
(You can study the bible through using Christian tv, radio, dvds, bible-study books, teaching cds…)
What these other options can’t give us is all the other things we also need to grow spiritually; fellowship, ministry, outreach and corporate worship.
The small group is a great place to grow spiritually.
Going to a small group is like going to a gym – It’s a place to exercise your spiritual muscles.
“Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually and practice being a better Christian, because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too. This is the truth and everyone should accept it.” (1 Timothy 4:8-10
A good Small group helps you to apply the Bible to every area of your life. The key is application. How does this passage apply to my life today and tomorrow? The small group discussion time helps you to make that application.
2.Secondly a Small groups are a powerful way to grow relationally (v44-47a)
“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 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 people… ”
A.You can’t get to really know other believers unless you are in a small group.
B. And Other believers can’t get to know you better unless you are in a small group
C.Objections :Consider a Marriage where you Only see each other on Sunday mornings between the hours of 10:30-12:00
D.Because all the believers were connected to a small group everyone’s needs were being met.
E.What needs do I have that only being in a small group can meet?
1.The need for accountability