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Summary: This is a sermon to encourage more participation in small groups

Title: The power of small groups

Text: Acts 2:42-47 (quickview) 

Introduction

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.

Consider

A.Gideon Army (Judges 7 (quickview) ) 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 (quickview) )

Background

Scriptures such as Acts 1:15 (quickview) , 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 (quickview)  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.

-Rick Warren

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 (quickview) )

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 (quickview) )

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.


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