Depending on the size of your church it can be pretty intimidating trying to get involved. First of all we tend to think that others are more talented than we are. We undervalue and undersell our skills and abilities. Other people seem so much more capable. It is also not easy to go up and put your name forward to volunteer. But it is also quite boring to just attend church and never ever get to do anything.
This is where small groups (cell groups come in).
The reasons why one should join a small group are as follows (I am sure there are many more):
- It is much easier to get to know people in a small, informal setting than in a large church service
- Small groups allow more real interaction and often comprise of a meal or some tea and coffee and fellowship time (hanging out together)
- In a small group you are able to contribute and make yourself heard
- People can pray for you and you can ask for prayer
- You can learn to pray out loud in a non threatening atmosphere
- You can ask people to pray for your needs
- You can share your thoughts aloud with others and have a discussion about Bible things
- You can learn from others who are further ahead of you in the faith
What are small groups supposed to do?
The whole idea of small groups is that they facilitate caring in a smaller and more intimate group where people can get to know one another and learnt to share and pray for one another. In a large church, it is hard to participate. But in small groups everyone can participate and get involved.
- Every small group should have an opportunity for people to pray for one another’s needs. This means that when people learn to trust each other, they can put their faith into practice. It is easy to pray out loud in front of 6 or 10 people but it is very intimidating to pray in front of 500 people.
- Small groups should have a time of Bible study which can be presented by a leader or a group member. There should be an opportunity for people to share and discuss what they have been listening to.
- People in the group should be able to keep track of prayer requests. As prayers are answered, there is naturally an excitement that God is listening and answering.
- There should be times of challenge where the people in the group are challenged to do something or make some changes and then to report back. For example there could be a challenge for the group to “fast from TV” for a week. This can be quite an interesting thing and people can share about the effect of what happened.
- There should also be times of challenge for the group. For example the group could go and repaint the local police station or hospital ward, as an exercise of showing practical Christian love.
By being part of a small group one usually feels far more part of the church. If you are not involved, I would love you to give it a try.