“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bring good tidings of good.” – Isaiah 52:7
SHARING IN SMALL GROUPS
Small groups have an important role in the body of Christ. It is difficult for intimate fellowship to take place in large Bible studies or other sizable church gatherings.
The small group (either formal or informal) holds the potential of enabling Christians to share and minister to one another. The small group offers the opportunity of an effective form of “body ministry”.
One of the definitions of fellowship is, “A gathering of equals.” It’s impossible for a few church leaders to minister to all the deep needs of a congregation. However, people can minister to one another if they have the capacity to be honest, open minded and willing to apply spiritual principles in their lives.
The Bible commands us in James 5:16 to “Confess your sins one to another, and pray for one another, and be healed.” A small group affords the time and opportunity for a person to honestly share what is going on in their life. In sharing the truth about ourselves, others get to know the real us. If we are not transparent with others on a real gut level, others can’t really love us. They can only love who we are pretending to be.
A major problem with a church connected group is that people have a tendency to pretend how good they are doing and live in denial about what is really going on. Another trap is to sit around and talk about Scripture and spiritual principles without actually applying them in our lives.
It is very possible to have much knowledge about the Bible and about Jesus and not even be saved. It is also possible to have much intellectual knowledge about recovery principles and not apply them. We must walk the talk.
If we truly enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; we will do more than TALK differently, we will BE different. As we abide in Him, we manifest the very life of Christ, the fruit of the Spirit. (John 15:5)
At first it is difficult to be honest with ourselves and almost impossible to be honest with others. However, if we are in a confidential meeting and some people begin to truthfully share, it should become easier for others.
We shall forever remain in bondage if we don’t learn how to be transparent and accountable to one another. “Know the truth and it shall make you free.” (John 8:32) God is truth and God is love. As we lovingly share the truth of our lives, we are actually imparting God, one to another. As we listen to others, it helps us to break through denial by being able to identify with their problems. We also get hope from their victories.
The 12 steps that many recovery groups use are Biblical principles backed up by numerous Scripture verses. Working the steps is simply applying the Scriptures. It is a step by step process of getting out of self and becoming God centered.
When Jesus is totally in the center of our lives and the foundation of all that we do, we are walking in victory. The happiness, peace and joy we have been searching for becomes REALITY.