In both large and small congregations, attenders can reap a variety of benefits from participating in small-group bible study and fellowship groups. These include:
—Sharing of ideas, questions, and problems. Discussing faith as it applies to scriptural interpretations and everyday problems helps illuminate everyone’s understanding of biblical principles more fully.
—Sharing of gifts through lay ministry. In small groups, people can help their fellow members by sharing their unique gifts (e.g., helping with debt management or health maintenance). This eases the burden on ministers and allows everyone to enjoy the reward of helping those who need help.
—Providing accountability. Sharing goals with a group makes participants more accountable for following through with those goals.
—Building friendships and support. Friendship makes joyous times more joyous and eases grief in difficult times.
In larger congregations, pastors can create small groups by providing gathering opportunities for different populations within the church (e.g., married couples, singles, parents, etc.).
About Pastor Wagner:
As Lead Pastor of Turning Point Community Church, John Wagner encourages his congregation to build a Christ-centered community through small-group meetings and Bible study. The church leads groups for people of all ages and life phases.