I sat in a room full of young Christian men as we prepared to launch a small group. Most of them eager, a few of them skeptical, and one or two who seemed to be there only out of obligation to a friend’s request.
After a few minutes of describing the operation, dynamics, and logistics of small groups, a question formed, “What’s the point?” Silence roared into the room as I began to order my responses to strategically select the right words for the moment. Just as I formed the words and drew in a breath to speak, a voice from the back of the room broke the silence.
“Because we need back-ups and check-ups to do this Christian thing.”
I choked the words back into my throat, smiled, and nodded in agreement. The guys looked at each other and began agreeing, nodding, and saying, “we’ve got this. We can do that.” They soon realized, it was what they were already doing – but now with permission and focus to bring Christ into their conversation and their group. It was simple…
Sometimes we get lost in the mechanics of religion. We look at strategies, formulas, programs, and many other “organizational” types of structure. We forget that relationships are dynamic, fluid, and difficult to define. And we forget that Christianity has little to do with religion and everything to do with relationships.
So rather than give you a list of reasons why small groups are effective, how they can save your life, and keep you pressing toward Christ – let’s just commit to being a back-up and a check-up for our group.
Jesus built his team with a bunch of young men who were eager to support one another. They didn’t always get along, they weren’t “always in”, and they struggled with some of the things their leader was teaching. When the dust settled, however, they were all on the same page – and they changed the world.
Living as a Christian man is hard. It demands commitment and requires a willingness to select God every day, every moment. When you band together with back-ups and check-ups, walking by faith becomes a walk in the park.
So, as you band together in the name of Christ, don’t worry about the “structure”, worry about each other… and you will change your world – and maybe the world of a few others around you.