The Need for a Small Group

 In Tori Smith

Our Sunday School group is working through the book,  “A Case For Miracles” by Lee Strobel. In Chapter 8, we read about God working among the Muslims.  He has been revealing Jesus Christ to them through dreams. Our Western culture seldom considers or comprehends the cost to a Middle Eastern Muslim when they turn from their birth faith to Christianity.  They are often banished from community and family, endure physical persecution and many lose their life. What they endure is almost unthinkable to the Western mind. In the book, Mr. Strobel interviews Tom Doyle, a Christian missionary to the Muslims in the Middle East.  Doyle shares with Strobel that in the Middle East two questions are asked of persons preparing to receive Christ. “Are you willing to suffer for Jesus? And “Are you willing to die for Jesus?” 

What if we asked those same questions in new member classes? “Are you willing to suffer for Christ?”  “Are you willing to die for Christ?” Those are deeply disturbing questions! Just how serious are we about our faith? Would we make the choice to follow Him if there were a real possibility we would lose our family?  How much are we willing to surrender to follow Him? Would we do whatever it takes to draw close to the Lord Jesus Christ, even if it meant losing our life?

At Hope Church we don’t ask those questions. We do, however, ask that all who call Hope their church home – whether you’ve made it official or not – to participate in what Pastor Jason refers to as “Worship + 2.”  The concept is to participate in the life of the church and to offer your services to the Lord a minimum of three times during the week. This is “Worship + 2” –

1. Participate in corporate Worship on Sunday mornings.

2. Participate in a weekly study or small group.

3. Serve others in some capacity on a weekly basis.

Every fall we focus on the importance of being involved in a small group. In a small group we get to know our Sunday morning brothers and sisters on a different level, develop a space that we can call home, enjoy a feeling of belonging and practice giving and receiving unconditional love and forgiveness – the same love and forgiveness Christ showers upon us.  A small group offers the opportunity to live life together, pray together, study together, cry together, and struggle through this life together. Serving others in some form of outreach is very often a part of the small groups.

If you’re not in a small group, you are missing out!

We don’t ask if you are willing to suffer or die for Christ. We do ask, however, that you be committed enough in your faith to join a group that is committed to studying, growing, praying, serving and to living life together in Christ.  As children of the only true God, we are not called to go this life alone, we are called to be with one another. 

Please plan on joining us for our small group fair taking place on Sunday August 26th. All current small group options will be on display along with NEW offerings for the upcoming year. New options offered during the Sunday School hour will include:

A yearlong study through the bible – This will replace Disciple 1. It is in a new format and you will find it as rewarding as Disciple.  If you’ve never studied the scriptures, I encourage you to check out this opportunity! 

A new extended study on exploring your spiritual gifts. This study will be followed by a study on Missions. 

Again I say it, if you are not in a small group, you are missing out. Please join us!  You will be thankful that you did!


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