I know that some who regularly read this blog are involved in a small group, or two, but I also know that some are not really connected to either a church and if they are, there is no small group connection.
I have the privilege of being a small group "leader" with some of our high school guys. I know I am old, but I want to say that if you are not involved with a small group somewhere, you are missing out on a big part of your potential for spiritual growth. I put "leader" in quotes since much of the time they are leading the discussion, not me.
I believe that this can be backed up by Scripture, as Jesus focused on a few in order to reach the many, and in fact, He focused on a few of the few, to reach them even more deeply than the others. There is little record of Jesus' words to any of the disciples, save Peter, James and John. He obviously taught them all, but He focused on those 3 more than the rest. Out of all the "regular apostles" they are the ones who had the most influence on the Church.
What does that mean to you and me? If you want to grow spiritually, you have to be taught, you have to be in the Word yourself, but the accountability of a small group setting is hard to put a value on. I am supposed to be the leader and the encourager, but often I leave small group, remember my guys are in high school, encouraged and admonished. When we get to see Christianity lived out, through the struggles and the triumphs, that is where the growth begins.
Last night the guys we asking about 1 Tim. 1 where Paul is talking about getting into arguments over myths and genealogies. The point was made about how it is the heart that should be our focus in all of our conversations. "How does this strengthen our faith?" "What is the goal of this conversation?" should be thought of, or even asked, before the conversation starts.
I think about the age of my guys and their love for the Word and fellowship and I am so encouraged by the work the Lord is doing in some of the lives of our young people. They are the future of Christ's Bride. They don't want to be "spiritual slackers" They also have to be encouraged that it is an awesome calling to be spiritual leaders. That wasn't me when I was that age, so now as I look at their spiritual fervor I am excited to see what God will do in and through them as they let Him lead and direct their lives.
Pray for our young people. Get in a small group setting so you can be challenged personally. Stay in the Word, even if it is not easy to start with; stay in it. Pray that Christ would return soon, so we can celebrate perfectly with Him in Heaven.