Getting Bigger And Smaller Pt 1 – Kerrin Wallis [08/07/2018 AM]
Acts 2:40-47 (NKJV)
40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Theme of Message
As God’s Church gets bigger, the call for meeting in smaller groups becomes essential so that all the needs of the people can be met within them.
“It takes a village to raise a child”, but you need close family times to do life and relationship well. Christmas time with large family gatherings is wonderful, but we cherish the peace and serenity when the guests leave.
You can develop a deeper level in your faith with smaller groups.
Moses tried to look after up to 3 million people himself, but his father-in-law Jethro advised him to divide people into smaller groups so that others could share the load. The smallest group was 10.
King Solomon also divided his people into smaller units.
Jesus had 3 close disciples in Peter, James and John, as well as the 9 other disciples and a closer group of 70 others. As the Lord added to the church daily, the smaller groups were able to function more efficiently
In the key scripture it can be seen that:
- People came to know Jesus – souls were saved with people being added daily
- Teaching of doctrine – correction and instruction
- The power of the Holy Spirit – supernatural experiences of signs and wonders
- Generosity – they shared their possessions and goods
- Relationship together – they met in the Temple as well as House to House
As the Church grows, we need to have many small Connect Groups that will become a place for closer relationships and doing life together.
6 The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
- When God says ‘should’ we need to pay attention to what He is saying.
- God gives us a choice, but we should choose wisely. Choose our friends carefully.
- When we participate in Connect Groups it enables us to form good Christian friendships where we can grow in God together. It leads to a better Christian life for us. Friendship is built on relationships.
- Be intentional in your life decisions and choose to do what we should do – think about the consequences of your actions.
- When we were young we had no responsibilities, but as we grow older we have other family to consider. We need to be intentional about doing relationships.
- John 6:60-66. Some of Jesus’ disciples found His teaching too hard and chose to leave. Healthy relationships require effort. We need to work at doing what we should The easy way is not the best. Godly wisdom is best for our lives.
- Women find relationships and sharing problems easier, but men find it difficult. Choosing work friends to discuss their problems with instead of Godly friends, leads to bad advice.
- The Church should lead the way in friendship. Loneliness is a huge problem but participating in Connect Groups will help.
If you want God’s best for your life be careful not to listen to these excuses:
- You shouldn’t have to change for your friends!
- Arrogant, prickly, hard to deal with people need to change.
- Be friendly and change your attitude and make good decisions.
- It should be easy!
- Sometimes it is not convenient to participate in Connect Groups and not what you feel like, but we need to make an effort to gather together.
- It should be comfortable!
- Life is not comfortable at times and changing is not comfortable but if we push through, it will help us when we face trials. If we ignore the fuel light in our relationship tank we can be totally empty with no support.
- I don’t have time! You don’t have time NOT to have friends.
- Iron sharpens iron – not sponge sharpens iron, or sponge sharpens sponge
- Good friends are there in the good times and the bad times
- Who you associate with will be who you become like, so we need to choose friends carefully.
- Foster good relationships with Godly people.
- Good friends are there to encourage you to be your best, pray for you and help encourage you in your faith.
Suggestions for Discussion Questions
- Why do we need small groups?
- What benefit can come from small groups?
- How do we cover Pastoral Care within small groups?
- Why do we need Godly people in our lives?