Acts 2:42 - “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
With this one verse, the church began it’s communal ministry. Pentecost overflowed the Spirit onto the disciples, the Apostles…the sent ones. Peter gave a rousing and daring sermon because of that Spirit. But what about afterward? What happened after the tongues of fire died away? What came next when the crowds dispersed and the powerful sermon was over? Where did everyone go after 3000 baptisms happened and the adrenaline rush of joy subsided??
They went back to their lives and did something small. Basic teachings from these followers of Jesus about Jesus. Bite sized bread and wine which gave the real presence of Jesus. Whispered prayers to a good Father who this Jesus talked about and talked to all the time. Mini meetings about life, grace, and everything in-between. Even tiny offerings to simply be the presence of Jesus to others in need.
There was nothing famous or notorious or glamorous about these small movements of the early church. Yet, it’s effect even dwarfed the Pentecost events’ effect. 3000 came to the faith that day on Pentecost. But over the months and years, the small and almost unnoticed movements of the early church brought hundred of thousands into the faith.
So, that’s “why” small groups. The Holy Spirit obviously shows up in sermons and in worship services. The Spirit obviously works through bigger events and mass prayer gatherings. Yet, the Spirit also works powerfully when followers of Jesus gather around His word and let it work in small ways…for sometimes big impacts.
I’m excited to see what the Spirit will do with all groups…whether these new small group gatherings or in study groups that have been meeting for years. I’m praying for these groups, and I would welcome you to prayerfully consider joining one of these gatherings. Ask questions of God about these and feel free to ask questions of me or group leaders. Be lead by the Spirit to see how we continue to be loved and sent through the big and small movements of the body of Christ.
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” - Acts 2:46-47
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