Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Jesus, in this short sentence, describes the purpose behind the purpose of small groups. The summer after I graduated from college, I moved with a friend of mine from my freshman year at ORU. At first, this move was one of convenience. I needed to be in Tulsa, and Mike needed a roommate to help pay rent. The two of us could not call one another close friends following our freshman year. We were always friendly with one another and enjoyed hearing about the other's life. After that first year at ORU, we ended up in different friend groups and were not as close as we once were. That year that I lived with Mike would be one of the most impactful times, and my walk with Jesus Christ. We were two young adults straight out of college, seeking to discover God’s place for us in the world. Neither of us was near family or close friends after we had graduated. My family lived in Oklahoma City, and Mike's family is from New York City. The conversations that we had with one another would build massive foundations for my faith and character today.
God has created us as human beings to need people, and he did so with a purpose. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are taught to commune with one another in a way that gives support. A particular goal of small groups is to support one another through godly conversation. These godly conversations are restorative to the soul. We are asked by God to share our struggles, our joys, our doubts, and our wisdom with one another. Just today, I went to Katie Miller with a pain that was in my heart and my life. Katie could have given me what I thought I wanted to hear. I thought I was entirely right and justified in my thinking of the situation. Instead, Katie lovingly reminded me of how God would be at work in the situation and how I could show his love in the case. She reminded me of God's purpose in the world when I could not see it. Mike and I did this for one another over a year and a half. This is why we have small groups!
We have small groups to come together so that we can encourage one another with how God is at work in our day to day lives. Over time bonds are built between members of the group. Our faith in Jesus is not supposed to be acted out alone. It requires members of the Body of Christ to work out their salvation together. Scripture is the foundation of this restorative and heart altering type of conversation. You do not have to quote Scripture for every response you give to a friend or family member. Scripture guides us with truth and love. As we go through our lives together, we must be speaking of that truth and love. There are moments when we may lose sight of God's truth, and we will need our brothers and sisters in Christ.