In small groups, you have the opportunity to listen to people tell the stories of their faith journeys. There are five things that come up again and again. They’re the things that God uses to encourage and sometimes challenge us to trust Him. They’re catalysts for our growth. In Andy Stanley’s book, The Five Things God Uses to Grow Your Faith, he identifies them:
- Pivotal Circumstances
- Practical Teaching
- Providential Relationships
- Personal Ministry
- Private Disciplines.
With GroupLink coming up on October 18, we’ll have some brand new groups starting.
Close relationships in a group aren’t a bonus feature. They’re central to the experience because it’s through our relationships that God provides us with the opportunity and accountability to live out the truth of his Word.
When we talk about “providential” relationships, we mean relationships that come about because of God’s care and guidance. These are people he places in our lives in order to change us—to make us more like Jesus.
There’s no guarantee that your relationships with the members of your group will be providential, but they may. You’re all in group to pursue a growing relationship with Jesus, after all. It’s best to proceed as though God has placed these people in your life at this very moment because there’s some specific way He wants to grow you . . . and them.
So give yourself permission to focus on building relationships. You will have some opportunities to read the Bible and pray with one another. But don’t allow yourself to think that when you’re just hanging out and having fun as a group, you’re wasting time. You’re not. Those are important relational investments. They will pay dividends over time.
What other things have you done to connect with your group members?