Small groups began as an experience called 40-Day Adventures in 2010. They were a once a year, six week group that followed a particular sermon series. Over time, people started asking if we could do them more often. A year later, we added a Lent 40-Day Adventure. In 2015, we launched our first full year of small groups, with most groups meeting for six to seven weeks in a row, three times a year. It has offered people a chance to get to know one another more deeply than one six week group, and has helped people deepen their faith as they pray for one another, dig into the weekly Big Idea in worship, and have conversation about what the Big Idea means for their lives.
God made us to be in relationship with others. When we experience hard things in life, we need others to help carry the burden. Being part of a small group helps us build bridges of understanding and peace, grow our capacity for compassion, and find authentic ways to share the hope of Jesus. We form groups to experience these kinds of relationships and a relationship with God. When Jesus set out to do ministry, he invited a small group to be part of the ministry with him. Together they learned what it meant to follow Jesus. I think the same is the case today. We need intentional relationships that help us follow Jesus.