Saturday, February 9, 2013

Acts 2:42 Groups

I have grown most during those times in my life when I have been a part of a close knit group of committed believers.  Most of the more significant steps on my spiritual journey were made in step with a handful of others who walked with me along the way.  I remember and cherish those times and those people.

But all too often my fellowship within the body of Christ has been more superficial and casual.  I seldom develop close relationships with others; even though I crave them.  I willingly and freely share surface chatter; while struggling to share anything that is below the surface.  Far too often I flounder along on a solitary spiritual journey that never seems to go very far.  I freely admit that it is my own fault; but it is a problem none-the-less.

This summer, while hiking through Oregon, I was challenged to leave my comfort zone, to trust God, and work to develop a greater sense of intimacy and commitment within the church where I serve.  The Small Group ministry that Kitsap Lake Baptist is beginning had its genesis somewhere north of Crater Lake with God impressing Acts 2:42 on my mind.  Hours, and miles, were spent on this passage and on how to bring something like it to life within the body of believers I am a part of.

Since returning from the trail I have spent many hours with our pastor and a small group of other like minded believers in taking that dream and developing a ministry to implement it within the life of the church.  Our Acts 2:42 Groups ministry has taken shape over the past five months and is now, at least on paper, compete.  Enlisting and training small group leaders will be on going during the next couple of months, with a launch currently scheduled for April 1st.  This is an exciting time for me, and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing it change my own life as well as others who make up the body of Christ.  And the health of the body will not lag behind the health of its members.

Acts 2:42 Groups are not Bible studies; although they do include Bible study.  They are not prayer meetings; although prayer is an integral part of them.  They are not just an opportunity to fellowship; although intimate fellowship is an intentional activity with the groups.  Following the Acts 2:42 model, our Acts 2:42 groups will be devoted to the Apostles teaching (Bible study), the fellowship (development of unity and intimacy), the breaking of bread (social activities), and prayer (uniting together in prayer).  Acts 2:42 Groups will also work to develop a sense of accountability between group members, and work together on mission projects.

How will we know if our Acts 2:42 Groups are a success?  If we find Acts 2:46-47 happening; the church praising God and worshiping, hanging out together, having a good reputation in our community, and growing from those who want what we have; then we will have done well.

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