I wrote a post for our small groups blog at LifePoint Church (www.lifePointChurch.us). I thought it would be of interest here.
What Difference Does Your Group Make?
This is a question I think about a lot when it comes to our community group. What difference does it make to LifePoint Church that our group exists? What difference does it make to the world that our group meets each Friday night? It’s a question I ask myself often. Now there is the viewpoint that all of us are serving at LifePoint and this is a home base for us where we can get our batteries re-charged and grow in Christ as we study His Word. But is there more? I think there may be.
I’m reminded of the number of great movements of God that were started by a small group of people – a small group!
- The Haystack Revival of 1806. Five young men prayed through the night. These men prayed and discussed the book by William Carey about taking the gospel to those who were lost in China. Two of the men went to China and India. Prayer movements and mission societies sprang up throughout the Northeast. All because a small group of students met and prayed.
- On September 23, 1857, Jeremiah Lanphier began noonday prayer meetings with a handful (small group) of businessmen. Within months more than 20 noonday prayer meetings were being held daily throughout the city. The timing of Lanphiere’s revival of prayer was strategic to the welfare of the nation during one of its darkest hours. Less than three weeks after the first meeting, a great financial panic swept Wall Street on October 12, 1857, as banks failed, railroads went bankrupt, and businesses closed their doors. The prayer meetings began to spread like wildfire across the country and the globe. And what has been referred to by many as “The Last American Awakening” continued through the Civil War and ended in 1865.
- A small group of believers at Central Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis believed God was calling them to open a medical clinic for the poor in their city. They prayed and started the Rafael Health Center. You can find them at www.rafaelhc.org. This germ of an idea started in a small group in a church and has flourished into a huge medical practice serving the poor of Indianapolis.
- A small group gathering from a Baptist Church in Kenosha, WI saw the need to provide for families with developmentally disabled children. Shepherds Ministries in Union Grove was started 51 years ago with one student. Today this ministry serves close to 200 developmentally disabled adults providing them with compassionate Christian care.
So, don’t think of your group as just a resting place for the saints. Think and pray for God’s leading as to the difference your group can make at LifePoint and in the world. The answer may not be as big or earth shaking as those examples above, but seek Him for His will for your group. Perhaps you are doing it. But maybe there’s more God is calling you to do in His kingdom. Don’t be afraid, step out and trust Him. Start by asking your group the two questions this post started with:
- What difference does it make to LifePoint Church that our group exists?
- What difference does it make to the world that our group meets each week?