Imagine having an outreach from your church in which hundreds of guests unexpectedly showed up. Certainly you would be excited, especially if several hundred of them responded to the message by asking how to get saved! As crazy as it sounds, that’s what happened to the early church on the day of Pentecost, only it was 1,000s not hundreds.
“Those who accepted [Peter’s] message [on the day of Pentecost] were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” (Acts 2:41)
But after the excitement wore off, the reality would set in, “How can we possibly take care of this many new Christians? How do we meet with them . . . how do we disciple them?”
I’m sure Peter and the rest of the group had some lively conversations trying to figure out what to do next. But then someone must have said, “Hey, remember how Jesus used to preach to the large crowds, but then also meet with us in smaller groups . . . I wonder if we could do something like that?” And that’s exactly what they did.
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” (Acts 2:46-47)
It takes a lot of effort to develop a church that has both a vibrant Sunday gathering AND a thriving small group ministry. The ingredients that make for a really good Sunday gathering are different than the things needed to have successful, healthy, multiplying small groups. So we need to ask ourselves some important questions:
WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH IN OUR SMALL GROUPS?
WHO SHOULD LEAD A SMALL GROUP, AND HOW DO WE TRAIN THE LEADERS?
HOW DO WE PRODUCE ENOUGH SMALL GROUPS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OUR CHURCH AND THE DIFFERENT PEOPLE WE ARE SEEKING TO REACH IN OUR COMMUNITY?