42 They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 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, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The commission Jesus left with us is not simply to ‘make converts’, but to ‘make disciples’. We tend to think of ‘discipling’ as a one-to-one thing, but it is very unlikely that that was how the early church would have made disciples. Far more likely that they would have taken the model they had experienced themselves when Jesus was here and he discipled them as a group of 12.
We would like to encourage everyone to think of our groups as opportunities to make disciples – not just for the group leaders to do it all, but for everyone to be involved.
In Acts 2 we find examples of the sort of things we could be doing in our small groups that would be part of ‘making disciples’.
Eating together, discussion of Sunday teaching or other applications of God’s word to real life situations, praying for one another and sharing answers to prayer, supporting one another in times of need, enjoying God together, welcoming new people.
If we think about why Jesus gave us this model of making disciples in the context of a group we can see many advantages – for example: some people find that it is easier to open up in a group where others are also being open, it takes pressure off one person to ‘make disciples’ and means a shared responsibility, we learn different things from different people, the Bible has a lot to say about how we interact with one another – coping with other people in a godly way seems to be one of the ways God uses to make us more like Jesus.
If you would like to join a small group, talk to one of the leaders to find out where there is a group near you. We currently have groups meeting in Dartford, Gravesend and Crayford.