Circle Up

What does it mean to be in a small group? That’s a question that I have been asked many times in my ministry. For many people, connecting with a small group is a big step. I have spoken with people who grew up in the church, and still have a hard time taking that step. So what does it mean to be in a small group?

In Acts 2, we read about some of the first small group ministry in the early church. After Peter preaches to the crowds following Pentecost, we learn how the first followers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers,” (Acts 2.42). A few verses later, Luke writes, “Day by day, as they spent time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people,” (Acts 2.46-47). These early believers gathered together in homes to pray with one another, encourage one another, break bread together, praise God, and to watch over one another in love.

The latter is the direction John Wesley gave to his class meetings (small groups) when they would meet. He would charge each group to “watch over one another in love.” It’s in a small group where we can experience growth in our understanding of who God is through study and fellowship with others. When we are surrounded by a community of other believers with similar questions and lifestyles, we can experience transformation through the work of the Holy Spirit. Transformation happens best in community!

I hope you will consider finding a group that you can connect with and experience transformation in your life. At Royston First, we have Sunday School classes that meet at 10 AM on Sunday mornings. I encourage you to find a class that best fits where you are in your journey of faith. This fall, we will also have two Community Groups — a marriage study on Sunday evenings that Michele and I will be leading, and a study on Wednesday night that will be led by Judy Dick and me. You can learn more about all of our groups at roystonfirstumc.org/groups.

It is my dream that EVERY ONE who considers Royston First their home church will find a group where they can get connected. If you would like help finding a group for you, send me an e-mail and I’ll be happy to help. Have a wonderful weekend and if you are in town this weekend and everyone in your house is healthy, then I hope you will be with us on Sunday morning at 8:45 and 11:00!

Grace and peace,
Matt

P.S. Mark your calendars and make plans to be with us next Sunday (August 25) for our Next Step Sunday. It will be a day of celebration as we invite every one to take the next step in their faith journey. This may include becoming a Christian, baptism, registering for a small group, signing up to serve in a ministry area, or learning more about membership at Royston First UMC. Pray about where God might be leading you to take the next step in your faith journey, and plan to be with us next Sunday as we commit and celebrate together.