College was a significant time in my walk with Christ. There were times I remember actively walking in disobedience with the Lord and then times of great surrender to the Lord; but regardless of what happened in my walk with Christ, I had a group of believers who surrounded me, helping me stay true to God’s will. This group of people differed every year of college, but no matter what, people were there fighting for my walk with Christ. Each year, this group of people lived life with me literally every day and were able to see not only my strengths but the areas of sin in my life. They graciously called me out in truth and love, while simultaneously encouraging me to step out in exercising my strengths. It was through this group I found a deep love for small group ministry. Each small group was intentionally designed to be a place for community, discipleship, and service both within and outside the group.
After not only being in small group and seeing its effect on my life, I was encouraged to begin leading a small group, which was one of the best decisions of my life. I had three of the best girls on campus who were so thirsty for God’s Word. They soaked up every ounce of God’s truth, helped me with some of my class projects, and so much more. We even served in the church together at different events or made cookies for the football team. I have no doubt growth occurred on both sides of the small group.
Even now after college, I have this group of friends who I run around with who are constantly talking about what their reading in Scripture or how God is growing them. Similar to college, each person in the group isn’t afraid to call out areas for improvement in our lives or even speak a word of encouragement. I think the best thing about this little small group of friends is we are there for each other; lifting each other up on a day-to-day basis.
If you’ve never joined a small group, I would highly recommend you to find a small group. The opportunity to grow in your walk with the Lord is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and you’re doing life with these people. We were not designed to live alone and so often the world makes us feel like we are in it by ourselves. We were not designed to live a life alone. Look back at Genesis 2. God looked at all he created and then looked at man saying, “it’s not good for man to be alone,” so he created Eve to be with Adam. Likewise, we were created to do life with other believers with the intent of making more disciples.
Whether you’re wanting to join a small group or begin leading a small group, Chris Surratt’s Leading Small Groups: How to Gather, Launch, Lead and Multiply Your Small Group is an easy read you won’t want to miss. Throughout the book, Surratt discusses what has worked well for him as he’s led small groups. The book ranges from the details of gathering, starting, leading, or multiplying your small group. As Surratt talks about each section, he gives dos and don’ts and even shares his personal experience.
The book itself is laced with Scripture to encourage any reader, whether a small group attender or leader, to have an understanding of why small groups should exist and how small groups should operate.
I’m confident this book will be one I continually go back to since it’s not only full of Scripture, but also provides practical tips for any leader. He includes helpful resources as well like a sample small group covenant, icebreakers, a curriculum plan, a spiritual gift list, a small group roster/attendance sheet, and so much more!