These mosaics found in Magadala in Israel beautifully portray the small-scale and personal nature of Jesus' ministry.
Have you ever considered that when the Son of God came to earth, he did not start a mega-church, but rather a mini-church? If anyone could have started a mega-church it would have been Jesus. Imagine him announcing to the crowds, “Listen up! In 20 minutes I’m going to heal the blind guy right here! Bring your friends, you don’t want to miss this.” Jesus actually did the complete opposite. Often when he performed miracles he told those who were healed to keep it quiet. His time was spent with the 12 disciples and a group of female followers who were constantly with him, a mini-church! So, when Jesus, risen from the dead, sends them out declaring, “Go make disciples of all nations . . .” he doesn’t mention small groups. However, this is implied implied. Their understanding of how disciples are made
would have involved life together within a redemptive circle. It is a model of apprenticeship, not merely a classroom model. I believe that small groups are a part of God’s divine strategy to reach the world with the Good News. Even in this technological age of communication with Facechat, Snapbook, Instatweet and Toktik readily available (My college students used to love it when I’d get these wrong – they thought it proved I was out of touch with their world and reality), we still need small life-giving fellowship. A good small group goes beyond a transfer of information. We must aim at transformation of the whole life. God’s Word again and again calls us to holiness, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). Holiness = Christ-likeness! A good small group gives space for people to share the experience of growing in faith and its many joys, struggles, failures and advances. The atmosphere needed for this to happen is grace and truth, trust and confidentiality. In partnership with a couple good friends and Lynnhaven UMC, I’ve recently started a small men’s group. We would like to include some men who are not yet Christ followers, but are seeking. The group would be a means of both evangelism and discipleship. **I am available to teach churches, face to face or via Zoom, about effective small group ministry and to help them launch.