It’s been a just over a month now since we started Small Groups – planting four across South Manchester. I’ve lost count of how many weeks it’s been since we left our Small Group in Nottingham and I really doubt I can express here how wonderful it felt to be back in that place once again.
Every week in the Trent Vineyard (and now in the Manchester Vineyard) notices, we were and are reminded that the best thing we could do, to be involved in the church, is to join a Small Group. It made total sense in a church of over 1,500 people. Even the most outgoing could never be known by everyone.
But even in such a large setting, it’s not about how many people you know or how many who know you, but about whether you yourself are truly known. Is there a group of people who you allow to inspire, love, encourage and challenge you? If your church has 30 or 30,000 members, simply grabbing a croissant together on a Sunday is never going to be quite enough to build that level of relationship we believe Jesus has called us to.
I loved our old Small Group. I wondered what the group here was going to be like, and looking back I completely agree with one of our leaders when he shared:
Different city, same story: I love Small Group.
We started small, but over the last month or we have steadily grown to include some of the most wonderful people. People brought up on the mission field; people with a heart for politics, teaching and media; people from near and far; people from all denominations and experiences of church; people who adore Jesus.
What a humbling experience it is to hear people, who have just met, share the beautiful highs and crushing lows of their stories. The enthusiasm with which they all spoke about the Bible and worship were so inspiring.
Of course there will be times when we face challenges together and have uncomfortable conversations, but we do it all the the aim of pushing each other towards Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Find out when and where the Small Group Gatherings are [here].