Small Group Introduction
Small Groups at St. John’s Lutheran Church: An Introduction
Q: What is a Small Group, anyway?
A small group is a gathering of people, usually no more than 10, who meet together regularly for the purpose of Christian discipleship. They usually engage in a mix of the following activities: (a) study of the Bible, a devotional text, or a practical guide to Christian living; (b) prayer, fellowship, and mutual support; and (c) mission and service to the church and larger community.
St. John’s Lutheran Church places a high priority on small groups and has adopted small groups as one of its Core Values:
Small face-to-face groups are one of the best ways to experience Christian community. Within the context of a small group, we are the “communion of saints” and seek to build up one another in faith. We rejoice together, suffer together and support one another as partners in ministry. “That the members may have the same care for one another, if one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” (I Corinthians 12:25-26)
Q: Why are Small Groups so important to St. John’s?
A: Several reasons. First, small groups are a valuable way of fostering relationships. St. John’s is a large congregation, worshipping almost 900 people on a typical weekend. Small groups provide a valuable way of getting to know people and creating a small community within the larger community of St. John’s.
Second, small groups are an important way of taking care of each other. Most difficulties people face never come to pastors’ attention unless it involves a hospital stay. A small group affords a wonderful way of caring for each other in practical, meaningful ways what Martin Luther called “the mutual conversation and consolation of the saints.”
Third, small groups are an important way of growing and deepening our Christian faith. Christianity is both an individual experience and a corporate experience, and studying the Scriptures together provides a valuable way of deepening our faith and growing as the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12).
Q: Do you have mens’ Small Groups, or womens’ Small Groups? What about groups for people with certain interests (e.g., parenting or other topics)?
A: Yes! We currently have several mens’ and womens’ discipleship groups and are open to starting more. There are also couples’ groups. Similarly, if you are interested in studying a particular topic (Scripture studies, devotional materials, marriage and family, money management) we will try to match you with a group meeting your interests.
Q: How often/how long do Small Groups meet?
A: Most small groups at St. John’s Lutheran Church meet about twice a month, some more, some less, depending on the group. Groups meetings usually last about 2 hours, and occur at a time that the group agrees upon.
Q: How do I find out more about a Small Group or enroll in one?
A: Contact Pastor Christine McNeal in the church office.
Q: What kind of resources do Small Groups use?
A: To see a list of suggested curriculum materials for Small Groups, click HERE.