I don’t know if you are a part of a small group/home group/some other sort of group that meets together regularly in a more personal, intimate setting than a big Church/youth group meeting for Bible study and fellowship. But I want to encourage you that if you aren’t, you really should join one.
The Bible tells us that the first Christians regularly met in each other’s houses for Christian fellowship in addition to large gatherings of believers in the Temple (Acts 2:44-47). And in Hebrews 10:25 we are told “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
It is clear reading through the Bible that while God wants us to have the big Church meetings, He also wants us to be closely connected to a smaller group of Christians who can support us, encourage us, help us grow and whom we can do the same for. Because while Church is good, on its own it is not enough. We will not reach our full potential if we merely sit through a service a week.
In order to grow into the person God wants us to be requires more effort. And through meeting together in a small grow to study God’s Word in a setting where you are able to ask any questions you have as they crop up, share honest, personal prayer requests, unload your concerns and struggles in a supportive environment, provide a shoulder to lean on for others with heavy burdens and just generally enjoy spending time in fellowship is how that growth will happen. Because no matter how great your Church service is, there simply won’t be time for everyone to experience all of that on a weekly basis at the level of intensity a small group can provide.
Over the past few years I have been involved in various small groups through school, church and university, and can honestly say that it is through them I have experienced most growth. Over the past year I have been in a small group at university made up of other people from my course that met each week, and it quickly became the highlight of my week. Most weeks it even ended up being my latest night out of the week.
Perhaps one of the best things you can get out of a small group is incredible fellowship. One of the reasons small group night was my latest night of the week was that after we had finished our Bible study we would stay chatting and having banter for a long time afterwards, playing games, watching movies, heading to the bar for a few games of pool. And I guess that will that side of things may not come as spiritually important, but I can assure you that it is! We are instructed to delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4) and to be full of joy (Philippians 4:4). And the more casual/social aspects of small groups are a great help with that.
So if you aren’t part of a small group, look for one. Be it through your church, your school scripture union, in your university, your work, wherever it is isn’t important. What is important is that it is Biblically sound and beneficial to you.