Before you read this short list, know that it is not my goal to create internal tension or to be judgmental. Do know this… a believer who is unwilling to spend time with other believers in a small group will not…
- Experience a meaningful relationship with Christ: Christianity is lived out in community.
- Become a mature follower of Christ: without other believers holding you accountable, you will drift.
- Have the knowledge or passion necessary to lead their children toward Christ and His church: since the example is set, the children will follow a poor example.
- Be unable to speak wisdom to other believers: wisdom is gained through knowledge and experience, so if there is no experience of community, one cannot speak to the needs to others apart from the small group.
- Be a witnesses for Christ on an ongoing basis: one’s walk speaks louder than one’s talk, believing at a distance tells others that you are not “all in” to this Christianity stuff.
And so… I share the following five reasons that believers don’t join a small group:
- They don’t want to have an intimate relationship with Christ: most will prefer just enough of Jesus to get by rather than be totally committed.
- They don’t want to become a mature disciple: they prefer to just believe the right stuff and pay their dues by showing up to church, but don’t want to be a fanatic disciple of Jesus… that might be uncomfortable.
- They don’t care if their children become Christians: or attend church when they’re adults, or if their grandchildren are separated from them and Christ for eternity: if you are not excited about your relationship with Jesus, I guarantee that your kids have less of a chance to experience him in any real way. What we hand down to the next generation is caught more than taught.
- They don’t care about the other group members: it’s more than just going to a group in order to get something out of it, it’s about being there to help others be all they can be in the Lord. The group is designed to encourage, lift up and bear the burdens of ONE ANOTHER.
- They don’t care if Christianity in the west dies with their generation: Christianity is always just one generation from extinction, so what are we passing on to the next group of believers? The American church is stunted if we pass on a comfortable, me-centered, uncommitted and casual faith in a set of theological propositions.