I am in the between times here. We are between the missional communities of last Lent and whatever God may have in store. More groundwork is being laid. More sermons are coming. It’s a long process.
So what do we do with existing small groups? What do we do as we try to encourage our groups to be missional? Rick Howerton provides four reasons over on his blog.
A small group is to be a reflection of Jesus and Jesus was always on mission.
People need to not only hear the Gospel, they need to see it in action. Each time a group cares for the poor, connects with unbelievers on the street or cul-de-sac where the group is meeting, does random acts of kindness, etc… unbelievers see believers being Jesus and realize that He is at work in His followers leading those far from Christ to realize that Jesus is who He said He was.
Doing missional acts together unifies a small group. When a group of people are on mission together they bond in ways that cannot be experienced by simply doing weekly Bible studies and/or getting together for various fellowship activities.
It grows group members spiritually. For many people in your group, they are forced out of their comfort zone when they are on mission. Spiritual growth begins with discomfort. When a small group member, in faith, goes out of their comfort zone they will then experience spiritual growth.
These are four pretty basic reasons for our groups to be engaged missionally. If nothing else…(reason #1) it’s what Jesus does.