Why Grace Groups?
The heart of Grace Bible Church Pearlside (GBCP) is Grace Groups (GG). We exist to honor God by reaching the unreached and making disciples. We do this by obeying the Great Commandment to love God and love others, and fulfilling the Great Commission to go and make disciples.
“He (Jesus) answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Small Groups and the Early Church
Small Groups are not a new thing. They have been around since the days of Moses. The nation of Israel had grown to three million and presented an overwhelming problem for one man to lead. So heeding the advice of his father-in-law, Moses divided the nation into smaller groups, even down to a group of ten. (Exodus 18:14-26)
The Early Church organized itself into small groups to sustain and further church growth and outreach. Jesus employed a small group to train the future leaders of His church.
Among the multitudes that followed Jesus around the countryside, Jesus chose twelve men to be in His small group, so He could train and release them to be His leaders and apostles. Within this group, Jesus spent more time with three individuals to train them for their unique leadership calling and the advancement of the Kingdom of God.
To meet the spiritual and physical needs of three thousand new believers, the Early Church, when not meeting altogether at a temple to hear the apostles’ teachings, met in small groups in homes. They came together to discuss the Word, pray, and fellowship, so they could continue to reach out to others with the gospel. (Acts 2:41-47)
Like the Early Church, we have weekly large gatherings called services, and weekly small groups called Grace Groups. These groups meet together for discipleship, to process life together through the lens of the Word of God, and to reach out to people who are far from God. We have identified the functions of a Grace Group with the slogan “Grace to Grow, Grace to Go.”
Grace to Grow
- To continue to grow as a disciple with the goals of loving Jesus more and becoming more like Him
- To have a community with other disciples who challenge and encourage one another to apply God’s Word in their lives
- To become more like Jesus through discussion, application, and prayer. Here discipleship and relationship go hand-in-hand.
Grace to Go
- To go and reach the unreached. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) to “go and make disciples” connects going and growing to one another. As we go, we grow.
- To fulfill every disciple’s personal responsibility to go, we use and encourage the strategy of “Each one, reach one, each year.” As each person diligently reaches out to build a relationship with someone over a period of time, opportunities will arise to share the gospel. Members can partner together to reach their “one.” Here evangelism and relationship go hand-in-hand.
- What information, insights, or challenges regarding the purpose and mission of Grace Groups stood out to you? Why?
- Which do you seem to emphasize more in your life, “Grace to Grow” or “Grace to Go?” Why? What could be done to increase the other?
- What other questions do you have regarding Grace Groups?