And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Admit it, we all have questions about God, scripture and “churchy things,” even serious doubts. But for some reason, many of us approach the church fearful of judgment, afraid that we don’t know enough, that we have stupid questions, worried we will be laughed at, or worse people will stare at us blankly. And what if they KICK ME OUT! As if we think everyone in the building has a Ph.D. in all church things. We act like we are afraid we will be discovered to be imposters. But, here is the truth, we truly ALL have questions, including those who work in a church! Who among you would love to raise your hand during a sermon and ask a question?
Me too! Yes, that may be a little uncomfortable, fun to see, but uncomfortable. But, that is precisely what small groups are, safe places to ask those questions.
Small groups are the perfect environment for asking those nagging questions and going on tangents. No question is off-limits in small groups. They can also be a place where your life and God’s desire for you intersect. It helps us to understand what we believe and why. I believe that to establish our belief systems, we need to discover truths for ourselves, and to do that as the church, we need to educate without assumptions, encourage questions, and seek understanding together.
God desires us to be real with one another. Other people are often God’s way of helping us discover things about God, our neighbors, and ourselves, and recognize and pursue your gifts and passions. The way to truly know God’s heart and to live your faith is to do life in a community. Micah 6:8 describes the tasks of Christ-followers: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” These are action words. Small groups are where our faith can grow exponentially because we are real with each other and encounter the Living God through each other.
God has used small groups many times throughout my life to fill a void. A small group is simply a group of people “doing life together.” Spiritual and physical needs can be met, which equips us to go out and share the gospel message, the very hope and peace of God with others. This is how the body of Christ is supposed to operate.
Join a small group, ask questions, dig into those tough topics, and confusing scripture. Be real about the struggle to relate your world and the whole crazy world to God’s desire for us.
Pray: Good and gracious God, help us to be real, real with you, and others. Help us to recognize that we are not alone, that others struggle and have questions, help us to walk humbly. Show us how we to bring essential questions that help others, that we are an important part of the Christian community, a community of imperfectly perfect people. In Jesus name we pray, AMEN.