A New Year &
New Beginnings

By Sean Davidson, Discipleship Pastor

Posted on January 14, 2015

It’s the beginning of January and we all know what that means: time for New Year’s resolutions. Or at least hearing lots about them. If you’re like me, the prospect of a fresh start can be a little intimidating.

Let me encourage you in one resolution you won’t be sorry about: joining a Small Group at St. Paul’s. I know what you’re thinking – how can you cram another event into your already busy schedule?  It’s true, being part of a Small Group requires us to make adjustments to the agenda. However, the payoff is big – not only for ourselves and those we connect with, but also for all that God would do in and through us as a community.

What: Perhaps you have been at St. Paul’s for years and heard talk of Small Groups, but have never really gotten a clear idea of what they are. Of course, there’s no one simple answer to this question. There are many facets to Small Groups. In one respect, they give opportunity for studying the Bible together and for prayer. In another, they help us to build relationships and find belonging. Most importantly, though, they are a vehicle for practicing the spiritual family that Jesus calls us to be. This may sound a little odd at first. Perhaps you’ve never thought about Small Group like that before. Nonetheless, it’s our ultimate aim. We are wanting to grow as a loving, hospitable community and become a living sign of God’s transformative work in the world. This is what church is all about and Small Groups are an important part of that at a grass roots level.

Why: The why follows from the what. There are a variety of reasons people want to join a Small Group. It could be a desire to get more connected, to build relationships, and to find belonging. There could also be a spiritual hunger to learn about Jesus, pray with others and to grow in Christian faith. These are really good reasons.

But not all of us will have these desires or feel a Small Group is the best way to meet such needs. Really, the most important reason to get involved with a Small Group, a reason that applies to all of us, is connected to the ultimate aim above. Beyond a sense of need or desire, we want to grow as brothers and sisters in faith and learn to extend God’s love out into the world. There’s no way to do this generally or abstractly. We’ve got to get close in, share our stories, and encourage each other on the way. Small Groups help us to do just that.

Who: Small Groups are potentially for everyone. They’re for men and women, adults and kids, families and singles, for every age and stage of life. Some of our existing groups are made up primarily of emptynesters. Others consist mainly of young professionals and families. Still others have a blend of ages and stages with a variety of folks joining in. Whatever the case, all of our Small Groups are open to welcoming newcomers and our leaders are happy to help you find your way.

Where & When: Check out the location and days/times on the Small Group board in the Atrium or online. Also feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to help connect you in. Beyond that, you may want to take part in our upcoming Intro to Jesus course which provides, among other things, a lively experience of Small Group.