Small Groups Are NOT A New Fad

Over 300 years ago, John Wesley (founder of the Methodist church in America) challenged his people to regularly meet together for the purpose of spiritual growth. These small groups he encouraged his people to join were based on a model of group discipleship he had experienced himself while in college. The following post is from Britten Taylor, and is a great introduction to John Wesley and his model of small groups:

There are few people who challenge me more in my pursuit of Christ than John Wesley. If you have never read of his life then I beg you to pick up a Wesley biography.  His devotion to Christ and desire to walk in a manner worthy of Him will convict and inspire you greatly.  It will pretty much ‘rock your world’ (yes, I am aware that is a phrase straight out of the 80′s).
When Wesley was at Oxford he got a few of his closest buddies and formed a small group called the “Holy Club”.  The group had a few other studs, namely George Whitfield and Charles Wesley. The goal was for these guys to grow in their faith daily through biblical community.  They desired to encourage and spur one-another on in their faith and to not allow any one of them to drift into apathy toward Christ.
Within the group they came up with the following questions meant to be used for daily personal reflection.  Each one was to utilize these questions daily in their private devotions.
1. Am I creating the impression that I am better than I am?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words?
3. Do I break confidence — tell others’ secrets?
4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work, habits?
5. Can I be trusted?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
7. Did God’s Word live in me today?
8. Am I enjoying my prayer time?
9. When was the last time I shared my faith?
10. Do I pray about the money I spend?
11. Do I go to bed on time and get up on time?
12. Do I disobey God in anything?
13. Do I have an uneasy conscience?
14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, touchy, irritible, or distrustful?
16. Am I proud?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Do I thank God that I am not like others?
19. Is there anyone I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, disregard or resent?
20. Do I grumble and complain?
21. Is Christ real to me?
So, I encourage you to do two things…
  • Commit your life to Biblical Community: You need it. Others need you. Enough said. Getting your life involved with others to that level will no doubt be difficult and time consuming. But it is  biblical community that is the context where personal change takes place. God models community for us (ie, Trinity). Jesus’ life set the precedent for us (ie, 12 Disciples). The early church practiced it continually (ie, the entire book of Acts). And you desperately need it.
Read the whole article here.