Category: Philosophy Essay

It is impossible to be a Christian and an individualist at the same time. The philosophy of egoism that is evidently very popular nowadays does not fit into the life path of a disciple of Jesus Christ. The faithful need to feel that they are a family, their spiritual ties are close, and their prayer is not only for them but also for the sake of the people around them. That is why small groups are very important in the organization of the Christian ministry. The missionary groups help the faithful spread the teachings of Jesus in broader communities while the process of shaping an authentic disciple greatly depends on the relational groups, which are the types of small groups. Small groups contribute both to the increase in the number of disciples and to the rapid spiritual growth of the existing ones.

Significance of small groups in the ministry organization

The tradition to gather in small groups in order to worship Jesus traces its roots back to the early times of Christianity. The evidence of this form of discipleship can be found in the Holy Scripture. When Jesus called all His disciples to follow Him in Matthew 4:18-22, the first small group of the faithful appeared. In some time, the disciples left Jesus to teach other peoples His Gospel. First, they went to the lost sheep of Israel with the message that the kingdom of heaven is coming soon. Such small groups have proved that they are an efficient form of ministry.

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There always were people that desired to separate from the world and community on their way of Christians. However, the majority of the faithful cannot submit everything to Jesus as the monks do; moreover, Jesus does not require such a sacrifice from everyone. Nevertheless, the believers can start to change their environment for the better by preaching in small groups; consequently, sharing the good and kindness in the world will be the great ministry of a person.

The growth of the early Christian church can be explained by the increasing number of local churches, which people who lived nearby visited in order to listen to the preacher and receive Jesus through the Holy Spirit. In fact, the local churches were small groups, which united people around Christ, as it was commanded in 1 Corinthians 16, as well as Acts 2 and 5.

Bonhoeffer also studied this phenomenon. He assumed that for Jesus, it was not enough to have only the hearts and ears of the believers. He wants people to follow Him, to prove with their entire life that they are trying to become better for the glory of God. Christ also wants every person in the world to see that this group of His followers exist and act, and such an example will attract more and more faithful to these small groups.

The ministry in a small group feeds the faithful spiritually, trains them, and encourages for further preaching and ministry. It creates the right environment for sharing the wisdom of the Gospels, as well as provides people with the endearing and safe atmosphere. Moreover, such an environment is beneficial for the non-believers, because they see the example of other brothers and sisters in Christ, and learn how to live according to God’s Commandments.

Significance of relational groups in making an authentic disciple

It is essential to understand the importance and purpose of the authentic disciple-making process that takes place in relational groups. Small groups of local churches gather for a number of practical reasons. They contribute to the spiritual growth of the faithful, stimulate their religious development, connect people in a spiritual family, encourage them to change their lives for better, provide them with the friendly support and possibility to praise the Lord together. Such groups increase the number of followers and develop potential leaders; as a result, new groups can be created.

The relational groups are the moving power of the Church, which allows it to grow constantly. The small group functions as a single body. The faithful and the pastors are interconnected in it to that extent that they become a unity. God is in all of His disciples, and His disciples show others that Jesus dwells in them. Such groups start working in the community for the sake of all people; they become the life examples of Evangelism that has a practical application.