9 Ways to Miss the Point of Small Group

Thursday night. Bibles open. Six men from the local church pray together. One of them reads Psalm 31 and applies it to his brother. A strong sense of God-dependence fills the room.

Sunday post-lunch. The church is quiet after a busy morning. Kids play in the next room, while five couples gather to discuss the sermon. They hunger and thirst together for God’s truth.

Small group. Missional community. Home group. Life group. Whatever you call the gathering of an intimate number of believers outside of worship services, the goal is the same: fellowship and encouragement around God’s Word.

9 Ways to Miss the Point of Small Group

Yet we can easily miss this. Despite our best intentions, we get sidetracked and forget the goal. Sometimes, despite this goal, we’d rather pursue what’s easier and more comfortable for people—but this lacks transforming power to draw us nearer to God and each other.

Small group has a point, and we’d do well not to miss it. Here are nine ways this can happen:

Continue reading

The Eternal Importance of Exercising Self-Control

I am a habitual nail-picker.

If I’m nervous, I play with my nails. If I’m distracted, I play with my nails. Whether something occupies my attention, or I have nothing else to do, guess what? I play with my nails. By the end of all my fiddling, I’ve practically worn my fingers down to the bone—or at least it seems that way, by how exposed and ashamed I usually feel.

Now that I’ve officially made you squirm, allow me to redeem the illustration: This tendency has caused me to wonder what Scripture says about self-control, why it is important to cultivate, and what it looks like when we exercise it. I’m ready to break my bad habit with gospel-power, and I’m praying this biblical exploration is equally helpful to you.

Continue reading