What the Bible Actually Teaches About Small Groups by RICK WARREN for Charisma News
Do you know where you can see the greatest model of unlimited, spontaneous expansion of a local congregation?
Just read the book of Acts! The church of Jerusalem gives us the greatest model ever on the explosive growth of the church. In fact, the church’s growth described in Acts is nothing short of a miracle.
At the beginning of Acts 1, there are 120 believers. By the time we get to Acts 4, the number of believers grew to 5,000 men. Most scholars believe that if you add women and children, the church was at least 15,000 strong by this point.
By the time we get to Acts 21:20, we learn that there are tens of thousands of believers in the early church. Most scholars believe there are between 50,000 and 100,000 people in the church at this time.
So, in just 25 years, the church grew from 120 to at least 50,000 people.
My first question when I realized this was, “Where in the world did they hold all of these people?”
The Bible tells us in Acts 5:42 (CEV), “Every day they spent time in the temple and in one home after another. They never stopped teaching and telling the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.” They met in large groups for worship and small groups for fellowship. This biblical strategy still works today.
If your church is going to be healthy, it must be growing larger and smaller at the same time. What does this mean? Larger through celebration services and worship, and smaller through your small groups.
What did these first small groups do? Think about all of that explosive growth. Whatever they did, we should do, too!
The Bible gives us the answers in Acts 2:42-47.
They grew spiritually.