Good Things in Small Packages

My faith has been repeatedly nourished by small groups.

I first joined one back when I was a High School sophomore and had no idea what a “small group” was.  The youth minister at my church asked me to be a part of a new student leadership team called King’s Krew.  It met weekly on Wednesday evenings at the home of an adult advisor. The gatherings lasted about an hour and consisted of a Bible Study led by one of the adults.  I quickly learned the operative word for King’s Krew was “small.”  There were more than 20 students in regular attendance at Son House — the name of our High School youth group. At King’s Krew, there were occasionally four in attendance, but often just two — a girl named Georgina and me.  I do not recall discussing leadership at the gatherings.  The studies were often long and ponderous. Georgina and I never started dating, nor became especially close friends outside of youth group.  But the experience was galvanizing. The intimacy of the gathering made me feel like I was part of a family.  I considered scripture more deeply, voiced questions I had, and learned from older Christians.  My favorite Bible verse that year became Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

During my first year of college, I joined another small group connected with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. It was led by two juniors and took place in one of their dorm rooms.  Often both juniors failed to show up, thinking it was the other one’s turn to lead that week.  It started off with eight Freshman, but later dwindled down to just two in attendance some weeks — a girl named Amy and me.  As with Georgina, Amy and I never started dating, nor became especially close friends outside of Intervarsity.  But once again, the experience was bread for the soul. I was confused that year,  wrestling with whether I belonged at that school, and wondering what it meant to live out my faith at a secular liberal arts college environment.  In that small group, I could talk with other Christian students about college life in an intimate and open environment. I left shaped and centered by the gatherings.

I have repeatedly sought out small groups thereafter.  At my first church in Connecticut, I joined a small group of local youth ministers, and another run by the nearby Catholic worker house.  When I arrived at Knox, Mark Labberton invited me to be a part one of Fuller seminary’s early Micah groups for preaching pastors — an experience I still savor.

Some local Pasadena friends and I formed a bi-weekly group that met Sunday nights. Today, I am a part of a circle of local clergy, a Knox book group, and numerous small groups we affectionately call “committees.”  And I still find it bread for the soul to meet with other believers in more intimate settings to consider life, faith, and ministry together.

If you are looking for a small group, Knox has a host to choose from.  There are covenant groups that meet in homes for life-sharing and study.  We have connection groups for people of a common interest or life-stage.  There are short-term classes like the Animate: Bible series.  And there are teams/committees where people meet, pray, imagine, and plan how best to carry out ministries at Knox.  If you want to join one, talk to Pastor Ally Lee, elder Jarrod Phipps, or our office manager Nancy McNair.  And discover how marvelous things still come in small packages.

– Pastor Matt








Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *