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Begun in 1999, our desire was to allow the church's pursuit of God to be more specific in a smaller setting. In smaller groups, each person is more likely to engage the Christian life, as well to develop profitable relationships.

 

An Introduction to Small Groups

at the Baptist Church of Perry.

 

 

Are small groups a new idea?  The Baptist Church of Perry has had various bible studies and small groups meeting at least since the 1950’s.  But small group ministries are actually older than the church.  Before churches began building cathedrals and chapels several centuries after Christ, Christians met in homes.  In fact, the churches that many New Testament books were written to were actually groups meeting in homes.  The church started with the disciples, Jesus’ intimate small group of 12.  He spent most of His time with them, maturing his followers for ministry after he returned to heaven, giving them the commission to “make disciples”.

 

One challenge our small groups have faced recently is that those desiring to meet in home based groups have outnumbered the number of groups available, or those groups in existence tend to grow too large to allow for accountability and intimacy.  For several reasons,  the summer of 1999 the Deacon board felt that it was time for the church to move ahead with a more formally organized and more available small groups format to help us better carry out our church mission—to bring people to faith in Jesus and to membership in His family, to develop in them Christlike maturity, and to equip them for their ministry in the Church and life mission in the world, in order to magnify God’s name.

 

We have found that relationship-oriented small groups meeting in homes during the week are a powerful tool to promote spiritual growth and fellowship.  We envision a setting where the study of God’s word is enhanced as we discuss individual application.  We can stimulate one another to a deeper spiritual walk and pray more intimately in our small groups.  Church members are growing closer and caring for each other better.  Accountability was ranked the top need in our church wide survey and we hope to provide a loving atmosphere for this in our small groups.  Even though our weekly church attendance has remained steady at about 155,  the turnover has been high and we have lacked a formal way to plug new comers into relationships with church members.   We would like small groups to grow into an avenue to reach the unsaved in our community and to foster love and unity in our church body.  Through careful organization we aim to avoid pitfalls such as disunity, doctrinal error, and stagnation. 

 

Please pray for wisdom and effectiveness as we develop small groups in Perry.  We are designing this ministry for everyone; we hope that you will join as we glorify God and enjoy him together!