Whether it is through persecution or another circumstance, if the church is prevented from having big gatherings, the church grows rapidly.
There are many places in the world where it is not possible to have corporate or public worship. When this happens, the church is forced to meet in secret small groups of believers. In order to continue meeting in the face of such adversity, those Christians are galvanised and set on fire. It takes serious commitment and the consequences of being found are considerable.
This is the same passion we see in the early church in the New Testament. They met in houses, they shared what they had, they went deep and membership was taken seriously. You couldn’t just rock up on a Sunday and sit at the back!
Now that our churches can only meet in the small setting, what will be the outcome? Will we deepen our discipleship? Will we read the bible and pray together more often? Will we be alert and respond to the needs of the community around us? I believe we will. Groups will multiply rapidly due to new Christians, church members joining who have not been in small groups before and an increased need for purpose and meaning.
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My other reflections on why small groups are so crucial right now are: