Friday, June 4, 2010

Small Faith Groups

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them - Matthew 18:20

The other day, I received an email about a gentleman who was in a small faith group with me for a couple of years before moving out of state.  He had sent out an email letting friends know that it was his time to be with our Lord and that his days on earth would end very soon (may Len Shumaker rest in peace).  This very special man and his wife had a special hunger for the Bible and we loved sharing with him.  Our church is so large that it is sometimes difficult for others to feel like they belong.  We joined this small group to study the Bible together and pray.

It is amazing what happens "when two or three are gathered in His name".  At first, I thought I was joining to help the others in the group.  The experience really was a two-way street.  Deep friendships formed and this group became like a spiritual family for me.  Together, we discovered the unique gifts that each of us has, and we began to share our talents beyond our small faith group.

God's timing is truly amazing.  At the time the group was formed, I had no idea that I would ever see my father again.  When he returned to us, he arrived in tattered clothes.  One of the men in the group was the same size as my dad, and he donated a bunch of clothes.  The group also had everything we would need to take care of my dad while he battled the advanced stages of cancer, wheel chairs, shower stools, etc.

Our group continued meeting at my sister's home where my dad and his wife were staying.  He got to meet the people who prayed for him to be protected while he was far away from us.  Eventually, the group disbanded when some of the members moved away and others became more involved in serving the larger community.  The senior members of our group formed a Bible study for our church that touches hundreds of lives every year.

There are many ways to join small faith groups, even for busy people.  I recently discovered a site,  People that are just like you and me from all over the world are connected on this site.  If you have a question, just post it, you will get an answer within minutes.  Like the small faith group that I was in, these people can help you to grow in your faith.

Many people make the mistake in thinking that their relationship with God is between them and God alone.  While it is important to have a relationship with the Creator, it is just as important to join with the community for the benefit of all.  There are people in this world right now that feel alone.  Reach out and touch someone, you can make a difference...

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