By Joel Comiskey, check out: 2000 Years of Small Groups
The writer of Proverbs said, “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!” (proverbs 24:10). Paul said, “On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). The meaning behind this verse is that God is testing our hearts with the goal that we will pass the test.
During the month of January, we’ve been talking about becoming history makers. We’ve looked at those who have gone before us and rejoiced in all they have taught us. Yet, we need to constantly remember that we will become history-makers to the next generation. We are making history right now. What will others say about us?
The reality is that history is often made during tough, trying times. As we think back at the great historical events, they were forged through trials and struggles. When we think of 9-11, tragedy comes to our minds. The year 1914 reminds us of the start of World War 1.
Covid-19 has tested all of us and our ministries. The George Barna group predicts that 1 in 5 U.S. churches will not make it out of Covid. Others will become stronger. How about you? How will people look back at your church’s ministry during these tough times? All we have is right now. Let’s ask God for renewed strength to pass the test of these trying times.
This past year has confirmed the importance of small group ministry and the need to lay a firm foundation that goes beyond one pastor and the church building. It’s been a wake-up call to make disciples who make disciples through house-to-house ministry. We’ve seen the importance of having a strong church-wide equipping to prepare future leaders. Coaching those leaders has become more essential because the small group leaders pastor the church, as the larger celebration services have disappeared during Covid-19.
The New Testament church flourished during a reign of persecution and trial. Yes, it was sifted and tested but their house-to-house structure was flexible enough to change and adapt. God is using this time period to draw us back to himself and fortify the foundations of church ministry.
My prayer is that future generations would remember your courage and visionary leadership during this past year. Press on and be of good courage. Jesus, the Lord of the church, is with you and will help you take the next step in the discipleship process.
For more information, check out: 2000 Years of Small Groups