While often in a group we emphasize care, connection and application, service is an important part of group life. As a smaller expression of the church, I believe that every small group should include all five biblical purposes: connect, grow, reach, serve and worship. (More on reach and worship on another day).
While individual members of the group can certainly find places to serve within or outside of the church on a regular basis, it’s significant for the group to serve together. When a group serves together, everyone serves. If the group members are left to finding service opportunities on their own, then some might serve and some will not. By serving together, you put some positive peer pressure on those who are reluctant to serve.
Serving brings us closer to God’s design for His church. The early church, on its first day, began the practice that “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need” (Acts 2:44-45). Some service requires financial giving. But, even if your group doesn’t have many financial resources, you can certainly give what you have (Acts 3:6). Can your group lend a hand? Offer an encouraging word? Give your time and attention?
Your group can find opportunities to serve in your community. What non-profits, agencies or schools could use your help? Is there a neighborhood that could use some sprucing up and encouragement?
What needs are they drawn too? Don’t limit what your group can do to just this list. If you see a need in the community, then your group is officially commissioned to meet that need in whatever way you can. If the need is larger than just your group, then consult with your coach.
Your group can be used by God in incredible ways as you make yourself available to serve. Even seemingly mundane activities can be such a blessing to others and to you.