Next to worship and evangelism, helping each other to grow in our walk with God is one of the main purposes of the church. An outwardly focused Christian is one who will declare: ‘I will grow together with others.’ Thom Rainer points out the importance of small groups in the local church when he says, “The health of the early church was intricately tied to both the larger meeting and the small meeting context. It was not either/or. It was both/and.” Statistics show that if you are not involved in a small group then you are more likely to drop out of church altogether. As a matter of fact, it is said that 83% of people who join a church and involve themselves in a small group are still active in the same church 5 years later. However, only 16% of those who attended worship services only are still found in the same church 5 years later. Thom Rainer points out several factors of being involved in a small group. (1) The relationship factor. It is difficult to build a lasting relationship with someone who only comes to church for Sunday morning worship. You must involve yourself with other believers in a small group setting in order to grow spiritually. As Rainer points out, “Lone Ranger Christianity is not acceptable to God. It’s time for millions of church members to connect relationally by getting involved in a group.” (2) The ministry factor. We all need to be ministered to and to minister to others. Ministry is more likely to take place with people who know each other well. The primary way to know each other as church members is to be involved in small groups. (3) The teaching factor. If all you do is come to church Sunday morning and hear the preacher preach, you are not getting enough. We learn by learning from and with others. A small group setting gives you the opportunity to learn and grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word. (4) The evangelism factor. I am a firm believer that every small group ministry in the church should be focused on evangelism. For example, the men’s ministry should be focused on reaching other men with the Gospel. The ladies ministry should be focused on reaching other ladies with the Gospel. The same is said for every small group ministry including and especially the Sunday School. At First Baptist Decherd, we offer many opportunities for you and your family to grow in the faith of our Lord Jesus. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities and make a commitment to grow with others.