‘7 Reasons We Need Small Groups’ (John Piper)

7 Reasons We Need Small Groups

  1. The impulse to avoid painful growth by disappearing safely into the crowd in corporate worship is very strong.
  2. The tendency toward passivity in listening to a sermon is part of our human weakness.
  3. Listeners in a big group can more easily evade redemptive crises. If tears well up in your eyes in a small group, wise friends will gently find out why. But in a large gathering, you can just walk away from it.
  4. Listeners in a large group tend to neglect efforts of personal application. The sermon may touch a nerve of conviction, but without someone to press in, it can easily be avoided.
  5. Opportunity for questions leading to growth is missing. Sermons are not dialogue. Nor should they be. But asking questions is a key to understanding and growth. Small groups are great occasions for this.
  6. Accountability for follow-through on good resolves is missing. But if someone knows what you intended to do, the resolve is stronger.
  7. Prayer support for a specific need or conviction or resolve goes wanting. O how many blessings we do not have because we are not surrounded by a band of friends who pray for us.


I have recently been thinking about our culture’s (and, in particular, my) tendency to think, all things considered, that we can live without a desperate need of God throughout our days. The truth is, without his words in my mind, the support of others, and a few key people to mutually invest in, I am inclined to believe I am fine on my own, I will avoid conflict, and I will do all I can to look “sufficient,” “good,” and “right” in the presence of others. None of these are good, and all of them rob glory from the God who meant to give value, love, and justice as gifts to us reflecting his glory.


I found these insights to be extremely relevant and eye-opening reminders of our absolute inability to do things on our own.

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