Do you know what a disciple is? James Harnish defines a disciple as a follower of Jesus, whose life is centering on loving God and loving others. That seems simple enough. That’s what the church has been trying to do from its beginning. The New Testament is filled with stories of people giving up their lives to follow Jesus or become part of his church. Why then, has our society struggled with being like Christ so much? Our founder, John Wesley, felt that small groups were the way that a person became more like Christ. He is credited with being the first to form a small group.
It started out with his own small group in college, called the “holy club.” He named it so, because those attending wanted to be “holy.” Another way to explain it is, they wanted to become more like Jesus everyday and were committed to helping each other. Wesley grew so much through the experience that he started “holy clubs” everywhere he went to preach. People were radically transformed. These groups were not about intellectual learning, but about soul transformation.
God made humanity to be in relationship with one another. We seek people out who have the same interests as we do, or who are in the same stage of life. We form families when our biological family is too far away. We seek relationships. Wesley realized that what the church was missing in the day-to-day activities of life. I call it, living life together.
Our society today does "church" much the same as it did in the 1700's. Many people come to church on Sunday morning, and then have no connection with the church until the next Sunday. To be a Methodist means to be in a small group. Only in a small group, can a person live life as the church, everyday and everywhere.
I challenge you to become involved in a small group. Find a place where you can grow closer to Christ. Together we will start you on your path to being engaged and nourished, just as our founder, John Wesley did. God loves us so much that he wants us to be the best we can be. He wants us to be holy.