Today’s blog is written by Marvin Scoggin. Read as he shares how joining a group has impacted his life and walk with God.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” -Hebrew 10:23-25.
I’ve been in a number of small groups as a Christian: young single men, married couples, mixed age co-ed, mixed age men. Without question, small groups have been a vital part of my Christian life. Meeting as a church is one response to the verses above, but “stirring up one another” truly fits the nature of a small group. In that smaller setting, you come to know others in more than a “how’s it goin’” sort of way and can genuinely stir up each other to love and good works and encourage each other as The Day draws near for Christ’s return.
As a college student, I thought being a Christian meant behaving yourself while waiting in the station for that train that takes you home to heaven. But during my sophomore year, five single-syllable words changed the course of my life: “Come help change the world.” Through a complete stranger who became a lifelong friend, I became active with a small group of guys in an Action Group with Campus Crusade for Christ (now called CRU).
We became tight-knit friends who played together (my nose is still crooked from a game of “touch” football), pranked together (shaving cream on the telephone earpiece; getting doused with a trash can of water just because), prayed together, studied the Bible together, encouraged each other to be men of virtue, and shared our faith with anyone who would listen, from classrooms to fraternities to one-one-one. With these precious brothers, I became a campus activist—in the best sense of the word.
Before moving to Virginia last year, I was part of a large (15,000) Southern California church. It was common to hear, “Groups make a big church small.” Once I became part of a group, I was surprised how often I ran into people I knew in the huge throngs. They just seemed to stick out. Year after year, I met men of all stations and all walks of life, some whose past included drug use/dealing, sexual immorality, murder, and all manner of wrongdoing for which some were on probation. They would laugh when I said, “I used to use Aleve every day.” But we all had one thing in common: We were sinners saved by grace through faith, and out of that developed a strong bond and affection for each other.
What about you? By joining a small group at The Point, you can . . .
Make close, enduring friendships that help you grow as a Christian.
Be transparent and honest with people who share the same faith and a commitment to living in ways that are effective and fruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. (2 Peter 1:8)
Be sympathetic and circumspect: “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” instead of “I would never do that.” (Cf. Galatians 6:1)
Find encouragement and support to do what’s right by God’s standard and to steer clear of (or stop doing) what’s wrong.
Strive to become a person of virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
If you would like to learn more about small groups and how you can sign up for one visit thepointva.com/groups