Perhaps you have a lot of needs or struggles in your life. You need someone to minister and speak into your life. Small groups, which are supposed to provide safe environments for sharing, seem like a good place to unload … right? To that I would need to answer both yes and no.
Small groups should be a place where you can open up and honestly share about your hardships. Yet, the word “group” suggests that it is intended to be about more than one person. A small group ministry provides one of the best places for a church to live out body life to its fullest.
For God to use the same word, allelon, over and over highlights His intent for our life together as believers to be mutual or reciprocal, not unidirectional.
Here is what you need to remember when sharing your needs and struggles in a small group:
1) You are not the only one in the group with needs and struggles.
2) A small group is not a support group and even if it was a support group, the above, number one, still applies.
3) When group members share their struggles, it should be for the purpose of engaging in fellowship, not to “dump” on others.
4) Guard against setting expectations that others meet your needs. God is the ultimate source of comfort, peace, wisdom, and “everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3), not people. God will use people, but you must never expect them to be your all in all.
5) Look for opportunities to minister to other group members rather than coming solely to have them minister to you. True healing and growth happen when we live within God’s intent. Sowing into someone else’s life has a way of putting our own needs into perspective.