In our series on The other Half of Church, we’ve established that our brains process information from the world first through the right-brain before the left-brain has the opportunity to contribute to our thoughts and feelings. Such a concept has the potential to make a large impact on the mission and vision of a church’s small group ministry. Rather than encouraging groups to meet and discuss curriculum in the hopes that they will build relationships along the way, a right-brain oriented small group ministry opts to have their groups meet and seek fellowship with one another and explore curriculum through the context of relationships that bring the joy of small groups. It is from here that we will continue to unpack what such a model can look like, focusing today on when small groups make the intentional effort to practice relational joy with one another.
The Joy of Small Groups
To experience joy is to experience what God desires for us. In Psalms 16:11, David says to the Lord “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (NRSV). Peter says that when we believe in Christ, we are “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for [we] are receiving the end result of [our] faith, the salvation of [our] souls.” (1 Peter 1:8-9, NIV). Jesus even took a moment to explain that when we keep His commandments, we will remain in His love, His joy will be in us, and our joy would be made complete (John 15:10-11). In other words, when we remain in God’s presence, when we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and when we follow the commands of Jesus, we end up experiencing a joy that is so pure and powerful that nothing else can be added to it in order to make it better!