To the power of 3
By Terran Williams
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)
Over the many years that I’ve been following Christ and encouraging others to do the same, I’ve become more and more convinced that although our faith is personal, it is by no means meant to be private. Said another way, discipleship is not a solo sport!
At the same time, when our only times of spiritual formation are happening in large groups and gatherings, there’s something amiss too. That’s why I think there’s something really special about Groups of 3. For those that step out and start one with 2 or 3 Christian peers, they seem to fill a gap in the discipleship journey that neither solo quiet times nor big Sunday gatherings or even Small Groups can fill.
So how does it work? In a nutshell, Groups of 3 are comprised of 3 (max 4) people who meet to encourage, challenge and hold each other accountable. These groups gather often and keep in contact even more regularly through a what’s app group.
So do these kinds of groups replace the need for Small Groups? Not at all! Both Small Groups and Groups of 3 help us to feast on Jesus, fight sin and fulfill our mission. Small Groups, however, are best for integrating new people into our faith community, building wider relationships with a family of believers, taking seriously and applying what God is saying to us as a church through the Sunday preaching, and putting ourselves under the care and oversight of pastors who team with small group leaders. Groups of 3 are best for deeper accountability and more focused discipleship. In summary, they complement each other – especially when Groups of 3 form within Small Groups.
If you’re interested in finding out more and possibly starting a group yourself or encouraging your church toward starting Groups of 3, I’ve written a kind of ‘User Manual’ which you can download below. As you’ll see, the beauty of these groups is in their simplicity and organic nature. There’s no need forleaders to ‘manage’ or facilitate these groups. They work precisely because they don’t require a lot of work!