Who says groups have to be big. Even Jesus only called 12 disciples.
Today I finished my Text-in-Context paper for my Church History class and it was on the Pia Desideria by Philipp Jakob Spener who was a German Lutheran and considered founder of the Pietism movement that began to gain momentum in the late 18th Century. We see a lot of Pietist ideas in Wesleyan Theology, but one of the things that Spener did in his life was establish a need for small groups to meet and discuss all manner of religious things. After all isn’t that what Jesus did with his disciples. Why can’t we do it as well. I have always enjoyed small groups and have learned a lot from being in them. As a youth every year at our annual district youth retreat we would split up into predetermined small groups and we would discuss the topics of the weekend through the lens of what the speaker had talked about. Small groups allow you to work something out in your head and gives you an avenue to release it to the world.
John Wesley took this one step farther and instead of simply thinking of it as a small group he urged people to develop what he called Covenant groups where the people in the covenant group would in essence “covenant” with each other to grow as a Christian. With the basis of these groups today being the question “How is it with your soul?” The question was meant to focus on this idea that we are always striving for perfection and with the help of these people we can move closer to that idea. Since I have been in seminary I have been in a covenant group for a class and it has been one of my best assets while in school. This group has helped form my seminary life and has helped me pick up activities that might otherwise be forgotten if I did not have a group of students upholding me to a covenant.
I feel that covenant groups are very important in the life of a Christian because it allows you the opportunity to be with a group of people whose primary focus is caring about your walk with Christ and how that interacts with your life here on Earth.