The Power of Small Groups
We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history - Sonia Johnson
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
When Jesus chose twelve men to be His disciples, He was replicating the blueprint that was laid down when God chose twelve brothers, who later became the twelve tribes that formed the nation of Israel. A small group of people with a unified core, purpose or mandate can achieve great things.
TWUK encourages Christians to form groups by finding at least one other Christian. Two coming together to pray, share and support one another. Sooner or later, the two snowball into a core group of Christians with a heart not only to pray and support one another but to influence the environment in which they find themselves.
Lone Christians can feel isolated and powerless in the workplace. They are prone to discouragement which leads to a closet mentality and identity. They hide who they truly are from others in the workplace and remain under the radar. If they remain unknown, they do not have to give an account for what they believe or defend their position when opposition comes against the Christian faith.
TWUK believes the best response to this challenge is for Christians to form Christian workplace groups (CWGs) for the purpose of supporting one another but eventually to grow into a thriving, viable and engaging CWG.
We are told to be salt and light. Those two elements permeate wherever they are and affect it for good. They bring benefit. They are essential. They enrich and enlighten. They saturate and illuminate. They texturize and beautify their environment.
The Message Bible puts it succinctly: “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth… Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill… I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven!” Matthew 5:13-16.
We have found that it is easier to obey this passage as a group because you can aid and support one another in a positive way.
“We are stronger together than we are alone.” ? Walter Payton. And so we are!
So what does a CWG look like?
A healthy CWG has a strong, unified core. This is developed over time as people with different gifts and talents come together and work together for the benefit of the group. You know and trust each other because you have spent quality time together. Praying, sharing and working together to build the group.
A healthy CWG is outward focused. It exists not only for the benefit of members of the group, but for the benefit of the organisation. It is there to serve; to find the need and meet it. Therefore, as a matter of course, the CWG engages with management, with colleagues and the organisation as a whole. This follows on from the strength of its core. If the group is strong, it will find practical and creative ways to engage and serve.
TWUK encourages groups to use the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Framework as a platform to seek formal recognition. Under normal circumstances, by presenting a business case to become a staff network group, most managers will be supportive. This enables the group to be more visible and accessible to the whole organisation. It will be able to organise talks, events and initiatives that present the gospel in creative ways. It will use holy days in the calendar to showcase the Christian faith in a way that is palatable to the organisation.
‘Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved’ - Mattie Stepanek
When Jesus sent out His twelve disciples, He sent them out two by two; when He chose His closest allies, He chose three men; when He distributed bread to the masses, He put them into groups; it was in small groups that the early church paved a way into the ancient world; and it is still in small groups that we will fulfil the mandate to ‘Go’ and be fruitful in every workplace.