I’m happy to report that there has been a renewed interest in the Resurrection. N. T. Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God (2003), Adrian Warnock’s Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything (2009), and the most recent controversial contribution by Michael Licona, The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach, all have served the church to point her back to one of the most important events in all of history.
But what does the Resurrection have to do with small groups?
Well, for starters, Jesus is alive! Therefore, communities of Jesus followers have relationship with a risen Savior who exists. The grave could not hold Jesus. No, he has risen indeed! And this has bearing on why small groups matter. Or, as Gareth Icenogle writes,
“The small groups of men and women who responded to, lived with and loved the historical Jesus came together as a new community with the resurrected Christ. They shared in his ongoing intimacy with Abba and learned the freedom of intimacy with one another. The gathered men and women came to understand and experience the community of the Spirit, in whom the relationship of Jesus and Abba becomes the relationship of human community sharing with Jesus and Abba. The Spirit of the man Jesus in intimate community with Abba God becomes the Spirit of the human community in intimate community with Jesus and Abba God. In this ongoing experience of sharing in the Spirit the new community comes to realize that wherever two or three or more human beings meet with Jesus, they are a microcosm of divine-human community, an ecclesia.” (Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry: An Integrative Approach)
Yes, the Resurrection matters, and it has bearing upon why we even gather in small groups!