For many years in most American churches, Sunday School was THE place to go for close friendships, extended times of prayer, and deep study of Scripture. Some churches never stopped offering Sunday school classes; some stopped for a season, and have now restarted; some have never featured Sunday school at all, opting for Small Groups instead. But all of these churches have one thing in common: a conviction that the Sunday morning corporate worship service – as important as it is to the Christian’s spiritual health – isn’t enough on its own.
In recent years, Sunday School (at least for adults) hasn’t been offered at PVCC. Rather, we’ve stressed the importance of Small Groups meeting throughout the week. And while Sunday School may one day make sense for our church, for now, Small Groups are THE place to go at PVCC for close friendships, extended times of prayer, and deep study of Scripture.
PVCC currently offers multiple Small Group options. Is Monday the best evening for you? We’ve got that. How about Tuesday or Wednesday? Yep! Do weekday evenings not work for you at all? Then perhaps our biweekly Friday morning Men’s Breakfast could be a good fit, or our seasonal Women’s Studies. And if the only time that works for you is 2:30 AM on Tuesdays, I’d suggest a phone call to Evelyn Hudson!
All joking aside, we offer all of these options because we share the conviction stated above: the Sunday morning service – as important as it is – isn’t enough for your Christian development on its own. You need more than just a quick “Hello” in the lobby; you need long conversations in friends’ living rooms. You need more than just listening to other people pray on the stage; you need to learn to pray with and for those around you. And yes, you need more than just listening to a 30 minute sermon once per week; you need the opportunity to regularly read the Bible on your own, formulate questions, and come to sound answers with the help of godly and wise believers who are reading the same words you are, but bring a unique perspective you don’t have.
In short: you need Christian community. And at PVCC, a Small Group is the primary way to get it. You need Christian community all the time, but especially at certain times; it’s no surprise that when someone from PVCC encounters hardship or tragedy, their Small Group is often the first place they turn.
So in the coming weeks, you’re going to continue hearing us talk about Small Groups. Actually, I’ll put it even more strongly: we’re going to bug you about it, because we really, truly, seriously believe you need it. Don’t underestimate the big difference a Small Group can make in your walk with Jesus.
Most Small Groups take the summer off, and begin meeting again around Labor Day. So while you can technically join a Small Group at any time of year, this is the best time of all! We’ve even split one of our larger Small Groups into two, in hopes of opening more space for those who haven’t participated in a Small Group recently (or ever).
So if you have questions, feel free to contact Carl Pafford (Elder, and current overseer of PVCC’s Small Groups) or me. We’d be happy to send you to the right people and help you get plugged in.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)