Most modern forms of therapy include 1) private personal counseling where one person sit down with the counselor and speaks one on one. The individual share their problems and their thoughs and the counselor asks reflective questions to help the person navigate through their problems. Through these insightful conversations the client will be better equipped to deal with life. 2) Group therapy where a group of people facing similar challenges speak openly about their problem and a therapist will guide the group through conversations or exercises to help them better cope with life. 3) If necessary, medication might be prescribed. The one common denominator in all three forms of therapy is deep personal conversation. Even when medication is prescribed extensive conversation must have first taken place. It is generally not wise to accept prescription medication from doctors who have not spent the time listening and determining the problem. Conversation is the tool of healing.
The “talking cure” is only new because there is a general consensus that anyone and everyone can “cure” us regardless of training (e.g. Oprah). But the need for deep interpersonal relationships is nothing new. The Bible laid out God’s plan for building us and healing us long ago. According to God’s plan, our perfection is found in Jesus Christ. In Christ’s Body, the Church, we are joined and we are sanctified. Yet the Church, as defined in the Bible is not the building or the organization. The Church is the people. The Church are the individuals drawn together by the Holy Spirit because of the love of Jesus. It is in this context, in the interpersonal relationships found in these Christian relationships, that we find healing. So small group ministries are essentially conversations. It is not a “talking cure.” It is a holy conversation.
Small groups are about wise, insightful, prayerful and loving conversations between the people of God and the very God they worship because Jesus said where 2 or 3 are gathered there I am also. So who needs Small Groups? Anyone who wants to meet Jesus in an intimate way. Anyone who wants to grow in Christ. Anyone who has something to share and something to heal.