Doubting Thomas and Small Groups
Doubting Thomas. That’s an unfortunate way to be remembered. But have you ever noticed that even though he struggled to believe what the others said they had experienced—the resurrected Christ—Thomas remained connected to this small group of disciples? Even in his doubt, Thomas remained in his community of faith. Likewise, even though Thomas said he didn’t believe, the other disciples continued to include him. There’s a lesson for us in those days and weeks following the resurrection.
Are You Like Thomas?
Maybe you know what it’s like to be surrounded by people who’ve had life-changing experiences with Jesus… but you haven’t… at least not in the same way they have. Or maybe you’ve been following Jesus for a while but don’t know what that looks like anymore. Even faithful leaders, like Thomas, can have something happen that raises deep and desperate questions.
Don’t give up on Jesus—stay open.
Don’t give up on community—stay connected.
Do You Know a Thomas?
Maybe you’ve experienced Jesus in ways that others haven’t… at least not yet. As you gather, be sure to make room for questions. Be passionate yet patient as you share your own experiences and belief, trusting Jesus to reveal Himself. He promises that those who seek will find. Better yet, Jesus is the one who came to seek and to save the lost. Trust Him.
Don’t forget that you’ve had doubts or questions—stay humble.
Don’t forget to include people with doubts or questions—stay connected.
The Importance of Small Group Community
Stay connected. Whichever side of the coin anyone is currently on—faith or doubt—we all need community. We need people who will encourage us to keep seeking the truth. Jesus’ disciples had highs and lows, wins and losses, faith and doubts… so will you and the people you know.
So, what are you doing to build healthy spiritual relationships? How are you making room for honest questions? Do people feel safe enough to share what they’re really going through?
In a small group setting, or any disciple-making relationship, your job isn’t to make anyone else believe, nor is it to have all of the answers. Your job is to make space for people to experience Jesus and to keep pointing to Him as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As disciples and disciple-makers, the best thing we can do is to stay connected to one another in community in order for all of us to stay connected to Christ when questions or even seasons of doubt come and go.
If you’re not familiar with Rooted, we’d love to share the ways it’s proven to be an effective way for starting healthy small groups in a variety of church contexts using facilitated conversations and experiential learning. Check out the free “What is Rooted?” webinars on our events page.
Additionally, if your small groups are ready for a “Deep Dive” into essential beliefs of the Christian faith, including answers to some common questions, be sure to check out a free sample of Theology and the Mission of God.