Finding a small group to join or starting one in your church is a great way to plug into your church community and fellowship with other believers. As a college student, I strongly desired to become more involved in church and invest time serving in a small group. However, my crazy class and work schedule combined with my lack of transportation often made it difficult to find a small group I had a chance of joining with wholehearted commitment.
There is a community found within small groups that isn’t found in your church neighbors on Sunday morning. These are the people you share prayer requests with and update on personal happenings in your life. These are the people who come to know you well and hold you accountable. And these are the people with whom you dive deeper into Scripture and discover new revelations about God.
If you have an opportunity to join a small group in your church, especially during college, I strongly recommend you do it. For those of you who legitimately do not have such an opportunity or cannot take advantage of it for valid reasons, there are other options available to you — some right on campus.
My college roommate started a weekly Bible study with girls who lived on the same floor in our dorm. Because it was a little later in the year and the community was already comfortable, girls felt at ease opening up with one another and sharing personal struggles. There was a strong emphasis on prayer where everyone shared prayer requests with one another and then broke into smaller groups to pray with each other.
Ask around your dorm, apartment building and classes to see if anyone would like to start a small group with you. Maybe you know some people on campus who attend your church regularly, and you can ask them if they would like to start a weekly Bible study.
Sometimes colleges already have small groups going through ministries on campus. My university had a ministry for men and a ministry for women. I joined for a semester in college and enjoyed getting to know other women I would not have otherwise met on campus. We met in a large group once a week to hear a devotional and then broke into smaller groups for fellowship and prayer.
If those don’t work for you, consider joining the prayer chain at your church if it has one. Asking to receive an email or text message whenever someone in the church needs prayer is a great way to start feeling connected while you’re looking for a small group that can fit your schedule. If your church doesn’t have a prayer chain, consider talking to your pastor and starting one.
As a last resort, you can always start a type of small group online. I’ve had friends start groups on Facebook with a carefully selected group of people for sharing prayer requests, Scripture or insights from reading. If you have close friends who don’t live near you, it is a great way to stay in touch with them, bless each other’s spiritual lives and engage in Christian community.
What creative ideas do you have to still be part of a small group when circumstances are not ideal?