Transcript of the small group plug, spoken at large group on February 6, 2009:
Hello InterVarsity. My name is Matthew John Tuttle and I am the current Small Group Coordinator. My other, taller and more Chinese half is sitting over there, you may know him as Michael Leung. I know him as BFF. I am super excited to be able to stand before you today and talk about one of my favorite things ever. Small Group.
Father Matt just talked about the importance of Bible Study- something that’s vital for our growth as Christians and necessary if we really want to know who this God we worship is. Fr. Matt just explained to us that Scripture is God. It's God-breathed, and it equips us for every good work. In essence, we cannot live up to the name of “Christian” without understanding first who God is and what He’s done. Some of you are looking at me and shaking your head, saying, “Oh yeah, I just read the entire Old Testament last night. For fun. In Greek.” I don’t know. Some of us have grasped the concept of Scripture necessity. But for a lot of us, myself included, Scripture is not NEAR as high of a priority as it should be.
Just this week, I read WAY more than I cared to on subjects that aren’t nearly as life changing. Such subjects covered were Major Problems in Asian American History, psychoanalysis, and single subject research design. Was it interesting? Maybe. Am I a changed person? Hayyyyyck no. But the Bible isn’t like that. The Bible is God’s Word, it has eternal relevance, it speaks to all humankind, in every age and in every culture. If I spent half as much time reading the Bible this week as I did trying to figure out German grammar or whatever I was studying, well, I can’t even imagine what that’d look like.
Michael and I have done a lot of planning and praying and debating when it came to what we should do with small groups. We believe that small groups are the backbone of this fellowship. Large group is the face, what everyone sees, but small groups is what gives the fellowship structure, provides stability, and, in the same way the backbone houses the spine, small group facilitates one of the strongest venues of communication with our Heavenly Father. That’s why Mike and I believe that small groups is a huge deal; that’s why I’m standing before you today and asking you to participate in epicenter of radical life transformation and campus renewal.
After a lot of discussion and administrative tasks I don’t necessarily excel at, Mike and I, working with the E-Board, organized small groups in such a way that one is provided in every community. If you count Susquehanna and Hillside as one community. Sorry. We thought: How amazing would it be if we didn’t have to walk all the way across campus to attend our small group? Or—how great would it be if I could invite my roommate to the small group that’s happening in OUR building or OUR community. In the past, it’s seemed to be a free for all in deciding where we feel the most comfortable going to receive God’s word, or we’ve made decisions based on what leaders we would most like to learn from. This semester, why don’t we view small groups as less of just a service provided by IV, ensuring that we’re being fed with spiritual food, and instead as a means of realizing our vision not JUST in LH14 on Fridays, but throughout the week in our very communities, in our buildings, in our very halls.
There was a lot of prompting by the Holy Spirit in terms of our book choice this semester. After hours of discussion, countless emails, lengthy homework assignments involving reading a LOT of Scripture, and a bunch of impromptu interviews involving me holding a purple marker like a microphone, we decided to study the book of Nehemiah, in the Old Testament. We thought, here’s a guy, who saw a problem, saw a way he could honor God, mobilized a whole bunch of people, and brought radical and God-pleasing change to his people. What I want us to get out of Nehemiah is a realization of our campus’s need for God, a method for seeing God brought to our campus, a mobilization in our fellowship towards that goal, and radical and God-pleasing change. If you want to know more about what Nehemiah did, and how his actions can affect our actions today, I can say nothing else to you except that small groups are the place to be.
Small groups is more than a ministry made for getting our fellowship to sit in circles and on weekday nights to read uninteresting Scripture and make superficial or boring interpretations of what we read and how it applies to us. Small Group is a ministry devoted to diving into God’s word, pulling out meaning and significance, and making real, effective application to our lives. And doing it together, as the Body of Christ. Brothers and Sisters, I’m not standing up here to sell you my ministry. I’m standing here to implore you to take part in life-transformation, campus-renewal, and the development of world-changers.
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce the Spring 2009 small group leaders.
Spring 2009 Small Groups
▫ CIW Co-Ed
7pm, Oneida 3I02
Leaders: Karen (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Will (email@example.com)
▫ Newing Co-Ed
7:30pm, Endicott Lounge
Leaders: Boaz (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Keren (email@example.com)
▫ Mountainview Women’s
7pm, Hunter 422
Leaders: Samantha (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Winnie (email@example.com)
▫ Susquehanna/Hillside Co-Ed
7:30pm, Brandywine 212
Leaders: Alan (firstname.lastname@example.org), Meir (email@example.com) and Pam (firstname.lastname@example.org)
▫ Dickinson Women’s
7pm, O’Connor Conference Room/Discovery Center
Leaders: Pam (email@example.com) and Priscilla (firstname.lastname@example.org)
▫ Dickinson/Mountainview Men’s
7pm, Digman 214
Leader: Matt Tuttle (email@example.com)
▫ Hinman Co-Ed
7:30pm, Smith Study Lounge
Leaders: Glory (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jason (email@example.com) and Florence (firstname.lastname@example.org)