It was hard saying goodbye to these friends God had brought into my life, but I knew he put them there for a season and for a reason. As I left to begin this new adventure, I found comfort in knowing my friends would be praying for me.
Ever since that first group experience, I've been involved in small-group ministry. I've led groups, helped a church start a small-group ministry, written articles and books about small-group ministry, and even founded SmallGroups.com. I guess I've become a small-group junkie!
Someone at a small-group conference recently asked me, "Mike, why are you so passionate about small groups?" That's easy. The direction of my life was changed in the environment of a healthy small group of friends, and I've seen this happen in the lives of countless other people as well. Small groups themselves don't change lives, of course; only Jesus has the power to do that. But I believe he uses small groups of his followers to transform lives—one person, one small group at a time.
—Michael C. Mack is a small-group speaker and writer (including Small Group Vital Signs: Seven Indicators that Make Small Groups Flourish) and founded SmallGroups.com, where he currently serves as an advisor; copyright 2013 by Christianity Today.