Monday, January 17, 2011

Community - part 2

After spending a weekend at our Winter Get-A-Way a couple weeks ago, I was reminded about the value and importance of community.

I listened to this sermon about community and loved what the pastor had to say. His message mainly centered around the necessity of being part of small groups within a larger church community.

I could not agree with this message more.

Ryan and I have been a part of small groups for probably 9 out of the 10 years we have been married. And I think that one-year exception was when we had two babies to care for :) Small groups have changed our lives separately and our marriage for the better. They have been absolutely life changing. Some of our dearest friends we met through small groups.

We have been in separate men's and women's group, in co-ed groups and in couples groups.
Ryan has his guy friends. I have my girl friends. But together we have friends that we have 'done life with' because of being in small groups together.

Here are some of the notes/quotes I jotted down while listening to the sermon online:

Message is based on the NT church as exemplified in Acts 2:42-47.

Four reasons why you need to be in a small group and connect with others:
#1 You need others to grow in intimacy with God
#2 You need others to walk through the ups and downs of life
#3 You need others to live out the mission
#4 You need others...others need you

Unfortunately in our individualistic western mentality many are participating in church community only in large group and if that's all you do you are missing out on a significant experience of the life of following Jesus.

The reality is there are are things about God you will never learn apart from fellowship with other believers in small group settings.

If you are not in a small group you just put a lid on your intimacy with God.

Through small groups you see God working in others' lives and see God working in your life.

If you are trying to live out this thing called Christianity alone, you will struggle because God designed community to meet our needs.

If all you know of church is large group community, you will feel all alone.

If you are not living life in community, you are missing out.

If you make one resolution for 2011, one commitment, one decision...resolve to join a small group. It might take a few tries. It might involve trying some different groups. Don't give up. Stick with it. Ask God to guide you to the right group of people with whom you can be authentic and vulnerable. Strive to find a Bible-based group that meets weekly and commit to attending. I promise you - it will change your life and your relationship with God.

No comments: