Do you relate to that quote? Lucado says that questions can make hermits of us but it’s not just questions. A sense of inadequacy or shame can do the same thing. When something is wrong with our relationship with Christ we often withdraw from Him and keep our distance from other Christians. And even when things are good, Satan can use busyness and fear to keep us from fellowship. But as the quote says, “the cave has no answers.” It’s through Biblical community that we heal and grow and serve and are supported. As our Life Groups get started this month, I pray that each of you would consider your involvement and make time for fellowship with others.
A couple of weeks ago the young adults group that Jennifer and I are leading began and we’ve enjoyed getting to know others in the group. The Life Groups are deliberately designed to be a place to share our lives as well as share God’s Word. They’re a place where we can celebrate each other’s joys and comfort one another in our trials. We take time at the beginning of the night to hear what’s happening in people’s lives and at the end of the night to respond to God’s Word in prayer. In between we read Scripture and discuss application of the Sunday message using the questions in the handout. And we hope to build each other up in our Christian walk and look for ways we might reach out to those around us.
I was helped by an article I read from Steven Lee entitled “5 Common Small Group Myths” which dealt with expectations and misconceptions people have about small group ideals.
- Myth 1. A successful small group will not be relationally messy.
- Truth: Small groups are where the grace of God overcomes all types of relational messiness through the blood of Jesus.
- Myth 2: Small groups exist for others to meet my needs.
- Truth: Small groups exist for you to love and serve others with the love of Christ.
- Myth 3: Trust and transparency take many years to cultivate in a small group.
- Truth: Trust and transparency are fruits of recognizing we are all recipients of God’s abundant grace for the forgiveness of sins.
- Myth 4: Small group members should become best friends.
- Truth: Small groups are united by the blood of Christ and members of one body.
- Myth 5: Small groups should focus only on Bible study, not sharing sins or engaging in outreach.
- Truth: Small groups focus on how the gospel of Jesus Christ transforms us as his disciples who grow in holiness and as witnesses of his truth.
I wonder whether there are other misconceptions that might stand in the way of your healthy Life Group involvement? I’d encourage you to read Lee’s article.
Once you do, why don’t you contact a Life Group leader and let them know you’d like to try out their group. If you’re not sure where you’d fit, feel free to contact me. I’d love to see all of us make Life Groups a priority.
In awe of Him,