This last Sunday I had the privilege to talk to our congregation about the importance of life groups in our walk with Christ. I shared my personal story of why I started a group in my home, and how it has blessed me and others.
My life group has become my nuclear family. These guys are the first people I call in times of need and when I want to share good news. I didn’t always have people like this in my life though. A little over a year ago I felt like I had no one. I knew Christ, and had an internal call to ministry but with no one speaking into my life, I didn’t have external affirmation about this. I had no one to encourage me, or challenge me. I had also just been through a very rough time in my life emotionally, and had no one local to help me through that or counsel me.
I started a group out of loneliness and out of a realization that if I felt this way, there were other guys out there that felt this way as well. I felt like I had slipped through the cracks and I wanted to be there for other guys and wanted other people in my life.
It’s one thing to read about stories of struggle or praise of what God has done, and it’s another to live through these experiences with others. You sharing your life with others acts as a blessing to both them and you, and being in community gives you and others the opportunity to speak truth in to these experiences. You need someone to struggle with!
Being in community wasn’t the end result, it has purpose.
Being in a life group has been a great opportunity for me to grow in my relationship with Christ. You can certainly gain knowledge on your own, attending Sunday services, reading the bible, listening to pod casts, reading books, but I’ve noticed when you study God’s word with others, and share intimate details about your life with that group you gain an opportunity to gain so much wisdom and real life application. It’s an opportunity for discussion. This dialog with others is an important part of your spiritual growth that can’t happen sitting in a service, or reading a book.
As we grow in Christ we are called to respond to our faith, he has a mission for us.
The guys in my life group and close friends from church have acted as an external calling in my life in to ministry. Spending time with guys in the word, disciplining them, and living life with these guys has given me an opportunity to live out my calling. Also because I am in community with them, it gives me the opportunity for others to speak into my life, they have affirmed strengths I didn’t know I had, and helped me develop those, and encouraged me to take the next steps in my calling such as going to seminary, and going on staff with Calvary Church. Many of them are actually financially supporting the work I am doing.
The purpose for our life group is to connect with a community of believers for the purpose of knowing Christ more, and living out our calling together.
Along with sharing my story we invited others to get connected to a life group and had inserts in the bulletin so people could request to be connected to a group, and by God’s grace almost 40 people responded.
Please be praying that we will be able to make good matches for these people and that we would be effective in training new leaders to meet the need of more groups in our church.