“So often, it’s others around us who can see where God wants to grow us even before we see it ourselves.”  – James MacDonald,

I believe the old adage is correct that says: The five most important words are “you did a good job.” The four most important words are, “what is your opinion?” The three most important words are, “let’s work together” The two most important words are, “thank you” and the single most important word is, “we.” Yes, this is another pastoral request that you join a Northstar Group if you have not already done so.

In Acts, the Bible tells us we need to be in relationships for our personal and spiritual growth. Paul and the early Christians taught and received teaching from house to house. “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” (Acts 5:42) “…how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house.” (Acts 20:20) Why did they do this? Because they needed a way and place to do as Christ modeled and taught them, the multiplication of disciples, leaders, and churches so that God’s Kingdom will be built and glorified. And they needed a way to be connected.

You may be thinking that was great for them, but not so good for me. They didn’t have my schedule. A schedule that is overfilled with the things I am responsible for in life. I do understand and we have talked about that subject often at Northstar. We all struggle with the demands of our career and all of the frustrations and stress resulting from goals, deadlines, work flow and trying to get ahead. Then there are the family obligations, taking the kids to school, picking them up here and there, dealing with all of their activities and needs. Maybe you are already volunteering at Northstar. Add all of those together and it is hard to find an additional minute to invest in anything else.  There is simply no margin. But here is the irony. If you are the person I just outlined, then you are the person who needs to be in a small group the most.   

I know you think I have slipped my moorings a bit. Yes, it does sound counter intuitive. But, don’t stop reading for another minute or so and let me explain my logic. It is God’s plan for you to be in quality relationships to Him and then to others within the confines of a loving community. Because, we all need a place to belong and work through the issues of life, to be loved and to give our love. As a Christian, our primary goal is to know and grow in Christ. How can this be accomplished when all aspects of our life are riddled with stress? The answer is…by learning spiritual disciplines and receiving the discipleship, relationships and encouragement that small groups offer. We need a place to grow and we grow best in community with people who love and care for you. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Small groups are the perfect place to understand and practice authentic relationships to feel a part of God’s family. Agree or disagree?
  2. Small groups are the perfect place for spiritual growth to make God’s truth come to life in our lives. Agree or disagree?
  3. Small groups are the perfect place to unwind, release your stress and reprioritize your life. Agree or disagree?
  4. Small groups are the perfect place to have our needs met and dealt with and fulfill those burdens with others in a stable community. In this way we can handle stress, crisis, changes and the pressures of life better.  Agree or disagree?
  5. Small groups are the perfect place to develop our skills, leadership and ministry so we can be better servants of our God. Agree or disagree?
  6. Please take the initiative and get yourself plugged into a group.