“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25.
The idea of “not neglecting to meet together” means that we are gathered together regularly for corporate worship on Sundays. That is what people would think. And certainly that is important. But the verse also says to spur one another on toward love and good deeds. With our Sunday service times, space constraints, and time restraints, it is hard to stir one another up to love and good works. Basically we need more than one place for meeting together. We need additional avenues and opportunities for building community within the church.
When we talk about community we are talking about Northstar Groups for the most part. Without smaller communities, sitting in circles, not rows, it’s nearly impossible to obey God in all things. Don’t believe me? Then read this verse and tell me how we can do what it asks us to do. “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2) The NIV says “carry” while The Message instructs us to “share their burdens.” Among many commands we are told to “love each other,” “pray for each other,” “encourage each other,” “serve each other,” “teach each other,” “accept each other,” and be “devoted to each other.”
That is why we spend so much time as a church staff working on Northstar Groups. Biblical community is the principle, and small groups is just our contemporary way of practicing the biblical principle. It’s critically important because we want each member and regular attender to experience real biblical community. If you are not, you need to be involved.
The subject of community is never far from my mind. Actually, it’s been on my mind for years, and although we make progress in this area every year, I still come to the conclusion we can do more.
People have told me that being part of a group was incredibly freeing and life-giving. That at no other point in their spiritual life had their opinion been truly valued like with that group. At no other point had they felt so closely connected relationally to people headed in the same direction toward Jesus as they were. People have told me that if it hadn’t been for that small group, they would not be the person they are today.
It can be a life changing experience, one where you can really get to know others and let others into your world. My question is why so many people choose not to avail themselves of the opportunity to do life with other Christians. I know there are logistics and timing and interest challenges. But, I believe we have a group for everyone.
Our current teaching series is about Small Changes and Big Differences. I believe with all my heart that if you take the small step and join a Northstar Group, it will make a very big difference in your life.
Join a Northstar Group today.
1. What is the principle reason you have not attended a Northstar Group? Is it enough of a reason to not participate in deep, sustained connections with other believers?
2. Do you believe you can experience authentic biblical community outside of Northstar or other groups?
3. If you attend a Northstar Group, give an example of how your community has recently encouraged you or helped you change something in your life.
4. Give an example of how you have recently helped, encouraged, challenged or prayed for another member of your group.
5. Pray and ask God to guide you to the best group for you.