Devotional

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” – Colossians 3:16.

One of the core values of Northstar is to foster community with others.  Community is more than just people getting to know each other and spending time together. We believe that community is – as described in Hebrews 10:24 – a group of people who “…motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”  We join up with others in community because we need intimate relationships: discussion that goes deep, friendships that reach beyond the surface, and support that can help us navigate through troubled waters. 

Small groups provide a valuable opportunity to connect with other believers outside the Sunday morning worship. But small groups are more than a program or ministry. Rather, our hope is that small groups become a way of life, extending our Sunday-morning relationships beyond our time together on Sunday morning and outside the walls of our buildings. Small groups have the potential to be a springboard for even deeper relationships. Smaller groups are a safe space for vulnerability, honesty, curiosity, support, encouragement, forgiveness, laughter, accountability, transformation, connection, and a whole host of other things that are not easy to do in a big crowd. In a small group, you have the chance to mentor and be mentored, pray and be prayed for, teach and be taught, laugh and be laughed with, cry and be cried with, a chance to connect with a smaller group of people over months and years and ultimately build some deep, intimate relationships with other believers. 

The alternative is dealing with distractions by yourself. Distractions include relationships which are not healthy. Surrounding yourself with negative people who lead you into temptation and don’t respect your faith. Another one is the “I can do it all on my own” distraction. Whether it’s not making church a regular fixture in your life because you don’t understand how necessary it is or pushing yourself to a breaking point before even considering asking for God’s help, trying to convince yourself that you can do this all alone is a big distraction and will distance yourself from God. Not only are you distracted by the never-ending to do list that accompanies this kind of attitude, you also lose focus on God’s greatness to do more than you ever could. Another distraction are other people’s opinions. The big decisions that you have to make in life are hard enough without adding a chorus of voices that conflict with your faith and prevent you from hearing what God has to say on the matter.

All those distractions and the distance they create between you and God can be solved in a small group.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What does an intimate small group look like to you?
  2. What can we do to develop more intimate relationships in our small groups?