Better Together: You need others for spiritual support
In today’s world, dependency is often considered a weakness. We’re taught that we don’t need anyone to figure things out on our own. But God did not create you to be alone — He created you to depend on a spiritual family for support. The church community is God’s answer to loneliness, fatigue, defeat, and despair. Having a church family is important because we need others to walk with us, work with us, watch out for us, wait and weep with us, and witness with us.
Something To Talk About:
- I need others to walk with me: The Bible often compares life to a walk—because life is a journey. We’re told to walk as Jesus walked.We’re also told to walk alongside other people through life. Life is not a 50-yard dash. It’s a marathon. Walking with other people gives you the energy and encouragement you need to keep going until the end. You learn more by walking with others than by walking alone. If you’re walking alone in the wrong direction, you may never realize it. But if you have a friend beside you, one of you is likely to recognize that you’ve veered off the path and need to find the right direction. Everybody has a longing for belonging because God made us for relationships. When you walk alongside other Christians in community, you find that longing satisfied.
- I need others to work with me:”Why am I alive?” God made you to do good works which he planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. Did you know that before you were born, God planned the good works he wants you to do with your life? But very often we can’t do it by ourselves. God tells us why we need to work together. We get more done by working together. So you need a church family to get the work that God has for your life done. God never meant for you to do it by yourself. God has called you to serve others, and it’s in the context of a family, the church family. The Bible says in Galatians 6:10, “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
- I need others to watch out for me: I need people in my life who will warn me of traps, who will defend me, who will protect me, who will help me stay on track. The Bible has a lot to say about this. Philippians 2:4 says this: “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” That’s what a family’s all about and what a church family’s all about. Have you ever left on vacation and before you left, you asked the neighbor to watch your stuff while you were gone? Have you got anybody watching out for your soul? It’s far more important. You may have a neighbor watching your stuff, but who’s watching out for your soul? That’s part of the family of God. We need other people watching out for us. Why? Because we all have blind spots. We need other people to watch out for us.
- I need others to wait and weep with me: I need other people in my life to wait with me when I’m going through a tough time and to weep with me, and we all need a support network. Because at some point, you will have a life shaking crisis. None of us knows what it is or how it’s gonna hit us, but the time to prepare is now. God’s safety net is a group of believers who are committed to you and you are committed to them. 1 Peter 3:8 says, “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.”Community is God’s answer to despair. It’s God’s answer to despair. Romans 12:15, “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.” That means I need people who wait with me when I’m scared to death and who will watch with me and they’ll pray for me and they’ll weep with me.
- I need others to witness with me: Each of us has a life message that God wants us to share with the world. Sharing the message is part of our life’s mission. When we share that message with other people, it’s called witnessing.There is great power in group witness. Just like a soldier is never sent out by himself, God doesn’t intend for us to do our mission alone. He says we should go out together to witness. In fact, God says that we witness best to people who don’t know God when we love others who are already in God’s family. In John 13, Jesus tells us that our love for each other proves to the world that we are his disciples. People are impressed when Christians genuinely love each other. It proves to the world that they are in the family of God. Do you witness with other Christians in one spirit — when you’re so unified that it’s almost like you’re one person? This is the kind of relationship God wants us to have with our fellow Christians. We all need each other. God wants us to witness for him, but he wants us to do it together!
- Do you believe that spiritual support is important? Why or why not?
- When did you keep going through a struggle because other people faithfully walked with you?
- Who are the people in your life that you can walk alongside? How will you show them today that they are not alone?
- Read Ephesians 3:14-19. How does this text promote Christians living together in community? What phrases stand out to you?
- What are some of the benefits of having meaningful relationships with other believers?
- How does connecting with other believers make it easier to understand the love of God?
- What are some of the ways we can encourage one another particularly in a small group ?
- How can we, as a community of believers be a safety net for each other? Is there a person or family that needs someone or a small group to come alongside in their despair or waiting?
- In a support group, the members provide emotional stability for one another. Name people in your life from whom you receive emotional support, and people to whom you give emotional support.
- How can you join other Christians and be encouraged in sharing the Gospel?
- In what way has church been just a place you “go to” instead of a place you “belong to?”
Take One Thing Home with You:
Where is your support system?
Every one of us needs a support system. A brain surgeon wouldn’t operate without first hooking their patient up to a life support system. A deep-sea diver wouldn’t explore the depths of the ocean without first connecting to a life support system. As a follower of Jesus, we need a life support system to help us navigate life’s challenges and help us grow spiritually.We can’t survive without a life support system. Small groups can be transformational. As small group members serve one another, both the giver and receiver are helped. The receiver gets a need met. The giver grows spiritually. Small groups are one of the most powerful tools your church has in its toolbox for spiritual development.