“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” – Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)
As Christians we are better at doing church than doing life together. And that is unfortunate because Christians always live better lives when we are connected to other believers. Simply put, we are better together than by ourselves. 1 Peter 3:8 tells us God’s intention for us: “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.” That verse sums up why we feel so strongly about small groups at Northstar.
On Sunday we meet as a large group to worship and to hear God’s Word. As great as that is – you need something smaller – where you can really get to know others and let others into your world. Yesterday I outlined the advantages of corporate worship and small groups. In this devotional, I would like to give you two more good reasons why you should join one of our Northstar groups:
First, let’s talk about isolation. A couple of weeks ago we discussed the movie Frozen and Queen Elsa’s kingdom of isolation. It is all too easy to become isolated. That is not what God wants because isolation is unhealthy for us. God’s called us to “community.” God created humans to be interactive not isolated. Christians are called to engage others and to add to the lives of others. That’s why small groups in a church are so important. It’s the best laboratory for growing as a believer. In a small group we learn to care about others and share life experiences. We grow together and separately.
And second, a small group gives us opportunities to practice God’s love. As Roy said, there are 100 “one another” commands in 94 verses. 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”, “bear each other’s burdens”, and be “devoted to each other”. That is hard to do in a corporate worship service. But it is easy to do in a small group. It’s where you can find opportunities to “flesh out” the Bible’s command to practice God’s love for others.
It is my heartfelt prayer that each of you will be courageous and join one of our church’s small groups this semester. I am convinced that once you do, you will discover how much more rewarding the Christian life is when you do it with other believers.
- What are your thoughts on the value/importance of small groups?
- Have you ever felt isolated, even in a large church?
- What are the obstacles to joining a small group?
- Find a small group that you find appealing and join today.