“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.
Do you remember the movie Cast Away? Tom Hanks plays a Fed Ex executive en route to an assignment in Malaysia when his plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean during a storm. The sole survivor of the flight, Chuck, washes ashore on a deserted island. When his efforts to sail away and contact help failed, Chuck learns how to survive on the island, where he remains for years, accompanied by only his handmade volleyball friend, Wilson. He counts the days necessary to catch the northeast trade winds that he hopes will take him into the shipping lanes and rescue. Chuck isn’t certain where he is headed, but figures that he would rather die at sea than spend the rest of his life alone on the island.
No matter how tough you are, no matter how independent or self-reliant you are, and no matter how much you pride yourself in the belief that you don’t need anyone, it just is not true.
You and I cannot do life alone. Even in the perfect Garden of Eden, God said to Adam, “it is not good that the man should be alone.” We were created to be in community. We were designed to need and want other people. Life is meant to be shared and experienced with others. There is strength in numbers.
One of the most important things for a Christian is their desire to belong. They don’t just want to be another face in the crowd, people want to be known and cared for. When a group of Christians get together, it creates an opportunity to listen and talk to each other.
Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 says, “two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” We need each other.
Going to church is obviously essential and even commanded, but you worship in a crowd and fellowship in a small group. That smaller group is what you need. We need to trust, rely on, and depend upon other believers. God gave us each other to walk alongside, encourage, and spur one another one in the faith.
James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” We are to carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), care for each other’s practical needs (Romans 12:13), and rejoice and mourn with each other (Romans 12:15).
I wish I could talk to each of you about small groups and community. Unfortunately I can’t. But, I encourage you to join a group if you are not already part of one.
- Do you participate in a small group? If not, why not?
- What do you see as the benefits of being in community?
- Join a group this spring.