Small groups are vitally important in the church. It is where we learn to know one another, and serve and love one another.
We need each other. We are commanded to one another one another. Biblical truth embraced by faith will make itself known in deepening godly community- authentic relationships. “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.” (Prov 27:17) If we know God, we will love one another, deeply, from the heart.
Our home groups must be a place to develop that godly community of grace.
Perhaps a place to find, or to be, a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
We live in a world that is tearing us apart, literally. The nuclear family has gone atomic, and we are scattered in a 100 different directions. We say our goodbye’s in the middle of a busy morning, and see each other for a quick bite and another goodnight.
We used to have 3 generations living in one home together in a community in which they had roots 5 or 6 generations back. Now we have 3 cars and 5 or 6 different places to be. We say goodbye far more frequently than we say, how are you doing, really?
We work for years beside people that we do not like and do not know. We spend an ever increasing amount of our time in impersonal ways, even when other people are around.
Our neighbors are nearly strangers to us. And we prefer it that way. We typically do not want to build community, we want to hide in our homes and lose ourselves in mindless and impersonal entertainment.
We come to worship and even in a small church we sing praise to God with complete strangers. Our close friends even do not know us that well.
As far as true friends go, kindred spirits, we have few if any – certainly less than we need.
We do not have time for the hurts of others, we are too busy with our own things, guarding our own stuff. I have enough burdens of my own to carry. Others do not have the time for ours hurts, they do not even know of them.
We have the world at our fingertips through the internet, but it is an impersonal world; distant, sterile; but it is safe; if you are only impersonal data.
Seven billion people on the planet and we really know only a handful, and we like only half of them.
Sad. We were created to know and be known. We were made to have fellowship with God and with others. Being redeemed, we are to build and grow godly community.
We are persons; persons made in the image of personal God.
We live, too often, by the gospel of rugged American individualism; I can do it on my own, I don’t need any help. That philosophy militates against real community, even in the church.
Our world is tearing us apart. Our community is suffering, we have lost the art of relating to one another, we have lost the art of loving one another. We just don’t have the time, and increasingly, we don’t have the skills.
Because our world is tearing us apart, our hurts are not being healed. Our wounds are not being tended. Our world is tearing us apart and we suffer alone.
“Our churches are filled with people who outwardly look contented and at peace, but inwardly are crying out for someone to love them…just as they are – confused, frustrated, frightened, guilty, and often unable to communicate with their own families. But other people in the church look so happy and contented that one seldom has the courage to admit his own deep needs.” (Keith Miller)
One anothering is urged in at least 107 places in the New Testament. Perhaps could call the one another passages the 107 commandments for Christ’s new Community. We will consider only a handful in the weeks to come.
Jesus came to usher in his kingdom, to build a new community of disciples, and to make us into exceptional lovers.