Our society is becoming increasingly more isolated. Modern technology has played a huge role in our relational disconnect. Garages protect us from having to see and speak to our neighbors. Air conditioners keep us behind closed doors. And television and social media keep us occupied. Quite frankly, we can literally live years without actually meeting the people that live next door to us. We no longer feel as if we need so much human interaction.
If we are not careful, it is easy to bring that same mentality into the Church. Many love the anonymity of a large congregation. They shy away from small groups. To arrive late and leave early is the “MO” of many believers. Yet, that is not the way that God created us.
From the very beginning God designed man with the need to be in the company of others. That truth is first seen in Genesis 2:18 when God says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” It is in the fellowship with other believers that we find the encouragement, accountability and support that we desperately need.
The phrase that Paul uses to describe the believer’s mutual relationship is “one another”. Although “one another” is two words in English, it is only one word in Greek (ἀλλήλων). It is found 100 times in 94 New Testament verses. One third of the time it speaks of unity and one third of the time it speaks of the believer’s love for one another. 15% of the time it speaks of humility and deference to one another. The simple truth that Paul understood and communicated to his readers is that the Christian life must be lived with ONE ANOTHER.
- Be patient with one another (Mark 9:50)
- Love one another (John 13:34; 15:12; Romans 13:8)
- Welcome one another (Romans 15:7)
- Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
- Confess your sins to one another (James 5:16)
Honestly, it is hard to practice the ONE ANOTHER life in a church our size. It is impossible to have a conversation with 600 people. Statistics show that no matter how large the church, the average member only knows a little more than 50 people. Thus, our challenge is to make a big church small. That is why LIFE GROUPS are so important. It is in LIFE GROUPS that the ONE ANOTHER principle is lived out.
- Life Groups facilitate Christian fellowship
The simple truth is that you don’t have to know everyone in the church as long as you know somebody in the church. LIFE GROUPS provide friendship, camaraderie and accountability. They connect you with people that are struggling with the same battles that you face and rejoice in similar victories. In short, LIFE GROUPS provide you with Christian friends that will encourage you in your walk with the Lord.
- Life Groups facilitate spiritual growth
In other words, spiritual growth takes place in small groups. There is something unique and powerful about studying God’s Word in a small group setting. In the worship service you sit and listen to the Pastor, while in small groups you sit and share with each other. Small groups allow for biblical truth to come alive in a way that is powerfully different than the worship experience. Both are necessary for spiritual growth.
- Life Groups facilitate Christian Service
LIFE GROUPS spur one another to service. It makes perfect sense to do ministry with the same group of people with whom you are growing in your spiritual walk. Such ministry opportunities provide the perfect environment to put into practice the spiritual truths that you are learning. Not only that, but it makes Christian service fun. It is so much fun to be able to serve the Lord and others with those whom you know and love the best.
So, are you involved in a LIFE GROUP? If not, you are missing out on a HUGE blessing. Don’t be an anonymous, isolated believer. Let me challenge you to find a LIFE GROUP with believers who can pour into your life. I promise your life will never be the same.