One of our big values as a church is that we believe that the Gospel doesn't just restore our relationship with God, but gives us the ability to have profound relationships with one another. These relationships are not just meant to be a nice add on to life. No, our relationships with one another lead are an integral part of growing in understanding of the gospel. 1 John 1:7 says, "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin." Through our experience of the fellowship (literally sharing life), we experience the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. Gospel and community go together.
This is why we try to have several simple rhythms built into our church culture that we can use to slow down from the busyness of life and experience fellowship with one another. One of those rhythms is our bi-weekly small groups.
Our small groups are nothing fancy. We eat some food together, study the bible together and pray for one another. Here is what I am hoping happens, though, through those simple things.
1. We use our time eating to share about what's going on in our lives with one another. We listen, we encourage and we learn how we can pray for one another.
2. Our Bible study time helps us get fresh insight into scripture and equips us to be daily studying the Word for ourselves.
3. Our prayer time is a practical expression of care for one another. Also, as we pray for our neighbors who don't yet know Jesus, it is a time for us to link arms on mission together.
I don't expect that each small group meeting is going to be a profound, life changing experience. However, I do believe that over time, God will use these gatherings to build us closer together with one another and as we experience that, our experience of Him, will grow.
So how can we prepare ourselves to get the most out of our small group time?
1. Pray for the people in your small group on a daily basis.
2. Read the Scripture that we are going to be study ahead of time and come ready to share thoughts and ask questions.
3. Invite out a friend as we want these times to be open for anyone.
4. Come on time.
5. Stay late.
Enjoy your small group this week!
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