Community Groups: A Testimonial
The vast majority of the most impactful, formative moments in my discipleship have come in or as a result of a small group.
Now, as a preacher, you might assume that I am prone to hyperbole. And you would be right. But in this case, my tendency to exaggerate is irrelevant. I’ve thought long and hard about that opening sentence and have found it to be true. Small groups have been the most visible and obvious tool God has used to grow me in grace in recent years.
The unhurried and deliberately inefficient discipline of believers meeting in someone’s home during the week to eat meals together, pray with one another, study the Scriptures together, encourage one another, and hold each other accountable has benefitted me in innumerable ways. I never feel closer to God than when I gather with His people to share life in an intimate setting. And I’ve never felt more connected to the family of God than when I practice regular (and sometimes messy) Christian community.
It’s been the uncomfortable process of holding one another accountable for sin that has stimulated my spiritual growth (and not to mention pastoral concern for others).
It’s been the blessing of serving others and being served by others that has taught me to be a little less self-obsessed and self-sufficient.
It’s been the intrusive texts, calls, and visits from rightly concerned brothers and sisters in Christ that God has used to stir me up to love and good works, to encourage me, and to lead me away from sin and to the Savior (see Hebrews 10:23–31).
It’s been the kindness of God displayed in the lives of other disciples that has impacted my family in more ways than I could possibly realize or count.
Please don’t read what I’m not writing. I am not arguing that attending a Community Group makes you more spiritual than someone who doesn’t. But I am arguing that learning to live life in radical Christian community will benefit you in a multitude of surprising ways.
You are going to hear a lot more about Community Groups in the coming weeks and months. You will hear biblical rationale and practical arguments for this new strategy. But I wanted to start with testimony. God has employed this intimate pathway for discipleship to my life with dramatic benefit. And I believe He will do it for you, too.
Community Groups start on January 19th.