Have you ever gone to the grocery store thinking you only needed a couple things, so you skipped grabbing a basket or cart, only to get inside and realize you needed more than you thought? I’ve often been “that guy,” balancing a strange stack of items, dropping cans and loaves of bread with every step. In the Christian life, deep relationships with other believers are like baskets and carts in the grocery store.
It may not surprise you that I have been profoundly impacted by sermons and musical worship throughout my Christian journey. I love Sundays! But the number of sermons I can remember in any detail is miniscule. In my journey with Jesus, sermons and insights from personal study have been like groceries. If I didn’t have a way to carry them, I’d drop them before I could ever put them to use.
I was 15 when I met Joe, Paul, Andy, Joey, Cole, Zach and Zach. In our first small group, we attempted to process relationships, lust, pride, sports, broken dreams, and new hopes in light of Jesus. I doubt I’d still be walking with Jesus without brothers to help carry my strength and weakness, habits and hopes, failures and celebrations. We never said the “perfect” words nor prayed the perfect prayers, but we pushed each other to grow, represent Jesus, and apply the Bible. I owe next-to-nothing to their skill or knowledge, I owe immeasurable amounts to their companionship. For the last 20 years, I have never stopped pursuing the Lord in small, intimate communities like that first one. My relationship with Jesus depends on it.
Intimate, interactive Christian community is like a shopping cart: it enables you to carry the good stuff of the gospel along the way. Therefore, I invite you to join a cell group. Groups give us a chance to grow as we learn and pray together, carry one another’s burdens, walk through conflict and forgiveness, and serve our city. Hand soap is no help until you get it out of the store and into your bathroom. Nor is the gospel much use if you leave it in the sanctuary.
Last Sunday we introduced our newly delineated core values (The Gospel, Humility, Membership/Unity, and Generosity). You’ll hear a lot more about these, but it won’t be enough to listen to messages about them: they must be practiced. A cell group is an ideal place.
This Sunday, you’ll learn about a new wave of groups you can join. Cell Groups will start meeting next week and run through the first week of December. Can you give 12-13 weeks to build life-giving relationships with fellow believers for the sake of the world?
For Christ and his Kingdom,
Questions? contact me.