BIG IDEA: God uses other people to grow us, and He uses us to grow other people.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:24-25
Community isn’t just a nice option; it’s a need—like food, water, and shelter. God created in us a need for Him AND for other people. We are relational beings because HE is a relational being. Our community with others becomes the real world setting where we practice the love that God produces in us. God uses other people to grow us, and He uses us to grow other people.
Community can be challenging because every community group is different. Each group is made up of people with different backgrounds, experiences ,and personalities. But the very thing that makes community unique also makes it challenging, and can make it great. Jesus didn’t give us a specific system or program to grow in our relationship with Him…he gave us each other. He gave us the church—not simply a book, a sacrifice, or an example—He gave us a spiritual family to belong to.
All groups are not equal at delivering community because all relationships are not equal at providing it. Their depth is determined by how open their members are, how well the group protects and maintains trust, how well you get to know the people in your group, and ultimately how much you allow God to be at work in your midst. Your group members will have to decide: will I make treat these people as acquaintances, guests, friends, or family? For now, we want the group members to do three things to begin their journey into group:
Show Up– Make group a priority. Relationships, especially new ones, require frequent interaction.
Join In – You don’t have to do or answer everything, but give people a chance to get to know you.
Be Real – You don’t have to bear your soul, but be yourself, and go beyond the small talk.