So do I really need to be in a LIFE Group? Knowing that time is our greatest commodity, the “why” of LIFE Groups is obviously a relevant question for anyone considering taking this next step. Here are five major benefits to being in a LIFE Group.
· Relationships – As we explore God’s Word, one truth becomes clear: the gospel message is a relational message. At it’s core, the gospel is all about God doing everything necessary to reconcile us to a right relationship with Himself, and as we explore the Bible for God’s plan for how we grow and mature in this journey of faith, it becomes abundantly clear that God does not give us “programs.” He gives us people. You simply cannot grow spiritually until connected relationally.
· Relevant conversations – The amazing relevancy of God’s Word to our daily lives becomes evident as we begin discussing it in small group gatherings of people in similar stages or situations of life. We’re all on the same journey of faith. Being able to ask honest questions and share personal experiences brings huge benefits!
· Clear next steps – The focus of LIFE groups is encouraging one another to live out God’s truth. Our relevant conversations help us answer the question, “What would it look like for me to live this out?” However, the greater benefit is that, once answered, we already have a circle of friends committed to helping us take that next step of faith! We all know the value of having such a group in meeting goals such as exercise, sports, weight loss, etc. How much more in regards to spiritual growth!
· Meaningful contributions – We all have a story to share. A contribution to make. Perhaps, the greatest benefit of LIFE Groups isn’t what we receive as much as what we are able to give. We often talk about the 59 “one anothers” of the New Testament, 59 variations of commands that can only be obeyed in the context of life with “one another.” LIFE Groups, in Andy Stanley’s words, give us a place to “one another one another.”
· Fun – Let’s face it. The greatest joy of almost any journey is sharing the experience with others. As the Bible describes the community of the early church in Acts, it says, “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” That’s authentic community! Enjoying doing LIFE together!
So, what’s your next step? How can you take a step towards authentic community this week?