“Get in a Group”. That is a statement I heard, and even encouraged others to do lots in my life. As I continue to walk it out in my personal life I continue to see the incredible gift that life in community is.
For my family and me, we moved here recently with no connections before joining Beulah. Everything and everyone was new. Getting in a Group has changed that. Within a matter of 3-months we had gone from not knowing who to call if needed, to wondering how we are going to make schedules work to share in life with so many people we have met.
And it has all happened through group life.
It is the place to intentionally grow with others, to share in all of life, beyond an hour or two, to share in celebrations, and more. For example, without us asking, our group surprised us and celebrated my kids’ birthdays at one of our gatherings, knowing we were missing our extended family to celebrate. They became the extended family. And, of course, our group is the place where we support each other in the hard moments.
Life in a group with other followers of Jesus is life as Jesus intended it to be.
I am continually reminded through group life about how much more Church is than our weekend gatherings. Rather, it is the people of Jesus continuing to meet, to share all of life together, to be “an other-worldly people” (see I Peter 2:9-10) that the world looks at and sees contagious love and kindness, sacrifice and compassion for anyone we come in contact with.
Being in a Group is a vital practice because, for me personally, it keeps me from being a consumer of Jesus. That may seem an odd statement, but it is easy to come and hide and consume a product of “church” on Sunday and then carry on with my life.
Yet, as I continue to read about Jesus I am reminded of the call in John 13 to love each other, and it is because of our love of each other that the world will know we are with Jesus. You can’t love people you don’t know. So the love found in sharing life through Groups is a way we show the world we belong to Jesus.