How would your life be different if you had a community of people pushing you to grow in your faith? What’s holding you back? Is it the fear of vulnerability, time commitment or thinking it’s unnecessary? The truth is God intended you to share life with other Christ followers for more than just an hour on the weekends. In the second week of our series Scoreboard, we looked at what the Bible says about building relationships, and why prioritizing biblical community will help you grow in your faith.
Last week, we discussed the importance of intentionally building relationships with others who are spiritually disconnected. We need to be intentional because studies show, the longer someone is a Christian, the less spiritually disconnected friends they have. We talked about how Jesus connected with the Samaritan woman.
This week, we continue by balancing out the conversation and discussing the importance of building relationships with other Christ followers.
Paddling on Both Sides: You need both for a balanced spiritual life. Unbalanced weight lifter or arm wrestler.
Second Marker: Relational – Prioritize Biblical community.
We see community lived out all throughout the Bible. Hebrew Scriptures… The nation of Israel is made up of a people group that were Jewish. Within this people group were small communities called tribes (12). Within the 12 tribes were even smaller communities called clans (groups of families) and in clans are individual families. Since this idea of community is built into the identity/culture of Jewish people, it only makes sense that Jesus would live in community with 12 of his disciples and had an even small group of 3 (Peter, James & John). We see this connectedness of living in community in Jesus life, also in the early church (Act 2:46) and is relevant in our lives.
We have reasons NOT to live in biblical community:
Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun. This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
Community helps make your best day even more special.
The is the story of Christopher McCandless – Into the Wild – He gave up all his possessions to enter into the Alaskan wilderness alone. I read that in one of his journal entries he shared something to the effect of, “the things he thought would be so great weren’t because he had no one to share it with.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Community helps strengthen you on your worst day.
I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through what I have without the community I found in the church.
God intended you to share your life with other Christ followers. If you are a Christ follower and aren’t involved in Biblical community, you are living an imbalanced life.
I want to look at a passage that gives us insight into biblical community.
Hebrews 10:19-22 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
The reason we were a part of those other communities is because we have things in common. The writer is telling us what unites us is Jesus and what He’s done for us (intimacy).
If you are in Christ, you have responsibilities here.
Hebrews 10:24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. “Let us consider one another to PROVOKE unto love and to good works” KVJ
Biblical Community is one of serious consideration, attentiveness and investment. It’s initiating relationships… Because we need it AND OTHERS NEED US!!!
A Sign of a Maturing Christ Follower: I pursue friendships with other believers of Jesus.
How relational are you being with other Christ followers?
How much time are you spending pursuing other Christian friends?
What are we to seriously consider and initiate?
Galatians 6:10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith.
James 5:16– Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed….
A Sign of a Maturing Christ Follower: I pray with and for my Christian friends.
Hebrews 10:25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Sign of a Maturing Christ Follower: I actively participate in Biblical Community.
We know how busy you are. We know how many things are on your schedule, especially this time of year. Summer hits and we scatter. So we are intentionally take a break over the summer from our normal Life Group pattern so we are encouraging you to join a Growth Group.
Who are you sharing your life with?
Who are you taking responsibility for?
Who are you provoking and whose provoking you?
Next Step: Prioritizing Weekends; Join a LG in September; Start a Growth Group