I love my church! We have awesome church services from the worship to the preaching to the coffee in the cafe. Before and after services I get to see my friends and say hello to many people. I even get to have a conversation or two in order to get the three-minute update on what’s happening in someone’s life. As a pastor, I hear about the hurts, the pain, the needs and the prayer requests. I have the privilege of praying with a few. Even though I enjoy church and look forward to each service, church just simply isn’t enough.
Quality of life as a Christian is realized in community with others.
Jesus never intended for his followers to walk the Christian life alone. He sent his disciples out in pairs, met with people in their homes for a meal and discussions, and gathered a small group of people around him. Jesus set an example for us to follow when it comes to walking out the Christian life. The example that he set was that we are to live life in community with others. The early church in the book of Acts understood this. They lived a lifestyle of being in community with other believers. They went to church together, but they also met in homes and had meals together, worshiped and served one another. The result was more and more people came to know Christ, people were cared for, needs were met, they grew in the Apostles’ teaching and their lives were filled with joy!
Throughout the New Testament there are approximately 54 verses that refer to “one another” or “each other.” These verses are there for a reason. They are there to teach us how to be in relationship with one another. If our weekly church service was enough for us to live the Christian life, most of these verses would be unnecessary. God’s desire is for us to be in community with one another so that we do not take this journey alone. Meaningful relationships simply cannot be built on a three-minute conversation in the hallway on Sunday morning.
What happens when we do life together?
In small groups we grow in relationships. Here are just a few things that can occur:
Mark 9:50…we learn to be at peace with one another.
John 13:34…we love one another.
John 13:35…we demonstrate to the world that we are His disciples.
Rom 1:12…we encourage one another with our faith.
Rom 12:5…we are united with one another.
Rom 12:10…we are devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Rom 14:19…we build one another up.
Gal 5:13…we serve one another.
Gal 6:2…we bear one another’s burdens.
Eph 5:21…we are accountable to one another.
1 Thess 5:11…we encourage one another.
Heb 10:24…we have the support to reach our potential and purpose.
I love church and we need to gather together for corporate worship, celebration and hear the word preached. However, quality of life as a Christian comes through the building of relationships beyond the superficial level. When we begin to experience this kind of community with one another, we realize the true meaning of what the love of Christ is really all about.
Keep REACHING FORWARD to the fullness of Christ in your life! You can’t do it alone! Get in community with others!