Bringing Life to Life Groups

Coming together as a corporate church body of believers on a Sunday or other times for worship is truly important. It brings into focus the larger body of Christ to center on worship and adoration to Him, to learn from the Bible, God’s Word, and to encourage one another in the faith.

At the same time, in order to be truly connected to one another and to God and to be growing in our faith, we need more than an hour on a Sunday morning. We need to be connected to one another in a real way that brings our life and walk closer together, where we can practice how to love and care for one another in significant ways.

There are significant enough examples of the practice of small groups meeting in homes and also celebrating in a larger gathering in a church in the city. An example of this is in 1 Corinthians 16:19: “The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla send you greetings warmly in the Lord, along with the church that meets in their home.”

My purpose here is not a full-blown theology of small groups, but it is significant that both in the New Testament and throughout church history, small groups played an important role in the growth and depth of the church. In a corporate church gathering on a Sunday morning, it becomes extremely difficult to have meaningful fellowship. In order to grow and multiply, we need a smaller group setting.

As we are reminded of our purpose as a church, “To love God, love others, and make disciples,” I want to continue to challenge us as a church to fulfill this purpose. But it means much more than going to a church building on a Sunday morning. To love God more, we must seek after Him with all of our heart every day and be encouraged by other believers in a setting where we see this being modeled. To love others, we need the kind of fellowship and caring that helps us really know each other and reach out to each other in tangible ways. To make disciples is more than gaining head knowledge. It is using what we know to work out our faith with one another. It means introducing people to Jesus—the only One that can save them. It means praying for each other in our struggles.

As many of you remember, our disciple-making pathway includes winning people (pursuing and persuading people to follow Jesus in word and action); building people up in the faith (following up with those new or young in the faith and helping them to mature); equipping people (training and giving people the tools to lead others to win and build); and sending the equipped to do the same (resulting in multiplying Jesus-followers for advancing the Gospel).

For this reason, we are beginning to select and equip Life Group leaders for regional areas on the Iron Range. The goal is for you to have a sense of belonging for fellowship; to inspire you to know Jesus through His Word and prayer; and to become all that God has designed you to be. This will give you the opportunity to use your gifts, to grow spiritually, and learn how to reach out to the world who needs Jesus.

We are looking forward to seeing more Life Groups get started so that more may get involved in a life-changing community that will foster growing relationships between God and one another.
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Mark Anderson