4 Reasons LIFE Groups Are So Vital to You
Today I want us to consider the habit of Groups. You may wonder why we place so much emphasis on LIFE Groups. In fact, we often say that, “LIFE Groups are the life blood of GNG.” Why are LIFE Groups so vital to GNG?
- God Wants Us To Be A Part Of His Family.
“God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)
Every human being has been created by God. But not everyone is a part of His family. The only way to get into God’s family is by being born into it. It’s what Christians call being “born again”. I Peter 1:3 (LB) says, “… it is His boundless mercy that has given us the privilege of being born again, so that we are now members of God’s own family.”
So, how do we become “born again”? By placing our faith in Jesus Christ, admitting our sins and asking God for forgiveness, being baptized, and committing our lives to Him.
- Our Spiritual Family Is Forever.
Our spiritual family is more important than our physical family. That may sound strange, but it’s true. Our physical families are temporary and fragile. They can be broken by distance, divorce, conflict, abuse, old age, and, inevitably, death. However, our spiritual family (our relationship to other believers) will continue for all eternity. It’s a bond that runs deeper than blood.
- Being A Part Of A Spiritual Family Enables Me To Grow.
The Bible sets forth a number of character attributes that are present in the life of growing Christians. It refers to them as the “fruit of the Spirit”.
“… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
Look closely at this list of attributes – love … patience … kindness … goodness … faithfulness … gentleness … self-control. You simply cannot develop these attributes in a vacuum. You can’t develop love, patience or kindness in isolation. I need to be in close connection with others to learn goodness, gentleness and self-control. Joy and peace are better when they are shared with those we love. The church family is the classroom for learning how to get along with others. It is a laboratory for practicing unselfish, sympathetic love. It may seem easier to be good or holy when no one else is around to frustrate me. But that is a false, untested goodness. Isolation breeds deceitfulness – it’s easy to fool myself into thinking I’m mature if there’s no one to challenge me. Real maturity shows up in relationships. We need other believers around us in order to grow.
- LIFE Group Is Where I Can Be Truly Known.
We believe that “GNG must grow LARGER and SMALLER at the same time”. GNG must continually grow LARGER in our worship gatherings because we are constantly reaching out to people who are far from God. But, it’s very easy to remain anonymous in a large group of people, to get lost in the crowd. Simply attending our Sunday worship gatherings is not enough. That’s why we must grow SMALLER at the same time by incorporating every attendee into a LIFE Group.
LIFE Group is where we shed our anonymity and get down to the business of knowing others and becoming known. It’s where that sense of belonging resides, deep friendships develop, support, encouragement and accountability occur. We all need these things to grow and mature.
Many people in our culture say that they love Jesus but they aren’t interested in the church. Unfortunately, these people have failed to grasp what drove Jesus to leave heaven, come to the earth, live as a human being and die for our sins. Ephesians 5:23 (NIV) says:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
If I truly love Christ, then I will love those he loved – the church. He wants me to be in regular, close community with other believers so I can develop the skill of loving. Is GNG perfect? No. Is it made up of flawed, sinful, imperfect people just like me? Yes. And I need to be passionately involved with my church family. I need to be committed to my spiritual brothers and sisters in reality, not just in theory. God wants me to love real people, not ideal people. I could spend my entire lifetime looking for the ideal church. But, it doesn’t exist. I’m called to love imperfect sinners, just as Jesus did when He left heaven and came to earth.
So, if you’re not already in a LIFE Group, let me encourage you to join one as soon as possible. We have a wide variety of groups that meet on different days throughout the week. To find out more about LIFE Groups call the Church Office at (937) 393-5383 or email us and we’ll be happy to help you get plugged-in.
Remember: “You are a member of God’s very own family … and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.” Ephesians 2:19 (LB)