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Life Groups - What Do I Bring To the Table?

LIFE GROUPS – WHAT DO I BRING TO THE TABLE?
Sunday, August 23rd – Lindsay Balazer

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us from any difficulty life can throw at us.”
-- Tim Keller

God is community: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Genesis 1:26 we read, “Then God said ‘Let us make mankind in OUR image, in OUR likeness.’”

We weren’t made to be alone. We have our different roles within community.

In the new testament.. “One another” is two words in English, but it’s only one word in Greek: ἀλλήλων (ah-LAY-loan) It’s used 100 times in 94 New Testament verses. 47 of those verses give instructions to the church.

In looking at these One Another verses, there are three themes that emerge: Unity, Love and Humility.

UNITY

God desires for us to live in unity with one another: One third of the one-another commands deal with the unity of the church.

Acts 2:42-47  & Acts 4:32-35 (The “One Another” Verses)

We see the early church living a common life, in unity with one another. Not only do they have “everything in common” and common purse, but they enjoy the favor of one another. As we look at what they were doing, we can see they were devoted to teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer. They met daily, ate together and praised God together.

This is what a life group does: Sharing your life in this kind of way with the people you see around you right here and now.

LOVE

God so strongly desires for us to LOVE one another that it is part of the Greatest Commandment (Matt 22: 36-40). One third of the One Another verses instruct Christians to love one another.

A few ways stand out as unique to the fellowship of believers.

  1. They were all in.
  2. When you’re “all in”, God is able to do powerful things through us because of our love and unity.
  3. Our love for one other can create opportunities for powerful expressions of generosity, compassion, and care for all.

HUMILITY

Transforming love and authentic unity can only be achieved with a spirit of humility. That’s why about 15% of these ah-lay-loan verses stress an attitude of humility and deference (or humble submission) among believers.

The early acts church had a different economy, a different kind of life from others at the time and certainly different than ours now. Life Groups are about this kind of Life – a life where we can experience and practice love, vulnerability, safety, and joy.

THE TABLE
This Table is a central part of our reflection as we share our representative meal together. We bring ourselves to this table to acknowledge our great need for each other and also express gratitude for the blessed fellowship in Christ. We come to the table as a diverse group of people united in Christ, sharing in His love, and serving each other in. The table is also where we gather with friends for fellowship.

At the dinner table children learn the art of making conversation -- how to take turns listening and talking and how to put their ideas into words. Even the vocabulary increases as they learn new words and new ideas from others in the family.” 
-- Fred Rodgers

Meeting and being together, sharing food and time, gives us new words and ways to look at how to face and talk about the complexities of our lives. It makes a space to share who we are and also learn more about others. Its also, where, over time the way we see things changes.

We come together in community at church, like this morning; however, I believe we are called to do more than just Sunday mornings together, I believe we are called to do “life together.” We are called to truly know and love one another.

PRACTICAL TIPS

ATTEND TODAY’S LIFE GROUP FAIR

JOIN A LIFE GROUP

HAVE DINNER - If your “one step closer” is not yet engaging in a life group. Find a family or some friends or even someone new to go to dinner with and share a meal. Appreciate the depth of “coming to the table”.

SERVE – Meet others, invest in your local church, get connected!

 
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