Have you felt that excitement and vitality of a brand-new Christian?
The Bible describes the Christian life as running a race with endurance, but that new-believer excitement can be such an encouragement to other believers that have settled into the “endurance” part of the race.
Acts describes the vitality of the brand-new church, just after receiving the Holy Spirit:
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. […] So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.
Acts 2:42, 46-47
Their lives were intertwined - they shared their possessions, their food, and their time with each other while the church grew explosively. It must have been such an exciting and uplifting time. While fellowship was only part of that, and is only part of Christian life today, it can be such an encouragement to draw alongside other believers and to run and endure together.
The church provides a way to connect with other believers.
Life groups are a tool to encourage those connections to grow deeper while at the same time each of us experiences a deeper personal growth in Christ.
It’s an investment.
It takes time every week to attend, to study and to live alongside other Christians. But the rewards, even if we don’t see them as they are happening, are worth so much more. I speak from personal experience - our lives are busy and sometimes it’s hard to take the time out of an already busy week to go to the meetings. But I also speak from personal experience that sometimes the value can only be seen in retrospect, looking back at relationships and spiritual growth over months and years.
Our brothers and sisters are experiencing life - with many of the same struggles and challenges that we are.
It may be that none of us have the answers, but it can be so uplifting to know that we aren’t alone in those struggles and to exhort each other to a deeper faith in Christ. Seeing the same people each week and over time, learning about their walk and their love for Christ, puts us in a unique place to be ministered to and to minister to others. Even if we don’t feel like we are getting something out of a given week, it may be that God is putting us in a position to minister to a brother or sister.
When the church comes together in love and unity, it can be a tremendous witness to the world around us.
People outside the church don’t always get to see Christ in us when we’re at church Sunday morning, but we have an opportunity to witness with our lives. Life groups are supposed to be just that, a bridge to connect the life in the body of Christ with our day-to-day. Love in our actions towards each other can show people that Christ is so much more to us than just a Sunday morning experience.
God prefers to use people to do His work, His ministry.
How many times throughout the Bible did God choose a flawed person in the midst of their own life struggles to glorify Him? To be His witness, His loving hands? No one can guarantee that it’s going to be a perfect experience, but why not take a step of faith and let your life be intertwined with His body?