Today’s sermon was about small groups. About becoming a part of a group of people that can encourage you in your heart issues. Encourage you in your spiritual walk.
In Matthew 15:17-19 Jesus says, “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Our pastor made the point that no matter how hard you work at your family, your job and your relationships, if you’re not working on the inside of you–everything in your life is going to be bad.
And where can we work on ourselves? The world doesn’t have anything to offer. Self-help books won’t do it. Even just going to Sunday morning church only dumps information on you. He suggests you do what Hebrews says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” (10:25a). We need to get together with people who can encourage us in our walk with God.
So, the the essence of the sermon was to get you into joining a small group this fall. I agree and disagree. I do know you can’t be a lone ranger Christian. You’ve got to have people that can say, “How’s your anger been this week?” OR “Did you keep your eyes off the bad shows this week?” But for me, that has never happened in a structured “small group”. I was in a few at our church in Birmingham and it was a place for us to hang out and talk, but it wasn’t a place that I felt encouraged in my walk.
For me, I’ve made real relationships with the people I serve with. When I set up and tear down alongside of two other girls, I form bonds. When I work on a lesson with several teachers, we share a part of our lives. Serving is what brings relationship for me. And in my experience, the parents who serve in church have the kids that serve the Lord when they are older. Kids that see their parents working for God respect them enough to follow their example. I, personally, don’t see kids understanding the spiritual need for eating dinner together once a week.
Do you do small groups? How has it affected you? Where do you find the people that can encourage you in your walk with Jesus?
Oh, and my favorite song from today’s service: