Summary: God has designed us to live in community with others and we can only fulfill his designs when we commit to small group ministry in our lives.
How Thinking Small Leads to BIG Results
August 28/29, 2004
God has designed us to live in community with others and we can only fulfill his designs when we commit to small group ministry in our lives.
• People who are not involved in a small group will be motivated to join one.
• People who are involved will be re-energized to invite new people and multiply their group for the sake of the Kingdom.
WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME
Making your way in the world today
takes everything you’ve got
Taking a break from all your worries
sure would help a lot
F E Am D
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you wanna go
G A C D
Where everybody knows your name
G A C D
And they’re always glad you came
You wanna be where you can see
That troubles are all the same
Bm C D G
You wanna be where everybody knows your name
You remember this song, don’t you? It was of course, the theme show for “Cheers” – a fictional bar in Boston where the regulars developed relationships with each other that gave them strength in the hard times of their lives.
I think one of the reasons this show lasted so long and is so popular in reruns is the simple idea of it’s theme song. Sometimes you just wanna go where everybody knows your name and everybody is glad you came.
Let me tell you something – here at Christ the King we think this need that people have to know others and be loved and accepted for who they are is one of our basic needs as a human being. It’s one of those things that people in our culture – especially in a Navy town – are starving and thirsting for. I believe that all of us, to some degree or another, has a need for community with others – and that need for community has been created by God in each of us.
The reality is this: God wants us to live in community with other people – and especially with other believers. He knows that when we live just on our own, without interaction with others on a meaningful level, that something in us just slowly shrivels up. And he has given us a blueprint to discover the type of community that each of us longs for.
A few years ago I did a thorough search of the New Testament to find exactly what it had to say about what God’s church (his people) are supposed to be doing.
My search led me to about 50 important passages about what the church is all about, which fell into 5 broad categories: EVANGELISM, DISCIPLESHIP, SERVICE, WORSHIP, and FELLOWSHIP.
The most common one? FELLOWSHIP – which comes from the Greek word “koinonia” meaning “sharing in common”. In other words, fellowship is the building of relationships with other Christians.
In fact as you look at the 50-some scriptures about the nature of the church, you find 21 “one another commands” in the NT which instruct disciples of Jesus how they are to relate with other disciples. The overarching command is to LOVE one another, which is found in
John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
But that LOVE is shown through the other 20, which include…
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature ; rather, serve one another in love.
In today’s busy culture – how can we possibly live out these commands? The best way I know is by investing time in relationships with a small group of people who are dedicated to living out these commands!
Love is spelled TIME. We will never grow to love people that we don’t know. Most of us will never be motivated to serve another person, or forgive them, or submit to them or encourage them if we don’t know them! Let’s face it – the large group setting of a worship service is great for experiencing God’s presence and hearing the word of God taught – but it is very difficult to really get to know other people in a large group setting.