Summary: God's call to community
Small is the New Big
God understands the power of simplicity.
Authentic Relationships require…
Fellowship-before God created the heavens and the earth, he existed in eternity in community with himself. (Trinity)
Unity (John 17:20-23)
Jesus prayed for such unity to exist among his followers because our unity reflects the reality of Christ and causes the world to believe in him.
Jesus says in these verses, “as much as you (God) have loved me. You will never know how much God loves you until you know how much God loves Jesus.
Humility (Phil. 2:4-7)
Jesus recognized that his equality with God but he willingly surrendered that equality for the benefit of mankind.
Humility is rooted in the greatest commandment given in all of Scripture. We are to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. To be humble means we seek God first in all things and others follow after that. We seek to help others before ourselves.
In community you will find Family
the heart of God is all about family first values. His 1st commandment to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply…Jesus final commandment to his disciples before ascending to the Father was…be fruitful and multiply (go and make disciples) they were the same commandment. In essence, God said start a family, jesus said-start a family!
Being part of a family means you remain faithful.
Being Part of a family means being in an environment that allows you to both serve and fail
It’s all about commitment!
The local church is so much more than a weekly gathering; it is more than an event. The local church is a place to belong. It is easy to view the local church and small groups as an event, as something to do, as something to go to, rather than someone to be. At some point, you will need to make a decision that this church is where you belong, this is where God has called you to, this is where you feel loved, accepted and this is where you commit yourself to.
In community, you will find CONNECTION.
The priority (Mark 3:13-14)
Following Jesus’ temptation in the desert, he returns to his hometown, goes to church and preaches while finding and calling disciples. He called several men to be with him but in Mark we find that he prays for them all and God reveals who he wants to be with him.
The Practice (John 14:8-9)
Jesus committed himself to the disciples everyday and the disciples did the same. They did life together. Bible study, ministry, meals, stand up comedy, healings, etc.
The Persistence (Luke 24:13-31)
Following Jesus resurrection, he appears to two men who are discussing his death. He reveals his identity and utilizes Scripture to point to his own reality and identity. So, one of the 1st things Jesus does following his own resurrection is join a small group!
It’s all about Discipleship.
1 John 1:7 –if is the condition. If we are living for Jesus, then fellowship is the natural overflow because a true love for God pours into a love for his people. There is a direct connection between our walk with God and our relationship with other believers.
In community, you will be Transformed.
Growth (2 Pet. 1:5-8)
The reason we do community is because we are designed for community and we cannot function properly without it. Our faith unlocks the key for living for God which results in loving one another.
The Westminister Statement of Faith says this, “The Chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” If our ultimate purpose in life is to bring God the most glory and God existed in eternity in community and we are created in his image and invited to imitate him, that would mean, we glorify God when we are together!
Gifts (Eph. 4)
God has given us all gifts to use for his purpose and to advance his kingdom. We are gifted to serve and to glorify God.
It’s all about Discovery!
In community, we discover our gifts and identity in Christ and we discover his purpose in placing us where we are.
In community, you will be Loved!
Community is a powerful witness to the world that Jesus loves us and Jesus loves them.
The 3 terms I am going to use comes from John 21:15-17 (Inclination-involvement-intimacy)
When Jesus asked Peter do you love me, the term for love was “Agape” which meant intimate love. Peter’s response was “Phileo” which meant brotherly love or he was fond of Jesus.
The 3rd time Jesus asked peter, “Do you Phileo me?” he was saying, in essence, are you really fond of me, Peter? Peter’s response to this was “you know all things, you know I love you.” Now, the Greek term for know was Ginoskis which meant to know by experience. So Peter was saying, Jesus I have you shown you my love. I have lived it out for you. You know the answer to that question by your own experience.