Summary: Relational Basis for Group Ministry
THE VALUE OF COMMUNITY – PART III
The Spiritual Basis for Group Ministry
Series Text: Acts 2:46-47 - Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,  praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
We are on Message # 3 today on the Value of Community.
We have looked at the Biblical Basis for Group Ministry and looked at the examples of Jesus and His Disciples, as well as The Early Church.
And last week we examined the Spiritual Basis for Group Ministry as a foundation for Discipleship, Evangelism and Outreach, as well as Accountability.
Today, we are going to take a look at:
THE RELATIONAL BASIS FOR GROUP MINISTRY
The growth and spiritual health of a church is based on relationships.
The first relationship that must be kept vibrant and growing in the life of any Christian is of course the relationship between God and man. The very reason Christ came into the world 2,000 years ago was to restore this relationship that had been broken because of the sin of Adam and Eve.
It is so easy to miss the greatest point ever made to mankind, and it is that God wants to have a relationship with us – PICTURE OF CHILD PLAYING WITH BOX AT CHRISTMAS -
The following verses bring out the fact that God desired then to have a relationship with mankind:
Genesis 3:8-9 - Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the da y, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"
These verses show God’s desire to have fellowship with us. They also show why we are afraid to have fellowship with him. Adam and Eve hid from God when they heard him approaching. God wanted to be with them, but because of their sin they were afraid to show themselves.
Sin had broken their close relationship with God, just as it has broken ours.
But Jesus Christ, God’s Son, opens the way for us to renew our fellowship with him. God longs to be with us. He actively offers us his unconditional love. Our natural response is fear because we feel we can’t live up to his standards. But understanding that he loves us, regardless of our faults, can help remove that dread.
As we said, God ACTIVELY offers his unconditional love to us, and before we were even able to come to Him, He came to us! The theme for today’s Womens Ministries Day is “Living Life Intentionally” and one of the points that is made in their message theme is that “God Is Intentional”.
He created us for relationship with Him and to share in the eternal Kingdom of peace and righteousness that He is forming. Because of humanity’s rebellion against God, sin has broken that relationship, but God was very intentional in making a way for that bond to be restored!
Nothing He has done for us has been accidental, or as a secondary thought, or even plan B. When He sent His son, Jesus, into the world to live as the perfect man, die on the cross for our sins, and be raised from the dead to conquer death, God was saying in essence, I STILL want to have a relationship with you… and I MEAN IT!
I like the next statement that is made in that message, and it is that “God not only wants something FROM us, but FOR us!
John 10:10 – “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
The “more abundant” life is a life of Godly relationships, starting first of all, of course with Christ Himself.
A right relationship with God will in turn lead to right relationships with people around us, especially our brothers and sisters in the Lord. When our lives are not right with God, we seek to distance ourselves not only from Him, but also from the very people who love and care for us.
When we find ourselves at distance, and at odds with our family members, we must realize there is no way we can be close to our Father.
I believe today that Group Ministry is first of all:
I. A REMEDY FOR LONELINESS
I realize that the majority of us that are here today may not recognize this as a need in our own lives. Most of us enjoy healthy relationships with our families, and have many friends around to just “be there” in times of need.