3 Dynamic Ingredients for Faith in Real Life (Do you have all three?)
Let’s talk about Intentional Biblical Community. Acts 2:42 is one of our first examples of this in the New Testament.
They spent their time learning the apostles’ teaching, sharing, breaking bread, and praying together.
This sounds a lot like our message-based groups! We spend time considering the message, sharing our highs/lows with each other, and in fellowship — often eating and praying together.
We can see the 4 Cs of groups in this verse, as well — Care, Connect, Challenge to Grow, and Celebrate.
Let’s talk about those three essential ingredients: Intentional, Biblical, and Community.
Around Worship Center, you’ll often hear: “We’re not meant to do life alone.” In fact, it was God who first said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” God designed the whole world to be connected in synergistic relationships. He started with marriage, then families, and then communities. His plan is for us to encourage each other, bear each other’s burdens, and celebrate together! Building community is a great place to start!
However, the fact is that people can experience community without God. Some communities connect around common hobbies or habits — like car enthusiasts or people who go to the same gym. These types of connections are not bad; actually, they can be a great way to connect with people and share your faith, but they are not a substitute for faith-based community. Having Intentional Biblical Community means building circles based on biblical connections, not simply connecting with others.
Lots of people have friends, even Christian friends, but being intentional about connecting faith with real life and helping others do the same is different. Having a specific time, place, and structure, including accountability and connection to church leadership, is much more intentional than simply having faith-based conversations whenever they may happen.
Our message-based small groups offer Intentional Biblical Community!
Can I be honest? It took us a fairly long time to implement this in our own lives.
For years, we led groups or classes that served others, but we were not actually in a group with peers where we could experience the 4 Cs for ourselves.
Then one day, we looked in the mirror and acknowledged we were not actually practicing what we preached. The book of James gets pretty blunt about this:
Do what God’s teaching says; when you only listen and do nothing, you are fooling yourselves. Those who hear God’s teaching and do nothing are like people who look at themselves in a mirror. They see their faces and then go away and quickly forget what they looked like. — James 1:22-24
We realized it was not enough to affirm Intentional Biblical Community as being valuable; we needed to actually do it.
So, we prayed about it, invited a few friends to group with us, and we made life-long friendships that we still cherish even though we moved to a different state!
What about you? Can we ask?
Do you agree that Intentional Biblical Community is valuable? Are you in a group?
If you are not yet in a group, here are three ways you can take that next step:
1. Build a group – Do what Eric and I did, pray about who you would want to do life with, ask them to join in with you, and then connect with us so we can support you in your group!
2. Lead a group – This option is similar to building a group, but these groups offer openings for new people to join in and not be completely filled by invitation*. There are lots of options available for you to pray about and choose your focus or leave it open. You could choose:
– a certain age group (young adults) or stage of life (empty nesters) or be intergenerational
– only men or women or offer to both
– singles, marrieds, or mixed
– To Build a Group or Lead a group, let us know, and we will set you up!
3. Join a group – Check out the groups that have openings on the Groups page.
Whether you feel compelled to build or lead a group or join a group — Intentional Biblical Community will connect your faith to real life!
*It’s always a good idea to have a few people you ask personally to join you, even if your group is open on the Groups page for others to join.