The Amazing Opportunity

August 23, 2022

This is one of the best times of the year. It offers us an opportunity to grow and stretch and develop the kind of lives we desire and need. It is small group kick-off time on September 11!

I want to encourage every single one of you to find a group. For others, I encourage you to become a leader of a small group. Research says that social isolation and loneliness increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, anxiety, depression, Alzheimer's disease, high blood pressure, and even early death. Small groups can be a vital way to combat those problems. But even more, small group participation is a vitally important way to transform your life spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.

Once upon a time we were a culture that centered around family. Multiple generations often lived together under one roof and when families did live separately, they never moved extremely far away. These days, we are more individualistic. We rely on ourselves. We live far away from where we were raised. Our connections with other people take place most often in the workplace, and those connections are most often shallow, short, and fickle.

This sense of individualism and disconnectedness does not escape the church. Many people are like serial daters with churches—they go to one and then another, never staying very long in one place very long. Some claim a church as their own but remain distant and on the margins, attending only when something better isn't going on. Some are committed to a church being their own, but they are not all in. Their relationships are not deep. They do not rely on the body of Christ when they are struggling or in need. They mask up, covering their pain, and pretend all is well.

Doing life on our own and prizing our independence is not part of God's way. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have enjoyed the love and fellowship of their perfect triune community from eternity past. God created humankind to enjoy that kind of community with us and each other. God said, "It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18).

Scripture is all about community. Paul Tripp says in his book, Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy, "We weren't created to be independent, autonomous, or self-sufficient. We were made to live in a humble, worshipful, and loving dependency upon God and in a loving and humble interdependency with others. Our lives were designed to be community projects. Yet, the foolishness of sin tells us that we have all that we need within ourselves. So we settle for relationships that never go beneath the casual. We defend ourselves when the people around us point out a weakness or a wrong. We hold our struggles within, not taking advantage of the resources God has given us."

Not only were we created to be in a community—we NEED it. In all of life, there is safety in numbers. There are no bears or terrorists around every corner, but there are spiritual wolves and enemies who seek to destroy our relationship with God and people. Our own sin gets us into great trouble. We need godly brothers and sisters to watch our back. We need to be connected in a community where we can all be on alert for the dangers around us.

The truth is, we really need each other. God gave us each other to walk alongside, encourage, and motivate one another. Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV says, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Small groups are one of God’s great ideas and resources for us. Join a group this fall for sure! Visit