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Community Groups Ain't All That

If you’ve been around Sojourn for any length of time, you’ve heard us talk A LOT about community groups. Every February and August we seek to launch new groups. Throughout the year we are actively trying to get new people plugged into existing groups. Groups here. Groups there. Groups this. Groups that. Groups. Groups. Groups. What’s the point of all these groups?

Full disclosure: community groups ain’t all that. Community groups are not the ultimate goal. They’re not the prize. Community groups are simply a vehicle we use to journey towards the destination of our goal. The groups are basically a tool. An instrument. What’s the goal? Community. Authentic community. The goal is to see people connecting with people in real relationships where they can be encouraged, built up, healed up, challenged, sought after, brought back, brought in, and restored. The goal is to see people creating safe environments where they can be authentic, take off their masks, talk about deep issues, and work through real pain together. The goal is to see people in relationships where they can rejoice and celebrate together when life is at its best. The goal is to see people walking together through the mundane routines of day-to-day life. The goal is to see people going deeper in their relationship with each other and deeper in their relationship with Jesus. The goal is community. Authentic community. Real relationships.

So let’s get personal. Who are the people you share your joys, pains, and average days with? Who are you calling when you get the promotion you’ve been hoping for? Who’s in the text thread you run to when depression and anxiety leave you crippled at your wits end and you need somebody to talk to? Who’s in your Marco Polo video chat when you’re needing to share about the stresses of raising children? Who are you emailing when God speaks to you and you just want to share it with somebody? Who are you meeting with over a good cup of coffee to talk about your relationship with Jesus? Who are you praying with? Who are you laughing with? Who are you breaking bread with around your dinner table? Who are you sitting around fire pits with? Whose birthdays are you celebrating? Who are you hanging with? Are you experiencing gospel community?

If you’re reading this and your mind is immediately picturing all the faces that you are sharing your life with, then pause for a moment and thank God. Now take another moment to daydream about what life would be like without those people. Can you imagine going through this crazy life with nobody on the other end of those calls and texts and emails? Can you imagine sitting alone in the restaurant booth with nobody on the other side of the table? Now take a third moment and thank God again because what He has provided for you is really special.

Now let me give a quick disclaimer. Our lives tend to be seasonal and our patterns often shift for one reason or another. The specific people you are experiencing community with right now may not be the people you are experiencing community with years down the road. God has called His people to live in and pursue community with other believers. We must embrace that calling and stay committed to it when friends move away or when we change jobs and move to a new city. So whether you have a deep connection with a few believers or you intentionally connect with many people, the point is that we do not do life alone. We need people.

If you’re still reading this and you feel disconnected, isolated, lonely, stranded, or desperate for friendship, please pause and take a moment to pray. Ask God directly and specifically to provide friends that you can walk with in authentic community. Now take a moment to think about the people who are in proximity to your life. Are there people around that are striving to walk with Jesus that you can try to connect with? What would it look like for you to take a courageous step and reach out to someone? Have you talked yourself out of filling out one of the “Help Me Find A Community Group” cards at the Sunday gathering time and time again? It’s time to get connected in real community. It’s time to find some people you can live out the “one anothers” of Scripture with: love one another, honor one another, build up one another, care for one another, serve one another, bear one another's burdens, forgive one another, comfort one another, encourage one another, pray for one another. This is what real gospel community looks like. It’s people going deeper in their relationships with each other and with Jesus. May God answer your prayer today and surround you with these vital friendships.

Community groups ain’t all that. They are a helpful tool to help us aim for the prize of real, authentic community. Hopefully our community groups at Sojourn are helping you discover and thrive-in gospel friendships. Life is hard. Life is crazy. Life is fun. Life is joyful. Life throws curve balls. Life is an adventure. You need people. Who are your people? Hug them close and thank God for them.

1 Comment

Debbie and rich Meddings - July 11th, 2021 at 4:42pm

Need a new CG our old one doesn’t want to get back together