I love to walk everyday…maybe even jog half the time and walk as I build endurance. But I have to tell you that I should be a lot further along. I have the best intentions and most days it gets done. And then there are those days where I can’t because I’m not feeling well or my schedule is just crazy. Then there are those times when my motivation is lacking. See, my exercise schedule and how hard I push myself is completely up to me. No one holds me accountable. I could tell you that I went jogging Friday but if I actually watched Sportscenter for the third time you would never know.
But, if there was someone that I was doing this with everyday, then I couldn’t cheat. This is intuitive. I’m going to be stronger if I workout with a partner. And so are you. The idea that you and I can make it alone in our walk with God is completely foreign. Here’s the idea: I just want each of us to get stronger in our walk. Do you know how we get stronger in our walk? We get more involved in church, particularly a small group, Sunday school class, Bible study, or service group where you can get to know people and be known by them without putting on a veneer or façade. Smaller groups really matter.
Now some people tell me, “I tried a small group but had a really bad experience.” I’ve had bad experiences at restaurants too but that doesn’t mean I stop going to restaurants. I might not go back to that particular one, but I still eat out.
I challenge you to get in one if you’re not already. Do you know why? Because Hebrews 10:23-25 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur 1one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —& all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
I’ve been in full time min. for 19 yr.s now, do you know what the first step I see when people walk away from God? The first step people take in walking away from God is walking away from the people of God. Show me somebody who drops out of a church and the Christian community and I’ll show you someone that’s getting ready to make some serious mistakes in their life. And some of you know that because that was your story. We are called to encourage one another & challenge one another.
That has been something I’ve needed and craved at both churches I’ve served. I’ve been part of small groups that met for a long time and I became close with people. When my mom died in 2001 I felt the comforting assurance of friends and the whole church but it was my small group that gave me the care, love and attention I needed because they knew I wouldn’t put on a veneer, a mask, a façade for them. They prayed during the whole ordeal and they knew more intimately what I was going through. So are you going to live in isolation your whole life or are you going to say, “I’m not afraid to be known & try my best to know others.” See, we can’t do life alone.