“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods they gave to anyone as they had need. 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.” (Acts 2:42-47 NIV)
April and I began attending community group 18 years ago at a large church in Minnesota. Our desire was to meet people and build new friendships. God taught us that it is much more than just meeting people and there is great value to biblical fellowship. It is a great place to make friends, learn more about Christ and live life with other believers. Group is a place where you can walk through tough trials and people will rally around you. It’s a place where people will listen and pray for the things going on in your life. It is also a place to grow in humility, to serve others, and to love one another as we are called.
One of our favorite ways to fellowship at group is by gathering around a table to share a meal. People relax and use the time to share about their family, hobbies, jobs, and other personal details. While breaking bread there is often laughter and time for telling stories. It allows everyone to get to know one another on a very personal level.
While discussing God’s word the relationships that are being built grow even deeper. When the Bible is at the center of the discussion, we gain the knowledge of God’s word. It is our source of encouragement or correction in those moments. Sharing experiences and examples of what God has taught or revealed to others, has helped us grow in applying those truths to our own lives.
In a world that is so far from God and people are feeling disconnected, groups provide a place where we can link arms, put our shields together and boldly go forward spreading the gospel. Groups allow us to encourage one another through the ups and downs of life. When one of the members needs help the group acts as a family. We have experienced this first hand through meals delivered to our family, prayers, watching our children, support through several deaths within our family, celebrating the births of both our children, and strong arms during several moves.
Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for the gift of fellowship within groups. It is our prayer that everyone who attends The Point will join a group and experience your love through their church family. In Jesus’ name; amen