“…spiritual formation occurs primarily in the context of community…” – Joseph H. Hellerman
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (43) And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. (44) And all who believed were together and had all things in common. (45) And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. (46) And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, (47) praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” – Acts 2v42-47
We believe that the best thing for you, is to join a Life Group.
So this Sunday we are starting a 2 part Preaching Series called Life Together, focusing on how Harbour City is Building Community and Making Disciples through Life Groups.
For those of you new to our Church, a Life Group is a small group of around 12 people, who meet regularly to share their lives and grow in their faith.
You see, we believe that Church is not just a Sunday event you attend, but a family together on mission. And as Harbour City spreads out around the City after our Sunday Gatherings, we also meet in each others homes each week in these smaller groups to practice being the people of God. We do this by gathering to study the Bible, Pray, Worship, take Communion together, eat meals, celebrate life, welcome in new people, preach and live out the Gospel, serve one another and grow as disciples of Jesus.
As our Church keeps growing, and more people become part of the Harbour City family, these Life Groups become more and more important to see people known, connected, cared for, challenged and growing as a part of the community. You see, as much as we all need a personal relationship with Jesus to grow as followers of Jesus, we also need personal relationships with each other, because:
Proverbs 27v17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
You see, Jesus teaches us that to grow spiritually, we must be connected relationally. For Christians being deeply connected in relationships in the Church isn’t just an optional extra. It is a necessity.
Life Groups are a space for our Church to do things that we don’t get to do in our bigger gathering on Sundays:
1) Opportunity for greater intimacy in Relationships:
Each week our groups create an opportunity for us to share with one another what is going on in our lives. If we believe that the Church is Family, we should be sharing about the good and bad, what is happening in our lives, what big decisions we are making and struggles we are going through, as well as the good things of life (the pregnancies, engagements, promotions, family victories). In the group should be the opportunity to pray for one another and encourage one another.
How do we know when you’ve found community?
“When people know who you are and miss you when you are not there.” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
2) Opportunity for Discussing what has been taught:
Our Life Group meetings involve teaching, Q&A, discussion and interactive moments where each person can talk, ask questions, share the relevance of the passage to their lives, and give testimonies of how the Spirit is speaking to them through the scriptures.
3) Opportunity to Care for one another more personally:
Harbour City is already too big for any one person to know everything that is going on with everyone in the Church. That’s one of the reasons we have Life Groups. In our groups people can build strong relationships, and be known. In these smaller groups there is the opportunity for care, and for people and sin and suffering to not slip through the cracks of a bigger Church. Life Group is a place where we can love each other, with the same love and service we have experienced from Jesus, and obey the 50+ One Another commands found in the New Testament with each other.
4) Opportunity to Eat a Meal together:
There is something powerful and profound about sitting around a table, and eating together with people. Jesus did a lot of his ministry around Dinner Tables as people ate and hung out. Each group is different, and some will do meals together every week. Some, once a month. But this is a key habit for us as a Church, and a powerful way to get to know others and live out the idea of Family.
If you still need convincing. Jesus practiced the Life Group model.
For 3 years, he lived his entire life with 12 disciples who got to see his life up close, and watch Him embody the Gospel in the good and bad seasons in life. These men served God together, grew together, loved one another, ate together, challenged each other, and would go on to serve and transform our world.
Life change happens in Life Groups.
We believe one of the best decisions you can make at the start of 2018 is to be part of a Life Group. Come and join us on 23 January at 18:30 for our Life Group Relaunch Party. We’re going to celebrate getting back together after the Holidays, launch new groups, and help others to get connected into family.