Have you ever seen a coal or log fall away from its heat source? What happens when a coal tumbles out of the grill onto the driveway or the small log is pushed to the outside of the fire ring? The coal or the log get cold. It becomes harder for it to accomplish its mission of warming a burger or toasting a marshmallow. Without other heat sources around it, that log or coal loses its purpose.
We are the same as we follow Jesus. We need other heat sources to keep us on fire for Jesus. On our own, we can more easily grow weak or discouraged, or simply get our purpose and mission confused. However, when we regularly gather with others, we are more easily sustained and kept in alignment with God’s mission. This is why lifeGroups are a part of our strategy here at the Church. Biblically, we see people — Jesus included — living out their purpose and their relationship with God alongside others.
Today, we thank the leaders who have invested in keeping those smaller communities on fire. We honor those who give of themselves to make sure we don’t have to walk this road alone and are dedicated to keeping us aligned with God’s mission. Thank you, lifeGroup leaders. What you do matters, and your fellow leaders deeply appreciate the time and energy you pour into your groups.
In April, we are talking a lot about lifeGroups. We would love to see new commitments to lifeGroups. We also see this as a time of reflection and recommitment for those who are already in a lifeGroup community. In May, some of our lifeGroups will be launching what we are calling “Catalyst Curriculum.” These groups will be taking a close look at missional living and what it means for them as they live life together, on mission with Jesus.
In John 17, Jesus is praying to his Father, and we hear him say, “Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.” God, by his very nature, is a missional God. He sent Jesus to pursue YOU, to redeem YOU, to connect you to abundant life. The very fact that Jesus was sent to earth to seek and save the lost demonstrates that in his nature, God is a missional God, desiring to connect others to himself. And, as those who follow Jesus, we are then sent as reflections of that missional God into our world. We join Jesus, working to bring the message of redemption to a hurting world. In this Catalyst Curriculum, we seek to understand what these ideas mean. We talk about what it means that God is by nature missional and what it means for us to be called to partner with Him. We aren’t prescribed programs to follow to simply share the Gospel. Instead, we learn to see our world, and ourselves, with a new perspective and then support each other as we live out that new perspective in our everyday lives.
Perhaps you are ready to explore these ideas alongside others. We would love to connect you to a lifeGroup going through the Catalyst Curriculum. Perhaps you are a leader who is intrigued about what this would look like in your lifeGroup. Or, maybe you would love to have these types of discussions and you have some friends who might be willing to do it with you — we would love to prepare you to be a lifeGroup leader. It’s not too late to join in training! Not every lifeGroup is going to be working on this material. Other groups are going to continue to do what we are calling “Sermon Curriculum.” They gather each week to share their lives, pray together, and read and apply the scripture for the upcoming sermon that week. Are you feeling isolated in your walk with Jesus? Do you desire to learn how to read scripture and live it out in your daily life? We have lifeGroups eager to welcome you and have you grow with them.
Spring is a great reminder that God makes all things new, that he brings new life and restores the world. This spring, I encourage you to make a renewed commitment to staying “hot coals” as you follow Jesus. As always, I’d love to chat if you have questions or concerns.
Check out what some of our Catalyst Leaders had to say about Catalyst groups.