6 Ways Gospel Communities Are Helpful For An Individual
Gospel communities are built on the truth of the gospel. The truth that the gospel truly saves and restores people to God and brings them into God's family. Gospel Communities are a place where people grow as disciples of Jesus, while growing to make disciples of Jesus.
We are doing a mini blog series on Gospel Communities, (Theological Foundation, GC for an Individual, GC for a Family, GC for a church) to better educate anyone to why we believe GC's are vitally important for anyone and everyone.
Mini Blog Series:
- Theological Foundation: The Church Church Not On Sunday
- GC for an Individual: 6 Ways Gospel Communities Are Helpful For Individuals
- GC for a Family (2 Blog Posts): In Sickness And In Health, Desperation And The Love Of Discipleship Groups; How Is A Gospel Community A Safe Place For My Family? (Coming Soon)
- GC for a Church: (Coming Soon)
How are Gospel Communities Helpful To An Individual?
Gospel Communities are more then a small group or bible study or a weekly hangout. Gospel Communities are one of the primary places for community, discipleship, mission and worship to happen in everyday life. At Redeemer Church we believe Gospel Communities are important to someone's growth as a Christian and here is our 6 reasons why.
I met Jesus about 10 years ago, and it was through the relationships I built with a few Christians that help cultivate the relationship I have with Jesus today. But it was through these relationships with Christians that taught me why being apart of a family was so important.
1. Pushed To Grow Deeper In Love With Jesus
When I first came to know Jesus, my first thought was that all my questions and issues would be answered. That however is not the life of a Christian, questions are still constant and our personal issues still happen all the time. But the great part about being in a community of believers is that I was pushed to grow deeper in my understanding of the gospel and pursue my relationship with Jesus.
True discipleship and growth happens when you're around other people. I would look around the community I was a part of and see men and women that would grow deeper in love with Jesus everyday. It wasn't that they figured out something new and exciting that I didn't already know, it was just that their relationship with Christ was growing daily by the time they spent with Him. When you're in a community and you see people growing personally closer to Jesus, it pushes you to pursue your own relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. I Can't Hide My Sin
Over the years I learned that sin is fun, but it isn't helpful at all. Sin destroys friendships, relationships and personally isolates yourself from others that can help you fight against sin. And it is sin that ultimately separates us from God. Sin always over promises but always under delivers on its promises.
When you are in community you cannot hide your sin. Those who share life with you get to know your struggles and ungodly desires, and when you want to isolate yourself to hide your sinful behavior it is the community that is called to pursue you, pray for you and call you into repentance.
3. I'm Able To Learn How To Serve Others Better
Paul says in Philippians 2:3, "Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." As a young man, I read this and struggled to know how I could do what Paul calls Christians to count others more significant than ourselves. Then I realized later on in life that only when Christians realize where their identity truly lies, only then can they humbly count others more significant than themselves.
In a community I witnessed people constantly serving one another to bless one another and it wasn't for any other reason then just blessing one another. I wanted to grow in blessing others, because I saw the great impact this type of care did for a community of people. In a Gospel Community, you learn that your community is a place to bless others and also know that you will be blessed.
4. I'm A Part Of A Family
Have you noticed within our culture that there are a lot of individuals trying to live life by "the beat of their own drum?" What I mean is that our culture has done a terrible job at training us to believe that we are more significant then we really are and that our identity as a human being is based off a popularity contest we all seem to be a part of.
When I joined a Gospel Community, I realized that these people were not just people I saw once a week but these people were a family to me. Through this community I was taught how to truly be a part of a family. Families see each other often, they talk to one another often, they care for one another often, and last but not least families don't allow individuals to fall away from community ever, they will pursue that person because they care and love them.
5. I Can Learn From Others
Have you ever had a moment in your life where you thought you knew more then most people? I know for a long time I would always think to myself how much more I know about life then the next person. But as I grew in my knowledge as a Christian I realized that the life that Jesus calls me to is a life of repentance and learning. Learning from my short comings and learning from just everyday moments in my life and from those around me.
We each individually are very different. We experience things in life differently. This is the same within a Gospel Community. Community has so many different elements to it that we all seem to enjoy uniquely. As an individual I am able to see others enjoy community differently and learn from others experiences. When people within my community get excited about something Jesus is teaching them, I am able to learn from their experience. We are all constantly learning and continuing to grow as Christ followers, so being in community there is a wonderful opportunity to learn from others and grow as a Christian.
6. Being Missional Is Not Something I Do, But Who I Am
Did you know Christians have a mission statement from God himself? Read Matthew 28:18-20 and you will see this mission statement. Those who are found in Christ now have a new identity, an identity that does not come from within ourselves but an identity that comes from God Himself. From this identity we are called as followers of Christ to live in a way that points to Jesus. We are called to be in our world as showing off the wonderful truth of Jesus Christ.
Here is a quote from a church in Tacoma about being missionaries: "In, John 20:21-22, Jesus commissioned His disciples to go before He ascended to the Father. Jesus was sent to show off the Father. He did the job flawlessly. He perfectly showed the love of the Father, inaugurated His kingdom by caring for the “least of these”, and demonstrated the Spirit’s power by the proclamation of His kingship. Now, Jesus continues to reveal God to the world, but He is doing so through His people by the Spirit’s power. - Soma Blog"
You can see clearly that being on mission is not something we go and do from time to time but being on mission is just who we are. We live out our identity in Jesus through everyday interactions with this world pointing to the savior of the world.
So now you can see why Gospel Communities are so helpful for an individual. The whole reason we call people to be apart of a GC is because we believe that these groups will help people grow more like Christ and help others meet Christ. If you are an individual I recommend you get into one, you don't know what you're missing until you try.