Gospel Communities Are For Families
Gospel communities are built on the truth of the gospel that saves and restores people to God and brings them into His family as a group of people commissioned by King Jesus to go into the entire world and make disciples of all nations—starting right in our own city and neighborhoods as GCs on mission for Jesus. Gospel Communities is 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)
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?
- GC for a Church:
How Is A Gospel Community A Safe Place For My Family?
What is the first thought that comes to you when you hear the word family? Your brain probably thought of mom or dad. Or if you were unfortunate not to have a mom or dad you probably thought of siblings or close friends. In any case, you probably think of someone close to you that you share life with, that will be there for you no matter what and visa versa. When you're that close to someone you have this great bond between each other that you know not many things can separate your relationship.
Gospel Communities Are For Families
Personally, I believe our world thinks of the term family in a very shallow way. We all struggle in someway with the idea, "what can the family bring me?" The "Me" attitude comes ultimately from sin. We think that our family is supposed to bring "Me" joy. In most cases, a healthy family does give joy to its members. The biblical picture of a family shows parents are to care, protect and teach their children. Children know that their parents will be there for them as they grow up into manhood or womanhood. God created this social structure for two reasons. First, He desires to show off the relationship between Jesus Christ and His church. Second, to bring stability to people. When we see families broken apart by sin we see everyone affected because this is not how families are naturally designed to work.
The reason I have given so much time explaining the term family is because of the hope we have for Gospel Communities within our church. Our hope is that these groups of people continue to pursue the "other" oriented plan and care for one another while learning to care for those who do not yet know Jesus. You see, Gospel Communities are one of the primary ways within the church that we see biblical family played out in our lives. These groups of people are called to care for one another, serve one another and protect one another. Gospel Communities are called to be a family of people living life together, pursuing to build one another up in the gospel while pursing others who do not know Jesus.
First Hand Account
Our hope for these different blog posts we have written is to give everyone an idea to why Gospel Communities are so important. We want people to understand the importance to joining one and committing to the family. Here is a first hand account of one family's story of how Gospel Communities were and are helpful for their family.
When we arrived at Redeemer, we were doing our best to heal from losing our church family in North Carolina. The leadership at our former church pushed us out of the church and misrepresented us in the process. We felt betrayed by the very people with whom we shared our lives. We arrived in Washington with a lot of baggage (and we aren’t referring to what was in our trailer). Our trust in the Church had been shaken and we had a firm mistrust of leadership.
Hebrews 3:12-14 says, "Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end."
God used Gospel Communities at Redeemer in a major way to protect us from unbelieving and hardened hearts. At times, we were being exhorted by someone from Redeemer every day. We were invited to three GC’s our first week in Washington. When we joined one, we were welcomed with open arms of love and encouragement. Our GC became our family in Washington. This was purely God’s grace toward us. This family gently cared for our fragile hearts and souls. When we felt like we had no ability or even desire to minister to God’s people, they selflessly and sacrificially served us. Redeemer’s leadership and our GC provided us with the Gospel-saturated safety and time we desperately needed for healing.
To a large degree, our GC at Redeemer has restored our trust in God’s gracious gift in His people. Their love and care for us has restored our desire to love and serve the Church.
At the end of the day the end result for anything is that we want people to grow more in love with Jesus and look more like Him all the time. We want people to grow in greater knowledge of their identity in Jesus and allow their identity to impact everything in their lives. The place where we believe this happens best is within a Gospel Community. You see, Gospel Communities are not a Bible study or a small group. Gospel Communities are groups of people that share life together, learn together and pursue others to help them understand who Jesus is and why he is so sweet. When you're that close to people within your Gospel Community you have this great bond between each other that you know nothing can separate your relationship with them because of Jesus Christ's perfect sacrifice and His forever shaping of our hearts.