After becoming a Christian in 1981, I immediately began to attend Sunday School. [Garden Path: It was a Single Adults Sunday School and was, in fact, where I got to know this wonderful man to whom I have now been married for almost 29 years.]
School is defined in Merriam-Webster as an organization that provides instruction. So, in Sunday School we were instructed on God’s Word. And, from time to time there were activities for the members of our Sunday School class.
For many years, I continued to attend Sunday School until one day the term “Sunday School” was replaced with “Small Group”. The core concept was the same; that is, to learn more about God and His plans for us. And, from time to time there were activities for the members of our “Small Group”.
“Small Group” evolved into “Care Group” – a more appropriate name that captured the fact that we all cared about one another while learning more about God and how He wants us to live our life. We truly cared about one another through pray, laughter, and tears. And, our “Care Group” sponsored events and activities.
Not too long ago, “Care Group” was replaced with “Life Group”. At first I thought great, another change - why? After all, we are the same group of people worshiping God and caring about one another – exactly what was described by the “Care” in “Care Group”.
But then, upon deeper reflection and a discussion with a very special person, it dawned on me that “Life Group” better describes the purpose for the group's existence.
“Life Group” is not just for getting together once a week, wondering what the snack will be or to share prayer requests. It is not just to learn more about God and how to better apply His word in our lives. The “Life” in “Life Group” hits the nail on the head – we are a part of one another’s life! It is not a Saturday Night or Sunday Morning only relationship.
The relationship the 15 +/- of us have is strong. We have a safe environment where we can freely share what is really going on in our life and know that confidentiality is maintained. Through tough times (and we all have them) my “Life Group” has been there to encourage, support and hold me accountable and I for them. We get together as a group for game night, WII Bowling or football parties. We have fun! We enjoy one another! We are a part of each other’s LIFE! I will be so bold as to say we love one another.
Several months ago during a “Life Group” get together, a member’s daughter (who is an RN) took all of our blood pressure. I was surprised by a high read. I have never had high blood pressure. Therefore, I attributed it to excitement over the football game, anxiety in having my blood pressure taken, etc. Several weeks later she took it again and once again it was high. That got my attention! Discussing ways to reduce my blood pressure included a discussion on weight and exercise; the excess of one and lack of another – I will let you guess which is which!
I made a commitment to myself that day that things would change. And, unlike anything I would have done in the past, I shared during “Life Group” that I needed to lose weight and begin to exercise. It is not unusual for me to get a text message from someone asking how I am doing that week. My “Life Group” is a part of my spiritual and my physical life, demonstrated by their actions and words. Life would be tough without a “Life Group”.
How about you? Do you have a “Life Group”? Believers who love you no matter what? Pray, laugh and cry with you? Hold you accountable and are there for you? I sure hope so as life can sure be tough without one.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.