Dear Christ Church,
We yearn for true connection and community. We need it and . . . it costs us.
You’ve heard the axioms: “nothing worth having or doing comes easy” or “no pain, no gain” or the wisdom of Jesus that tells us “unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a seed, but if it is buried it yields much new life!” When we hold onto life it gets destroyed, Jesus says, “But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal” (John 12:24-25, The Message).
I want to invite you further into community life through one of our groups at Christ Church. I also want to acknowledge that it will likely cost you. In an age of digitally mediated relationships, it feels costly to take the time to drive/bus/bike to an in-person meeting and back home. If you have children, it feels costly to affect their sleep schedule or evening rhythms. If you’re overwhelmed by your task list, it feels costly to give an evening to the intangible benefits of a small group.
You might be questioning my persuasion tactics at this point: “why is he leading with how hard it can be to commit to community?” Because we all feel the cost, but Jesus reassures us that accepting the cost (burying the seed) is the path to the abundant harvest of new life.
On a personal note, it’s always been worth it for me. Through decades of small group involvement I have (1) made lifelong friends; (2) learned how to read, study, and be transformed by Scripture; (3) been carried through pain, sickness, and sorrow; (4) discovered and developed giftings and callings; (5) grown in faith through the witness of God’s intervention in the lives around me; (6) been held accountable and challenged to greater holiness/wholeness; (7) learned to serve and consider the needs of others before myself; (8) been freed from burdens and shame by becoming more known and accepted; (9) had some big fun and great celebrations with others. It has always been worth it, and I believe it will be for you too, “if you let it go, reckless in your love; you’ll have life forever, real and eternal.”
This Sunday is Fall Kickoff Sunday, where you’ll have a chance to explore ways to step further into community. Stick around after each service in our Backyard for snow cones and to check out options for group life at Christ Church!
PS Our amazing Worship Pastor, Wes Crawford, is making an album! And you can help. Learn more about the project on his Kickstarter page, and let’s get him across the finish line.