By: Jon Mays
Confession. I have a lot of clothes. Too many in fact. But it’s not because I’m really into fashion. It’s because I’m really into chips and queso, and those two things tend to take up a rather unflattering residence in my midsection. So, I have clothes for when I’m eating correctly, and I have clothes for when I’m practically mainlining the goodness that is queso directly into my body.
I know that chips are full of carbs and queso is full of fat and calories. I know that when I cut processed food and empty carbs that I drop weight pretty easily. I know how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Knowledge matters, but not nearly as much as what we do with that knowledge. It’s what we do that determines who we are becoming.
Here’s the thing. Knowing these things isn’t enough to transform me from Homer Simpson to Brad Pitt. Don’t get me wrong. Knowledge matters, but not as much as what we do with that knowledge. It’s what we do that determines who we are becoming.
The same is true for our spiritual lives. Paul says it like this in Phillippians 2:12: Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your faith with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
To be clear, I’m not talking about salvation. We’ve been saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). What I’m talking about is how we live that salvation out, or what Paul would call working out your faith. How do we do all of those things that Jesus actually said to do like feeding the hungry, visiting the imprisoned, caring for the orphan and widow, and clothing the naked? More importantly, how do we do it well?
Knowing what Jesus says is a great start, but doing what Jesus says will allow you to play a part in God’s Kingdom here and now! And who better to work your faith out with than your LifeGroup.
Here’s some really practical steps to build an others-centered LifeGroup:
- Learn: We can have the best intentions at heart but actually hurt the very people we are drawn to serve. Take your group through the Restore series. Talk it over. Let God show you how to best serve your neighbor by walking alongside of them.
- Lament: We don’t talk about that word a lot in the western church, but we should. Lament simply means a passionate expression of grief or sorrow. If we’re honest, most of us avoid the brokenness of the world. There’s just so much that we wouldn’t even know where to begin, so we ignore it. Don’t. Sit in it. Let God break your heart for what breaks His. Here are a few Bible Plans to help walk you through it.
- Serve: Now that you have the right mindset and the right heart, it’s time to serve somewhere. Your campus LifeGroups/LifeMissions teams have partnered with several great non-profits. Stop by the LifeGroup wall this weekend for more info on your campuses Local Partners or visit us here to register to serve with one. Look for a place you can serve together and then grab coffee, talk about your experience, and pray for the people you served.
You can build an others-first LifeGroup culture. In fact, that’s called being the church, and it’s what Jesus calls us, as His followers, to be.