My neighbors really are hard to get to know. I keep working at it, but they have little or nothing to do with anyone. They leave in the morning for work, come home in the evening, and, every so often you might see them doing lawn work. All of them are very nice people when we get to have a rare conversation, but the relationships are superficial at best.
I feel this attitude has infected church life. Some people gather as the church for the music, sermon or an activity, but they are not into relationship building. They really don’t want to get to know others, much less get involved in other people’s lives.
Since relationships are at the heart of the Christian faith, it is vital that we keep working to develop relationships, first with the Lord and then with one another. It is an obvious fact that you can’t know everyone in a church the size of FAITH, at least in a meaningful way. So, we try to structure ways you can get to know people on a deeper level through our 360 groups.
This fall, our 360 groups will kick off the week of September 10. Groups will be meeting in homes from Pasadena to Glen Burnie to Brooklyn Park to Linthicum to Lansdown to Severn. Some will even meet on the FAITH campus. There will be mixed gender groups, while others will be more gender specific.
One new development for our small group leaders is that they will be able to choose a study from one of six options. Many will continue to be sermon-based, but others will be booklet/video driven studies.
Our group leaders are caring people who prepare week after week to help you grow in your trust and obedience to Christ. There are six essentials expected to take place in each group:
Each group will be the primary caregiver of its member’s needs
Each group will hold one another in loving accountability to live the Christian life
Each group member will seek to experience God’s Word
Each group will stress life-changing application of what is learned
Each group will reach out to include new people far from God
Each group will spend time in prayer for personal and church issues
The big question is this … “Will you give relationships a higher priority by joining a 360 group?” Something deeply spiritual takes place when good relationships are formed, and we get to know others and they get to know us.
So how do you join a group? You will find a brief video clip on the WelcomeTo.Faith website toward the end of August. Each 360-group leader will share where and when their group meets, as well as what will be studied. You can sign up at the Connection Center or by emailing the group leader. Let’s be a community of people who value our relationships with one another.
y the way, 360 stands for a circle of never-ending spiritual growth. Your growth in Christ never stops!