March 3 Everyone is in Community / / Jesus models impact through community
Key Passage: Mark 3:1-14
Writer: Kathryn Pesyna
Big Idea: In some ways, the American dream can be summarized in one word: autonomy. In our society people are on a quest to be completely independent – to be free to do what they want, when they want. After all, I can go farther and faster alone with no one tying me down, right? As we take a look at Mark 3:1-14, we’ll discover that impact is realized when doing life together with other Christ-followers.
· When difficult times come, we are better together. (vs. 7)
· To help avoid the dangers of isolation, we are better together. (vs. 14a)
· To increase our influence, we are better together. (vs. 14b)
Jesus demonstrates that life is better together.
I have spent most of my adult life living thousands of miles away from my family. Moving to a city knowing no one, is basically the definition of isolating. I’ve never felt the aphorism, “I’m surrounded by people, but I feel so alone,” more than the times my husband and I moved to new, big cities.
One of the greatest aspects of being a believer in Christ is that no matter where you go, you do have family. You do know people. You have community. This is the beauty of the Church.
Four days before my oldest was born, we moved from our tiny, newlywed apartment to a more spacious family home. As you can imagine, my condition left the onus to my husband. Could we have handled the move ourselves? Probably. But we likely would have had to hire movers, and the financial impact on a grad student and stay-at-home mom would have been severe. Instead, members of our church gathered around us, packed up our apartment, moved it across the city, and unpacked it in our new home…all in less than 4 hours – including a pizza break! To this day, I’m not sure I could name every person who helped. There were too many, and honestly, there were people there I hardly knew. All I know is that we were all united in Christ. They saw a need, and that need was met.
This is an example of a physical need. But being part of a church community also meets needs on a deeper level. Our community has wept with couples who have lost jobs and unborn babies. We have celebrated new life and new marriages. I have personally been held accountable regarding sin issues and spiritual disciplines. I have questioned my faith, asked hard questions, and discovered many of God’s truths and attributes with the help of community. It comes down to being known.
We were created to be in relationships. Our God is a relational God. Even His entity is three persons! Jesus understood the importance of community. He saw a storm brewing when the Pharisees plotted against Him. He saw the danger of a massive crowd gathering and the need for crowd control. He saw the impact of close companions who would be on mission with Him. Life is better together.
Reading: Mark 3:1-14, Ecclesiastes 4:7-12, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
- What are practical reasons that working in a group is better than going at it alone?
- Are you currently known in a church community? If so, how? If not, what are some practical ways you can get connected?
- Can you think of a time your church community came around you to meet a need? Was there a time when you met a need of someone in your church community? Explain.
- How can you work with your church community to make an impact for the greater community in which you live?
Memory Verse: “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” Acts 15:19
Prayer Focus: Let’s pray God would provide relationships where we can encourage and inspire each other to walk more like Jesus walked.