True Fellowship of Believers
On the importance of cultivating community in LIFE groups.
By Jen Calverley
Before my husband, Dale, passed away two years ago, our family was not part of a small group. We were simply too busy and I traveled and we ran the kids to all sorts of activities. We participated and volunteered throughout TCC, but we never devoted time to practicing Christian community with others. Without my husband, community seemed so far away and I knew it was exactly what we needed to help us lean more fully into God.
The community I discovered was far more than I could have imagined. Many of these families I already knew, but as we shared our lives, studied the word, and prayed, we became more than friends, we became family. This family is multi-generational with a variety of marital statuses and stages of life. Our children play together and have an opportunity to have fellowship with other Christian kids (and they are all excited to come!). The adults are married, single, divorced and widowed. It is a hugely diverse group who bring different perspectives to our study of scripture and to our lives.
To be honest, I would be nowhere without this little community. I have learned to lean on them for prayer and ask for help when I need it. And with these brothers and sisters I have talked about my process of grief and the difficulty of raising grieving children without another parent. In many ways, in fact, they have come together to fill that hole and helpme raise my children. I do not feel alone. I feel more loved and supported than ever before.
In Acts 2: 42-47, Luke describes a true fellowship of believers:
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added day by day those who were being saved.”
Though this seems to be an ideal, I have experienced these things in our small group. If you have never tried a small group before or haven’t in a long time, I urge you to try it. This is where we can learn how to be in relationship with each other. This is where our children learn, by example, how to live a Christian life. This is where our love for God grows. This is where true Christian community lives.
Jen Calverley is mother to Jack, Abby, and Morgan. She lives in Wayland and works at the front desk here at the church on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. She is a part-time student at Gordon-Conwell Theological seminary, and is also known to give a mean haircut.