For those of you outside of Northeast Christian, we are now on Day 2 of a food challenge, eating just a small amount of rice and beans for lunch and dinner (and maybe 1 tortilla) and oatmeal for breakfast. We’re doing this as a church as an act of solidarity with those who live in the bottom economic half of the world. We want to understand what it might be like to be hungry, and grow our hunger to make a difference.
An interesting aspect of this for me is watching how our small groups respond. I’ve wondered if they would come together to encourage one another and spur one another on and bear with one another? I got my answer today when one of our group leaders, Stephanie Wilson posted a comment on our church blog:
So great to have a life group to encourage each other through the week. Last night the “I’m Hungry!!” email blasts to our group started around 5pm. It is fun to have a group to connect with and to hold each other accountable and to know that you have someone praying for you during this challenge.
Stephanie’s words point to at least two of our signs of a healthy small group: Authentic Biblical Community and Mission-Minded. I’ll write more about these in a future blog, but I thought this was a great opportunity — a teachable moment, perhaps — that I did not want to miss.
Groups that are moving both inward in community with one another and outward in mission are the most healthy, strong, life-changing groups. And the best part is how these two values are interdependent. They are symbiotic, or mutually beneficial to one another. It’s what I posted in my first blog about being a part of a healthy ecosystem.
Is your small group hungering for more?
“Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty'” (John 6:35).