When my husband and I got married 11 years ago we were new Christians and very excited to get involved in our church. So we got baptised, became members and put our names in for our church to place us in a small group bible study.
We had never done anything like that before. Up until that point we had only been to large young adult groups, so we had no concept of what a small group would be like.
And when we showed up to a little apartment that was our new life group leaders home, it would be the beginning of a new era in our lives.
The group was, lets say…eclectic.
They had so many different personalities and unique interests. Everyone’s upbringings and backgrounds seemed completely foreign to us, and yet here we were, thrust into a room together in which we would meet weekly.
I would be lying if I said that I loved it immediately. Because I didn’t. This group of people were so outside of my comfort zone at the time, that my husband had to talk me into continuing.
My world had been narrow up until that point. And I had only involved people in my life who made me feel comfortable or who fit a criteria of likes that I could relate to. But now all that had changed. Now I was being forced to mingle with folks who didn’t fit the criteria. They were a bit… weird. As though, I myself, am not a total weirdo also.
How painfully self-centered I was feeling.
To this day I have conversations with people and this is the reason they don’t get involved in ministry. And boy can I relate! But now I see how much better off I am because I rub shoulders with people nothing like myself.
Our first life group would go on to teach me so many things. But the most important lesson by far was that the only thing that really should unite us is…Jesus.
He is the only commonality that matters.
Not matching hobbies. Nor similar stages of life. Or even comparable personalities.
All of us were sitting in the same room because Jesus had entered our lives and became our everything. And that one truth absolutely made us kindred. Indeed we were in fact family.
And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” ~ Matthew 12:49-50
And when tragedy struck our little group, our gospel-driven family ties proved tight. Sadly one of our beloved group members died suddenly in a car accident. And every last one of us dropped what we were doing, left work and showed up together in a hospital room to be with his wife when she woke up. Because she was (and is) family.
We had the wonderful privilege of being the safe circle where our now passed friend talked about his love for Jesus, right before he went on to meet Him. And we got to support his wife in her mourning.
This is what it’s all about! Growing in grace as a body of believers as we anticipate meeting our Saviour!
It is a blessing to walk in faith together.
Since then my husband and I have gone on to be apart of and lead many other bible studies. And all have been filled with a smattering of personalities and backgrounds. All of us adding color and texture to a great tapestry of faith. All of us rubbing against each other as iron sharpens iron. Testing and blessing one another. Learning and growing, shaping and shifting together while searching the Scriptures as one.
Because this is what family does.
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. ~ Romans 12:1013
As Christ-followers we meet together on Sunday mornings and at each others houses during the week because Jesus unites us. He made us brothers and sisters.
So if comfort-zones are keeping you from experiencing the fullness of Gods family – think about laying it aside. Get involved in the body of Christ.
Yes, we’re all a little weird. But that’s ok, it only means you’ll fit right it.
And we have the most important person in common anyway.