Community – it’s one of the three big words that describe the DNA of Seven Mile Road Church.
God has wired us to be relational. The first couple of chapters of Genesis remind us of this truth. We see that Adam and Eve enjoyed the fullness of relationship with God in the Garden. But such relationship was short lived. Within a few chapters, sin enters into the world and what was once perfect is destroyed.
Scripture teaches that our sin leads us to be alienated from God and at enmity with Him. Apart from God pursuing us, we would want nothing to do with Him. But such separation doesn’t just describe our relationship with God, it also reflects how sin has affected the way we relate to one another. Though we were created to live and thrive in community, sin leads us to selfishness, self-centeredness, and seclusion.
The gospel challenges that.
The gospel not only leads us to renewed relationship with God, but also with others. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus allows us, who were once enemies of God, to become His children. And as adopted children, not only do we have a new Dad, we also have new brothers and sisters.
That’s not just good doctrine, it’s truth that should transform the way that we live.
But, how? How does our identity as children of God actually lead to us to community? I’ve been wrestling with that question for the last four months. Since November, I’ve been serving at SMR as Community Life Leader (formerly known as the Ground War Leader – a title that was quickly dropped due to its terroristic tone :)). Since then, I’ve met with the leaders of our SoulCare groups, talked to pastors of other churches, read books on community, attended talks about small groups, etc., all with the hope of bringing clarity to what community at SMR could look like. It’s been wonderful. It’s been challenging. It’s far from being done.
The upcoming months will focus on spelling out SMR’s vision for small groups. Time will be spent helping our seven groups align themselves to the redefined vision. Much time will be given to training and coaching our current leaders, as well as identifying new leaders to create new groups. There’s plenty of work left to be done. And so as I continue to learn and wrestle with these questions, so will you. This blog will be used to keep you informed of the things that we’re learning about community along the way. We’re excited for this next phase of small groups at SMR.
Our prayer is that God would grow our people in number and maturity through the small group communities at Seven Mile Road Church. Please pray with us.