I woke up this morning a little more sore than usual. Now this might be a side effect of being 45 and having done a few thousand pushups yesterday but more likely it’s because of a game me and three of my high school boys invented. No need to go into all the details but it was basically us kicking a huge pilates ball at each other and trying to score by putting it over the other teams’ head. We played two on two and the game, like most games with this group, was very intense and even if I tried to explain the rules it would probably not make sense to anyone else. We didn’t plan to invent some new game it just happened organically, and in the end, we just called it “Our Game”. It was something we created that was just for us and it was crazy fun.
There is a reason people like inside jokes so much, it builds community and bonds people. There is a reason people love to share the same stories over and over and reminisce and laugh, it’s a connector. People long for attachment, they want to feel like they are a part of something that’s just for them, a special group that helps give them identity. It’s exactly why small groups in church are so important. We were created for community! God instituted both family and church for the purpose of meeting needs that He created us to have, like the need to be with other people. Let me say this differently, you need other people in your life who are loving you, supporting you, and encouraging you. People you can share your life with that are inside and outside your family. It’s one of the reasons we do the thing called Sunday School, even though I dislike that terminology because it makes it sound like the chief reason for it is so we get taught something. Look, teaching is a part of it, you should be learning and growing in your knowledge of the Bible and who you are in Christ but really what you need desperately is a Jesus community that gives you the opportunity and space to share your life.
In the coming weeks I am going to be sharing with you about Victor who is Kenyan and lived with us for a while and the amazing ministry he is doing there. I’ll even tell you about the opportunity to partner with what he is doing both financially and prayerfully. He has become a son to me, and I could not be prouder of him. In the slums of Nairobi, he helps run what he calls “Life Groups”. Don’t you like that? Don’t you want to be a part of a life group where the word of God is taught and people are growing in their faith, but also where they are sharing their lives. Remember that is what the first Christians in Acts were doing, sharing their very lives with one another, and not just seeing each other on Sundays….maybe…if there wasn’t something else going on or they weren’t too tired. I think Paul put it best in I Thessalonians 2:8 when he wrote.
8 So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
So yes, yesterday with some of my teens, I helped invent a game but it wasn’t about the game. It was about the community. If you are reading this, even as I type I am praying for you, that you will find community if you don’t have one and if you do that you will become even more invested in it. Remember, the first thing God said wasn’t good in Genesis 2:8 was for man to be alone.