“Ready…set…go…” Maybe you whispered those very words to yourself as you stood (scared to death) at the edge of the diving board as a young child—I know I certainly did. I will never forget standing at the edge of a 30 foot high dive (OK, so it was actually closer to 6 feet but at the time it felt like 30 feet) and saying the words “ready, set, go” under my breath. Essentially what I was doing was getting myself psyched up to face my fears and take the plunge. There was a lot of anxiety wrapped up in taking that jump. I questioned my ability to balance myself, I questioned my ability to swim well enough. Most importantly I questioned my ability to keep from embarrassing myself in front of everyone (let’s be honest, we’ve all seen videos of diving board stunts that did not end well).
It is interesting though, I think there are a lot of similarities between the fears I faced on that diving board and the fears that many face as they consider opening their lives up to others through authentic Christian Community. We question our ability to balance everything that we have going on, we question our ability to navigate the waters of relationships and, if we are honest, I think we are also worried about how others will perceive and receive us. What if we jump in and lose control? What if we aren’t the greatest at this whole “community” thing? Those are legitimate fears aren’t they?
The answer is certainly YES! But I think God calls us to face those fears if we are going to live this life as true disciples of Jesus Christ. You see, the New Testament is full of statements like “Honor one another” (Romans 12:10) or statements like “Bear with one another” (Romans 15:1). 1 Corinthians 10:24 tells us that we are to “seek the good of one another.” How can we fulfill these Biblical commands if we are not actively involved in relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ? I’m glad you asked…you can’t! It is impossible to fulfill those commands apart from relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ. But I want to reassure you that it is not as scary as you think.
So much of our fears are often wrapped up in getting started, but once we have made that initial step then we are okay. That’s where Starter Groups come in. Starter Groups are for those who have come in to Mercy Hill in between Grouplink events (Grouplink is how we connect new people to new Community Groups) or for some reason just haven’t been able to connect into community yet. Maybe you were out of town for the last Grouplink event or maybe you’ve just been to fearful to jump in?
Regardless of why you haven’t been able to connect yet, Starter Groups are your opportunity to get started! They will take place during the month of March. The groups will be led by our staff team and we will even provide dinner! It’s an easy laid-back environment that is designed for you to connect with others in the church and at the end you will have the opportunity to sign up for one of the brand new Community Groups we will be launching in mid April. We want you to connect to life giving community! We want you to be discipled and for you to grow in your faith. Don’t miss this opportunity to jump in to life giving community.
Sign up today!
– Randy Titus (Community Groups)