The desire for connection and belonging resides in every single one of us. At the root of Christianity is a communal faith Community brings people together and allows them to accomplish something that they could have never accomplished on their own. Read over Acts 2:44-47, pray and ask the Lord to help you live out His words in this passage. Then, either in your Bible or on a slip of paper, draw a table with chairs. Think about individuals in your community or at church that you would love to invite to that table. Intentionally put a plan in place to invite those people to the table in some way this week!
Brene Brown, a shame and vulnerability researcher, once wrote, “Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience connection.” When we place ourselves in community with each other that we can develop the kind of relationships in which this kind of connection can happen. As you read over James 5:16, ask yourself what common intentional practices you currently have in place to help you apply this scripture to your everyday life. Is there a common practice mentioned in that verse that you would like to be better at? Pray and ask the Lord to help you plan and implement those things.
Proverbs 27:17 paints a great picture of the power of vulnerability towards healthy growth and learning in a faith community. Write down the names of three different people that inspire and challenge you to grow in your faith. Take time out to pray and thank the Lord for providing you with people in your life that you can lean into as you grow. Then, reach out to those three individuals and set up a time to talk with them either over the phone, through video messaging, or a physical meet-up. At that time, ask them questions you have about faith in Christ. Ask them to pray with you as you continue following Jesus daily.
Christian author Rachel Held Evans writes, “Imagine if every church became a place where everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable. Imagine if every church became a place where we told one another the truth. We just might create sanctuary.” What might that look like for you in terms of vulnerability and community? What are some things that have been weighing on your heart and mind lately that you need to bring light to in front of a trusted friend? Read over Galatians 6:2 and pray for courage and obedience to lean into a trusted friend as you allow them to help carry your burdens without shame or fear.
As you read over Hebrews 10:24-25, think of the spaces you frequent and the people that surround you. Every day we cross paths with people who may feel isolated or forgotten by loved ones. You never know the struggles that someone is facing. Challenge yourself this weekend to approach five different people and offer simple encouragement to them. If you feel led to do so, see if there’s a practical need you can meet to serve them. As you create space in your schedule for prayer and meditation, recall those individuals you connected with and pray blessings over their lives.
TALK IT OVER
- What are some local events that you would like to invite someone to join you in attending?
- What type of art inspires you?
- If you could own a famous piece of artwork, which would it be?
- What are some things that make your faith in the Lord vibrant?
- What would your perfect idea of a Christian Small Group look like?
- Who are some people at our church that you wish you could get to know better?
- How have you seen vulnerability in a safe community enhance your faith?