For the last two weeks in worship, we have been talking about what it means to be a community of faith. During that time, we have also been looking at what discipleship looks like through these weekly e-mails. We have discussed that disciples offer themselves to God in a spiritual act of worshipand disciples are intentional about sharing their faith and making disciples (who make disciples). This week, we are looking at the importance of mutual accountability and relationships with others as we grow in our discipleship.
Last Sunday, my family and I were invited to join the Faithful Followers Sunday School class for a class gathering. As we sat in the circle, I listened to Phillip James talk about the importance of community in the small group setting. He shared these verses from Acts 2:42-47that describes the early church: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…Every day they continued to meet togetherin the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate togetherwith glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being served.” The early church thrived because they understood the importance of being together. Our third key to discipleship is disciples develop relationships of mutual growth and accountability with other disciples.
Discipleship is a team sport – we do not grow as disciples in isolation. Yes, we can worship while listening to music in the car; and yes, we can read the Bible alone and pray alone. But we need the mutual accountability, encouragement, and support of others to continue on our faith journey. We need people who will pray with us, support us through difficult times, and encourage us when we step out in faith. We need people who will hold us accountable in words and deeds, and people who we can ask questions that we are too embarrassed to ask publicly. As you examine your own faith journey, who are the people in your circle of influence where you experience mutual growth and accountability. Mutual growth and accountability challenge our minds and our hearts as we are perfected in love for God and others.
If you are looking for a group of people to provide mutual growth and accountability, I want to encourage you to try one of our Sunday School classes on Sunday morning. In the spirit of the early Methodist church class meetings, these classes are groups of individuals who “watch over one another in love.” If you would like more information about a Sunday School class, send me an e-mail and I will gladly help you find the class that works best for you.
I will leave you with these verses from Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship this Sunday!
Together in Christ,
P.S. If you would like to be part of a short-term group that will meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:00 PM, I will be starting a 10-week study on September 5 that will focus on what it means to be United Methodist. You can find more information below or send me an e-mail.