Transformation Happens Best in Community!

Several years ago, I was involved in a small group within the church I was serving at the time. I had grown up in a church and I had been working at this particular church for about seven years prior to connecting with this group. There were about 7-8 people in the group that included men, women, married people, single people, people with kids, people without kids, people who had grown up in the church, and people who were new to the church. It was an incredible mixture of people and personalities…but it was one of the most transformative experiences in my faith journey.

Since that time, I have taught on the importance of finding a small group and I have encouraged people to get connected with a group because — as I discovered in that group (and many others since then) — transformation happens best when we are in a community! To put it another way, as a colleague of mine once said, “Life-change happens best in circles, not rows.”

The early church understood this principle. In Acts 2, we read about the first small group gathering that took place shortly after the apostle Peter preached history’s greatest sermon: “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that dayThey devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were togetherand had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet togetherin the temple courts. They broke bread together in their homes and ate together with 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 saved,(Acts 2:41-47).

God is doing amazing things all around us in Royston, but I believe we can best experience the type of transformation described in Acts 2 when we are involved in a small group community. And the best way to experience that type of community through our church is in Sunday School. I am grateful for Janet Brown and all of our adult Sunday School leaders (Jerry Black, Ernie Gardner, Aaron Hodges, Phillip James, Lindy McFarlin, and Bear Wideman) for the time and work they put in each week to prepare lessons, pray for each person in their group, and create atmospheres where we can experience God’s grace. I am also grateful for those who faithfully attend a class each week helping to ensure an environment of mutual prayer, encouragement, accountability, and spiritual formation. If you have not connected with one of our Sunday School classes, then I want to invite you to get connected and experience God in a new way. You will see all of our adult Sunday School classes listed below (including a new option for young adults that is in the early formative stage).

This Sunday in our worship services, I will share with you a little more about our Sunday School classes and the small group experience at Royston First UMC. My prayer for each of you is that you are able to connect with a group and experience the transformation that comes from experiencing God in community with others. If you need assistance finding a group that fits your needs, send me an e-mail and I’ll be happy to help.

Have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship on Sunday at 8:45 and 11:00!

Faithfully,
Matt

P.S. This Sunday, we are beginning a new series titled Covenant. In this series, we will discover the different covenants that God established with humanity throughout scripture as we explore what it means to live in relationship with God. You can learn more about this series on our website. A new series is the perfect opportunity to invite someone new to worship with us at Royston First UMC. I hope you will plan to be with us and invite someone to be with you. See you Sunday!