Modern Family: It Takes All Types

Everyone one of us has been/is part of a group of friends either at work, college, a chama or an accountability group etc. What’s the one outstanding thing you liked about that group?

Modern Family - Series Flier (Whatsapp).jpg

If you want to build the foundation for true and lasting success in 2016 and beyond, you need to realize that you cannot do it alone. Isolation is your enemy in your journey of purpose.

In Gen.2:18, God states during Creation that ‘It is not good for man to be alone’. We often take this verse to be talking about marriage. If it did, then Jesus would be in a state that was ‘not good’.

It is pointing to the fact that humans are not solitary creatures; rather we are created to travel through life in supporting relationships with others. If you want to succeed against the odds in 2016, then you need to pay attention to the area of relationships.

Well, the fact is we live in an increasingly impersonal world. When Jesus was thinking, about how to extend His movement and His dream beyond His own physical life on earth, He did one thing. He gathered a small group of people that met together with a very simple agenda in mind…BE WITH HIM.

READ Mark 3:13-19

Even though he had many followers, and had compassion for the masses, Jesus didn’t relate to everyone in the same way. Below are important principles about friendship from ‘He Motions’ a book about men by popular preacher TD Jakes.

Types of friends: The Pyramid of Friendship

5000 Acquaintances (Mk.6:30-44 feeding of the 5000) – The vast majority of people in your life are there for the feeding and not for the friendship. They are with you for what they can get from you. And that’s fine because we were created to serve others.
72 Colleagues (Lk.10:1 Jesus sends out the 72) – Jesus laid hands on them and commissioned them but didn’t engage them at deeper levels. Your 72 are people with whom you have good working relationships but who do not know you and should not know you personally.These are people whose primary interest is your competence in the area of your association; can you get the job done?
12 Covenant Friends (Mk.3:13-19). Prayed about, called, invested in & gave authority to transact on his behalf; gave themselves to them & they shared life with him in all areas. When everyone else left him, these are the ones who stood by him.
3 Inner Core (Mt17.1, Mk5.37, Mk.6:33-4) Allowed feedback and meddling rights. Revealed his deepest nature to them (Mk.9:2-4, 9 transfiguration) – things that others couldn’t see. They rebuked him when they felt he was going off track but he didn’t spare them either!
1 The One (Jn19.26 – woman behold your son, Prov18.24) John.- his best friend, his main man, the one he left his mom to. The person you leave your kids to

Many of us have the 5000 and the 72, but haven’t taken seriously our top 3 levels; the 12, 3 or 1. For Jesus’ his 12, 3 and 1 were part of His Lifegroup(LG). Here in Mavuno we encourage our members to belong to a Lifegroup because this are the relationships that will truly help you go the distance.

Below are 4 lessons that will not only make our LGs work but will make them great.

  1. DIVERSITY: A great Lifegroup celebrates diversity

One of the biggest challenges heard from many small groups is failure to connect with the different members of small groups(LG) because of age, marital status, social-economic status, education etc.

Community is not always the place where you get to be around people who are always low-maintenance or beautiful or influential or healthy or normal! You see, community is where you learn from Jesus how to love people who are as quirky and sinful and messed up and struggling as I am and you are.

Experts in community life say that the number one challenge to small groups aren’t the busy schedules. Instead it’s what is called the EGRP’s… “Extra Grace Required People”. Someone who talks too much; someone who doesn’t get it; someone who isn’t smooth. Every group has one. In fact, Rick Warren says that, “If you look around your group, and you can’t identify the “Extra Grace Required” person, it’s probably you!” 

You are one community away from changing the course of your destiny.

  1. AUTHENTICITY: A great LifeGroup is a safe place to get real with people.

Another challenge I have heard is “this LG is not real’. Acts 2:46 says that they “ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” So, when this group of believers gathered together, they did so with sincere hearts… in other words, they didn’t try and cover up their flaws and struggles.

Where did the early church get this idea? From Jesus. He was the most transparent human being they had ever been around.

In fact, we work hard trying to manage what others think of us… we try and come off brighter, stronger, more together than we really are.  And when we do that, in a way, it’s like filling in the imperfections in our life with wax.

You are one Community away from changing the course of your destiny.

  1. RECONCILING SPIRIT: A great Lifegroup is place where conflict, which is inevitable, leads to reconciliation and growth.

As one becomes part of an LG, you need to understand this doesn’t mean the absence of conflict and difficulties but the presence of a reconciling spirit. So it’s not that there will be absence of conflict in that new community but instead there will be a commitment to not let conflict go unresolved. A refusal to allow bitterness or resentment to come in between your relationships with one another.

You are one Community away from changing the course of your destiny.

  1. MISSIONAL: A great LGs has a mission beyond themselves

Another challenge experienced is the question ‘So what next after LG, we have been meeting for the last 1,2,3,4 years…we are bored’. Lifegroups should make space in their lives, looking for opportunities to bless those outside of their immediate community. Jesus’ plan has always been for Him to be present with His followers and then to spread His presence and joy and love through them to the world. I will be talking more on this in weeks to come.

You are one Community away from changing the course of your destiny.

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