Is My Group Helping Me Grow In Godliness?
When we connect into God’s church, we are supposed to “grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph. 4:15). But is that actually happening in your group? Here are three questions you can ask to find out.
1. Are We Pursuing God?
In life, we are always pursuing something. As you spend time with those in your group, what are you pursuing together?
• Reactions about the best new shows?
• Updates on the hardships of parenting or aging bodies?
• Quick, comfortable gatherings that end on time?
Your group gathering may be one of the few times during the week where you get to look to God first with others and get above the swirling circumstances that have been pulling you down all week. You can be the one who intentionally points your conversations toward God. For instance, you could make sure to not just report the highs and lows of your week but use these updates as opportunities for a “praise God” moment or a “need God” moment—connecting your experience to God’s role in it.
Also, you can help redirect your group from a “me-centered” approach to the Scripture passage you discuss. Yes, your group must get to real-life application. But that application includes us seeing (Ps. 27:4) , savoring (Ps. 63:5), praising (Eph. 5:19-20), and crying out to God (Ps. 61:2)—not just changing our own behavior or bewailing where we fall short.
2. Are We Remembering Our Union with Christ?
One of the simplest and most powerful descriptions of who we are as Christians is summarized in two words: “in Christ.”
This phrase is all over the New Testament, and it’s the foundation for why we do what we do as saints. Because we are in Christ, now we can:
• Live “dead to sin” (Rom. 6:11)
• Be confident with “no condemnation” (Rom. 8:1)
• Enjoy our unity as one “one body” with other Christians (Rom. 12:5)
• Be humble and make our boast in Jesus instead of ourselves (1 Cor. 1:26-31)
• Know that we’re spiritually victorious and can spread the knowledge of Christ (2 Cor. 2:14)
• And more!
You can help remind others in the group that your identity individually and together is plugged into Jesus. We are in Christ, we are connected to him, and we can now say “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal. 2:20)!” All of our other identities (mom, employee, single, empty nester, husband) bow to this identity that gives us confidence before God and the world around us.
3. Are We Living a Cross-Centered Life?
C.J. Mahaney has written,
“If there’s anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel. And I don’t mean passionate only about sharing it with others. I mean passionate about thinking about it, dwelling on it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world. Only one thing can be of first importance to each of us. And only the gospel ought to be” (The Cross Centered Life, 20-21).
Jesus’s cross changes everything in our lives. A marker of whether we are growing in godliness is whether his cross is more precious to us now than it was a year ago.
As you encourage the others in your group, are you encouraging them in the gospel? Help make it safe (and normal) to confess sins and apply the restoration of Jesus’s cross to one another (see James 5:16). Remind others that they are now secure in Jesus’s forgiveness (1 Johnn. 1:9), peace (Phil. 4:6-7), and presence (Matt. 28:20). And if Jesus took the cross for us, we can stimulate one another toward that same obedience, faithfulness, and sacrifice (see Heb. 12:3).
Assistant Pastor of Small Groups and Membership
Bob first joined staff at College Park as a Pastoral Resident in 2011 and has served in several important roles since that time. In 2018, Bob became the Assistant Pastor of Small Groups & Membership. In this role, Bob gives leadership and direction to the Small Group ministry by recruiting, training, and supporting Small Group Leaders and Coaches, as well as overseeing the membership process and covenant member care.
Bob is passionate about seeing men and women enter into community with others to find hope together. He enjoys spending time with his wife, family, and friends.