“The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged…The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pastor / Theologian / Martyr
I heard a great story this week. The kind of story that encourages your heart about the impact of a small group of Christ followers engaged with each other in community.
The story is about a man who’s currently serving in vocational Christian ministry. He holds a key position within his organization. He’s wresting with some ideas that could have lasting ministry impact. Yet he was hesitant to present his ideas for change. He wasn’t sure the time was right. He wasn’t sure if he was the right person to bring these new ministry-shaping ideas to the key decision-makers in his organization.
He prayed about what to do. He remained uncertain…
Then he went to his small group. That’s when the quote from Bonhoeffer’s classic work on community came to life.
He opened up with his small group about his ideas and told them of how he had been seeking the Father on what to do. Yet he remained unclear. He asked his small group to speak into his situation.
The group heard his plea. They knew how intentionally he had sought wisdom and discernment from the Father. They listened as he wrestled. Then something significant happened. They encouraged him. They spoke words of truth into his life. He listened. And received the Godly nudge that he needed.
The following day, he walked into his office and presented his ministry idea. The president of his organization loved it! Wheels are now turning to put this new idea into motion.
Too often we keep our problems to ourselves. We struggle with sharing our doubts, concerns and struggles because we want to maintain the image that we “have it together.” What would have happened to this man if he had not opened up to his group? How different would the outcome have been for him at work? Follow the example of this man and be honest, open and transparent with your group. Why? The power of Christ in small group community has a tangible impact in the lives of those willing to be honest, real, and seek Godly counsel.
Allow the Jesus in others to encourage the Jesus in you!