Our theme for 2014 has been “Be the Church”

One of the most consistent – and challenging – elements of virtually every sermon shared this year has been that “Be the Church” is more than just Sundays. Maturing in your Christian journey, loving and encouraging others, learning more of the truths found in the Bible – they all take time outside of our gatherings on Sunday mornings.

Debbie and I have been involved in small groups for over 40 years. I am blessed to facilitate two Life Groups here at Avalon Church. The two hours I spend each week with the wonderful folks that comprise those groups has done more to grow and mature me than all the Sunday worship services I have ever attended simply because they are more relational and more personally challenging.

This month alone these groups:

• Have gone on a group date night
• Have shared personal struggles at work or with children and been encouraged by the group and principles from God’s Word
• Have dug into our Bible study verses together, sharing insights and challenging each other to grow
• Have enjoyed some incredible homemade snacks that have totally ruined my diet
• Will help a family move tomorrow from an apartment to a new home

Life Groups are one essential element of “Be the Church” – but Life Groups take time.

“Pastor Jim, that all sounds wonderful. But I really haven’t got time to join a Life Group. My life schedule is so full already I cannot imagine adding something else.”

Probably true. This is not the 1950’s and 60’s when I grew up – a time when life was a lot less complicated by a seemingly endless list of good things for us and/or our kids to participate in. Interestingly, when Jesus visited Martha and Mary, Martha was overwhelmed doing good things but Jesus said Mary chose the best thing when she sat at His feet. (Luke 10:38-42)

My prayer for you today is that you do not sacrifice the best things for the good things.

We are going to really be emphasizing Life Groups during the month of August. I hope you will start thinking now about a way to be involved in one. It will change your life.