LIFEGroup Reflections

I read an article over this past week that said the number one reason people come to a church is because of the pastor. The article also said that the number one reason people stay at a church is because of the friends they make. If people don’t get connected to other people they don’t tend to stay in a church. But when people do make those connections they tend to stay around for a good long time.

Church loyalty is getting less and less common. More and more people change churches regularly than ever before. People are very mobile. People are moving and changing jobs at a faster rate then ever before. And even when people do settle in a neighborhood, there are so many choices, especially in West Michigan.

It’s hard to picture exactly how community works in such a mobile society. A communal life is one that is shared with others. Through out most of history a person’s community was dictated by their geography. If you were born a lowly serf in a feudal system, that was your community, the life you shared with others. You didn’t really have the option of starting up the oxen and starting over someplace else.

What does a community look like that isn’t formed by geography? How can we share our lives when we don’t live by and with each other? How can we form those deep communal bonds that tie us together?

I’ve found that kind of bond in my LIFEGroup. Through what we share in the Holy Spirit we are able to share or lives together and from a true community. And through the LIFEGroup I am bound together with the larger community that is Calvary church.

I think everyone would like to see more people connected to God and connected to others through Calvary church. Through the LIFEGroup ministry I think we have a great opportunity to do just that. People in our neighborhoods are starved for community. I don’t know about you but in my neighborhood I hardly ever see anyone outside their house. There are no front porches. Neighbors don’t come over and chat with each other. Even those who do share common geography often share little else.

The church has a tremendous opportunity to provide a loving community to a lonely world. LIFEGroups give us a great way to just that. When the LIFEGroups reach out they can connect people to each other and give them the love of God. In fact it’s already happening. I can’t wait to see more and more people coming to Calvary and staying at Calvary because they have friends in the community.