“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong–that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
For me this verse encapsulates why I need to be in a Small Group. We are not meant to be followers of Christ alone. Disciples of Christ are meant to walk together as they follow the master, Jesus Christ. We are better together and these verses tell us why.
When we are together, we help each other grow. Sharing our faith stories with each other will encourage? others and help them grow in their walk with Jesus Christ. This what Paul is saying in Romans chapter 1. Paul longed to go to Rome to share the good news of Jesus Christ and to encourage those in Rome who were Christ followers (Rom 1:8-11). Paul wanted to impart a spiritual gift to the Christ followers in Rome, he wanted to encourage and help them grow. But Paul also recognized that he would be encouraged. Paul recognized that sharing and meeting with other Christ followers would be mutually encouraging, it would make him strong as well as those he met with. Small Group is meant to be a place such as this, where there is mutual encouragement and growth.
When Jesus walked this earth, he surrounded himself with 12 disciples. Why? Why not just one, since being a Christ follower is about having a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus did have a personal relationship with each disciple, but Jesus also knew that the disciples would need each other after He was gone. Jesus knew the disciples would need to be around other like minded people for encouragement and for help in understanding how to be Christ followers in this world. After Christ returned to heaven, the disciples where no doubt “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
The life of a Christ follower was not meant to be lived alone. Paul knew this and the writer of Ecclesiastes knew this because he said:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the one who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone.
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
We are better walking together as we follow Jesus Christ.
If you are not a part of small group, I encourage you to check it out, that you may be “mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Contact me, I’d love to connect you with a Living Hope Group.