Kristen and I have been a part of the same community group with four other couples for around seven or eight years. Maybe your church calls them small groups, home groups, life groups or cell groups. Whatever you call them, I hope you have some great friends around you who challenge you, celebrate with you and encourage you to grow in your singleness (if you’re not married), in your relationship with your spouse, with your kids if you’re a parent, with friendships and most important in your relationship with Christ.
I am grateful for the way we do community at Watermark Community Church and we are so thankful for these four other couples who love, encourage, challenge and help us grow. More and more, Kristen and I realize our need for others in community. They help us process decisions (i.e., about cars, money, schedule), help us parent our kids and help us grow in our marriage. They celebrate victories and pray for us and help us when we need to be admonished or encouraged (1 Thessalonians 5:14). And, they know my poop stinks and aren’t afraid to point out areas where I can grow while also celebrating the victories in my life.
Three Questions We Should Ask Each Other Whenever We Meet
A few weeks ago, we met with one of the staff directors (Scott Coy) for a group check-up, to help encourage us where we are strong and to help challenge us in ways that we can grow as a group. While with us, Scott shared three questions that we should ask each other every time we’re together as a group. With his permission, I share these questions below.
1. What are you reading in God’s Word? (2 Timothy 3:16-17, John 15:5, James 1:22-25)
In other words, what is God teaching you while you read the Bible? Or better yet, are you even reading the Bible? If not, then why not? If so, then what are you learning and what are you doing about it? I like that he shared that there is no need to impress each other with some new, profound truth. As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 1:9c, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Simply share what you are reading and what God is teaching you through His Word.
If I’m honest, while each person in our group reads the Bible on a regular/daily basis, I don’t think we do a great job at sharing what we’re learning. I gave our group a “C” on this question, not because we’re not reading, but because we’re not regularly sharing what God is teaching us. We’re not sharing passages we are wrestling through and not sharing areas of life that demand a change because we are convicted by God’s Word. Our meeting was a good reminder to help us step-up our game in encouraging each other to share what we’re learning from God’s Word.
2. How are you doing at loving your wife or encouraging and serving your husband? (Ephesians 5:22-27, 1 Peter 3:7, Colossians 3:12-17) (see below for questions for singles community groups)
Ephesians 5:22-33 lays out such a beautiful picture of what it means to be a Christlike husband or wife. Each time we are together as a group, we should share with each other how we’re doing at fulfilling God’s role for us in marriage. Included in this question is how we’re doing at loving and leading our kids. Marriage/parenting is hard work (1 Corinthians 7:28), but when we commit to one another in marriage, we commit to serve and love the other even more than we love ourselves.
ADDITION: Thank you to those of you who reached out asking for similar questions for singles to ask in their community groups. There are a lot of directions I could go on this one, but I think the best question to ask is “How are you doing at focusing on the ‘one anothers’ of scripture?” (i.e., love one another – John 13:34-35, pray for one another – James 5:16, encourage one another – Hebrews 3:13). Specifically, you can ask how they are doing at applying the one anothers to those in their community group. You can also always ask how someone is doing in the area of purity (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Ephesians 5:3, and others).
I am encouraged that our group does a really good job of this. We ask each other the hard questions and we openly share with one another when we fall short and/or get in unhealthy communication and conflict patterns with our spouse. We also do a good job of proactively sharing the times when we serve each other well and go out on dates or celebrate one another.
3. What’s eating your lunch? (James 5:16, 1 John 1:5-10)
Said another way, how/where are you struggling right now? Is it at work, with your spouse, your kids, or your pet sin? This is where you ask the questions that maybe no one else is asking you. Everything is fair game with this question. In community, you open up your lives to the input and counsel of others. I see our group (and marriage) as God’s provision and “Plan A” to help me grow in every part of my life.
As with #2 above, I think our group does a good job of asking the hard questions and offering up where we’re struggling and where we’re doing well. For example, my guys know I struggle with food, overeating and exercise, so they know that every time we’re together they need to ask me and I need to tell them how I’m doing in this area. I should willingly open my life up to them and allow them in, confessing where I am struggling and bringing my sins into the light so that they can be exposed and I can be helped and prayed for (James 5:16, 1 John 1:5-10).
So how about you? Do you have a great group of people around you who love you enough to encourage you where you’re doing well and to challenge you where you need to grow? If your community doesn’t play this role in your life, then who will?
I’ll leave you with the three questions Scott gave to us:
- What are you reading in God’s Word?
- How are you doing at loving your wife or encouraging and serving your husband?
- What’s eating your lunch?
Other posts on community:
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