Are you a part of a Christian group? Are you married? Do you have children? Do you work with a team of ministers? Are you a part of a group of elders? Are you in a leadership role in which you work with others who are also in leadership roles? Are you a part of a small group ministry?
One of the most important questions we can ask is: "How are we functioning as a group?" We may be great individuals, but how do we function as a team? How do we function as a group? A husband and wife may be great individuals but they might ask themselves how they function as a couple? I have known many church leaders who were great people individually but did not function well as a part of a group.
Now I am not thinking about effectiveness. Yes, there is a time to reflect upon how effective the group is in doing its task, carrying out its function, etc. Rather, I want to reflect on how we are doing as Jesus-followers. As a group, are we becoming more Jesus-like as we function together?
As a married person, not only am I called to be a Jesus-like man or woman but I am called to function together with my spouse in a Jesus-like manner also. Together we are to grow in Jesus-likeness.
As a Christian leader, not only am I to be a person who is committed to serving in this capacity but I ought to be committed to function, along with the others, in a manner that is Jesus-like also. Do we function in a manner so that Jesus is obviously the center of our group and not just our individual lives?
As a member of a small group in our church (I am thinking small group ministry) not only am I to desire that we function well as a small group, but I also need to desire that this be a group that is growing in Jesus-likeness together.
The following are three challenges for those of us who work with other believers in these groups (again, this includes marriage and family):
- Let us move from “I” to “we.” Self-preoccupation has a way of pushing aside any sort of real growth toward the one who called us to deny self.
- Let us consider that not only have we been called to
be Jesus-like (individually) but we are called to have a Jesus-like
manner about us as we function as a group (or couple if thinking about marriage).
- Let us realize that our presence and authenticity as Jesus-followers with one another, as a part of the church, must be prior
to anything we might do or say to the church as a whole. Far too often, ministers/church leaders are all too ready to want to do or say something to the church when in fact they are failing in the way they treat one another in their leadership group. (Again, if you are thinking about marriage/family, this means that husbands/wives must address their own Jesus-likeness as a priority and live out of that authenticity.)
What can a group do that might help keep this in focus as they function together? What can a married couple do?