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Importance of Community

On Aug. 17, 2003, my 3-year-old son had nine seizures. During the week-long, test-filled stay in the hospital, we were showered with love and support from our NewSpring Group. They filled our refrigerator and cut our grass. They prayed with us, and we laughed and cried together. Shortly after, on Oct.10, my wife’s aunt died in a car accident. She was particularly close to her aunt, and we were devastated. Our Group was there. Only two weeks later, our second child was born. We celebrated even though we were physically and emotionally tired. Our Group was right there with us.

The Bible says one of God’s names is Jehovah Shammah. Translated, it means “The God who is There.” God is always with us. Whenever we celebrate wins or experience defeat, He is present. He has stamped His image on us, and we are to be there for one another. That’s what a Group is all about. Sure, a Group prays for you. They celebrate birthdays with you. They eat lots of food with you. They lift you up in bad times and help you through tough times, but most importantly, they are there. They are present.

I’ve been in lots of Groups and met lots of people at church. Some of those people became great friends, some didn’t. But in each case, in each Group, the common denominator is that those people were there for me and my wife. Despite the fact that many of our friends are now in a different Group or went on to start their own small group, we know that there is still a larger network of people there for us. Hank, Teresa, Jennifer, Sandra, Daryll, Leland, Rob, Jana, Linda, Wendy, Mandy, Greg, Chuck, Deborah, Margaret, David, Ivan, Janet, Bernie, Renee, Steve, John, Bill, Lee, Traci—those may be random names to you, but to me, those are people with whom I have shared life.

So, who do you have in your life that is there for you? Really there?

If you’re not already, get in a Group. If you are in a Group, never forget that someone needs you to be there.

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