Pursue Relationally: Pursue deep relationships with one another, based on love and acceptance.
“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”
(Romans 12:10 NLT)
Scripture calls us to be devoted to one another. Being devoted to someone else means investing time and energy into the relationship, loving them as a brother or sister, and putting their needs above your own (Philippians 2:3).
Live Authentically: Live authentically, sharing our struggles.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
(James 5:16 NLT)
We can all be tempted to make ourselves appear to be something that we’re not, or to make it seem like we’re doing just fine when in reality we’re struggling or walking in sin. The result of that kind of mask is isolation, which destroys community and goes against all sound wisdom (Proverbs 18:1). Community helps us take off the mask of appearing to have it all together, and helps us be fully known and fully loved.
Admonish Faithfully: Encourage and admonish one another faithfully toward maturity.
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. ” (Colossians 3:16 NIV)
Life can be hard, and we need reminders and encouragement from those around us, such as:
- Be bold, be strong (Ephesians 6:10, 19).
- Keep your eyes on the prize (Philippians 3:14).
- Don’t lose heart (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
- Keep doing good (Galatians 6:9).
- Finish well (1 Corinthians 9:24).
We need other believers to encourage us to be all that God has created us to be, and to remind us that true life can only be experienced in Christ and through obedience to Him.
Counsel Biblically: Offer and receive biblical counsel in all areas of life.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT)
Scripture being inspired by God means that He is the source of all of it (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As such, it has the authority to speak into our individual lives, but also into how life works in general. As we offer counsel to one another, it’s important to be sure that we’re using Scripture correctly, and not just grabbing verses out of context. Study God’s Word so that you understand its true meaning, then apply it generously to life!
Engage Missionally: Engage intentionally with our communities and the world to make disciples.
“’Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”
(Matthew 28:19–20 NLT)
In community, it would be equally tragic if all the investments we make in each other’s growth didn’t “leave the living room,” so to speak. We are all God’s workmanship, created to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). We should engage intentionally for the cause of Christ.
Jesus tells His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching people to obey everything He had taught. This commission applies to every believer; therefore, it applies to groups.
Devote Daily: Devote ourselves daily to a personal relationship with Jesus.
“’Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. ‘” (John 15:5 NLT)
When you’re first connected to Jesus, the source of life, you will be able to help others connect to Him and receive life from Him as well. But unless you’re walking with Jesus, building intimacy with Him, and drawing your strength from Him, you won’t have anything to offer others. You will not be able to effectively put into practice the other core values discussed.
Being devoted to Christ means expressing love, loyalty, and enthusiasm for Him! That’s truly life-giving and anything but stale. One of the ways you can invest in your relationship with Jesus is to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness (1 Timothy 4:7b). This means forming and practicing habits that help you grow spiritually: Reading and memorizing the Bible, praying, worshiping, serving, fellowshipping with other believers, and pursuing solitude. These are valuable ways that you can invest in your relationship with Jesus daily.