If you’ve attended Redemption Church for any period of time, you’ve probably heard about our core principles being “Jesus, Scripture, Community, and Mission”. I’d like to focus on the Community principle for a moment. Acts Chapter 2 verses 42-47 describes the early church and the fellowship of the believers. I love the picture it paints of a vibrant community doing more than just meeting together once a week on Sundays, but rather “doing life” together day by day. I believe this is the perfect example of the community that we are striving for here at Redemption.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47
There are several ways we “do community” at Redemption. The primary way is at church on Sunday mornings with the entire church body, another is through Community Groups of 15 to 20 people during the week, and the third is through discipleship pods, which are meant to be small groups of 3 to 4 men or 3 to 4 women who meet regularly and go a little deeper into fellowship.
In determining what to write for this blog post, I was thinking about what had impacted my faith the most over the past year. It was an easy answer. My relationship with Christ has never been more real, more alive, or more fulfilling since starting a Discipleship Pod with three other men at Redemption.
Our Pod meets once a week on Thursday mornings before work, and we’ve been meeting together for about 18 months. We’ve done some book studies, but mostly we just talk about the things that God is doing in our lives at the moment. We share our triumphs and our failures, our strengths and weaknesses, our strong convictions and our doubts. We’ve helped each other through some truly difficult times, and I’ve never experienced such a closeness and a sense of fellowship with a group of men before. These guys have become three of my best friends.
We were not intended to be disciples of Christ in isolation. God calls us to each other.
Galations 6:2 says “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Discipleship Pods are meant for exactly that purpose. Furthermore, God also calls us to live in community with non-believers so that we can evidence the Gospel by how we care for each other. In doing so, non-believers may learn about Christ and be saved. As Acts 2:47 says, “And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved”.
So I want to encourage each of you to seek out a Discipleship Pod to join or perhaps start one yourself. It will grow your faith in new and exciting ways as you become more vulnerable with each other, encourage each other, and challenge each other to become more mature disciples of Christ.