Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
Have you noticed how the parts of your physical body are interdependent? So it is, with the body of Christ, the church. When we're connected in healthy ways to others in the church, we grow up into Christ. Notice that the body "builds itself up in love." Each person has something to give, and is vital to the community. And, each person has something they need from relationships in the community. In a growing church, the relationships are dynamic, not static. Time and space are given for new people to be added, adding new richness to our community.
At Lake Baldwin Church, this process of relationship-building and growth are lived out in worship, in hospitality, in serving together, and in community groups (small groups). We've learned that our groups are one of the best places to help people grow as followers of Christ, as his disciples. Today, let's take some moments to pray for our growing network of community groups at LBC.
- Thank God for the people he has raised up to lead small groups. Pray for our group leaders as they meet on September 13 to prepare for the upcoming ministry season. Pray that God will raise up new leaders for new community groups.
- Pray for the many new people at LBC, and for those we have yet to meet. Pray that they will be able to connect to groups naturally and easily, as they are ready. Thank God for the welcoming environment that has been created in our groups.
- Pray for gospel community in all of our small groups. Pray that relationships will flourish, and that people will experience a safe place to bring their "real selves" into community.
- Pray for gospel growth in all of our small groups. Ask God to give a richness to the study of the Bible, and the use of gospel-centered content.
- Pray for gospel mission in our small groups, as people provide a place of care and use of spiritual gifts. Pray that people will be equipped to serve and minister as God leads them.
- Pray for the whole body of Christ at Lake Baldwin Church, that we will "grow up in every way into into him who is the head, who is Christ."