Tonight, we said good-bye to an extraordinary group of people with whom we have formed a small community we call a "Life Group" in our church. We are four families at a similar stage of life, with kids around the same age and a mutual desire to encourage each other in our faith journey. Over the past four years we have met in each others homes every fortnight for a meal, fellowship, discussion, study of the Word, pastoral support and prayer.
Our Life Group has provided an evironment for us to engage in authentic relationships with other like-minded people who really enjoy doing life together. We have laughed, cried, debated and shared an intimacy as friends that I have never before experienced as a Corps Officer (Pastor). This group has allowed us to build a foundation of trust that has taken the relationship with our Life Group members far deeper than a traditional Officer (Pastor) - Soldier (Parishioner) relationship. As a result, we have grown as much as the other members of the group; we have experienced love and care as much as the other members; and we have experienced something akin to what I imagine the Acts 2 church to be like (Acts 2:42-47).
I cannot imagine settling for anything less than an experience of church that involves doing life together with a small group of Christ followers who have "devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Acts 2:42) and where "All the believers [are] together and [have] everything in common" (Acts 2:44).