40 Days of Community #1: Because God Loves Us

This new series aligns with the 40 Days of Community program which Clayton Church is pursuing as a church-wide initiative.

Even though I will be traveling overseas for part of the 40 day period, it is my ambition to be disciplined in completing the devotion and journal daily.

Today’s point to ponder is that “life is about learning to love.” The key bible verse is from 1 John 4:19:

We love because God first loved us.

The question to consider is:

How comfortable are you with being in a small group?

In my position as a life-group leader the answer is fairly straightforward in that I am super comfortable both in being a part and member of the group as well as the position of leadership and influence that I hold. However, I wish to explore my response here more fully and in-depth.

I have been a member, connected into the body of Christ, the community of faith at Clayton Church for most of my life. The foundation of my faith and belief is in the lordship of Christ and the importance of love as the best commandment to obey has been central to my upbringing in the church. That God is love and everything extends from there has been taught from my earliest days in Sunday School, as seen by the memory verses.

Over the years, I have been a member of many different small groups. As a child throughout the 1980s and 1990s, I followed my dad to his fortnightly Friday night house church group. As a teenager, the establishment of a formal youth group ministry at church helped to provide the opportunity for people of my generation to get involved and form greater bonds. To me, it was thus an expectation that all kids my age would naturally come together and have fellowship, worship, learn and study the Bible together. The grouping and allocation was based on ensuring that all young people of the same age group/year level formed a small group.

My sense of belonging has always been God centered on the bigger picture of the Kingdom of God being built and developed. I recognize Clayton Church is but one of many churches operating in the local community of Melbourne and that we all have a role to play. I encourage brothers and sisters to build their network beyond the immediate life-group and look to extending the network with other groups.

I look forward to how the 40 Days of Community program will shape and encourage all small groups to unite and unifying around unique expressions of God and His love for us. In part, my life-group already exhibits and follows the teachings of the 40 Days of Community; just last week we incorporated into our social night a 20-30 min session where we visited a local and future health services clinic, which members of our group have labored over for the last year+. This one for blessing and prayer was a really practical example of us showing and sharing God’s love – the focus was ultimately, as it should always be, to the glory of God.