Thoughts on Discipleship Groups
Hi all! My name is Rachel Suarez. As we head into a new year as a church, I wanted to sit down and share a bit with you what discipleship group has meant to me this year. I’ve been thinking of discipleship group as one of the things God used to surprise me this year- in a good way. I went into last year, and though it was a new season, I felt much like I do every fall: eager to get back into a rhythm, anticipating good things to come, and anxious about the things that seem daunting. At any given moment, I usually feel a combination of these things because life is made up of good things, hard things, and things that just need to get done. We get to do good and enjoy it. We face difficulty. We have to complete tasks. Sometimes, in the middle of it all, we can feel overwhelmed. I can and often do.
I often get so busy doing the things that make up a day in the life, that I live with a mental tunnel vision- barreling through what needs to get done next. This past year, that routine was pleasantly disrupted by my discipleship group. Now, I did not walk into every discipleship group meeting eager to be there and share with others, but every single time I walked in, I was so glad I went. Though the women in my group are amazing, it wasn’t just their presence and laughter that made me thankful. It was having a set time to be with people who love me deeply and faithfully helped bring the truth of who God is into the stuff of everyday life. And it wasn’t just something sweet to experience every other Tuesday night. Knowing I’d have to tell them how I was doing forced me to actually take stock of how I was doing. Knowing we’d talk about the sermon made me listen a bit better than I would normally. Knowing we’d talk about places where walking in obedience to God is hard kept me humble and honest. I needed the break from looking through my blinders about what had to be done next and be reminded about why it’s worth doing and that I’m not doing it alone. Discipleship group didn’t make me perfect, but it gave me a place to be known and loved by the people of God, reminding me that I am known and loved by the living God.
God has called us to walk through life as His people- individuals called to Himself and gathered together. The stuff of everyday life is where the mission of God is at work. How we walk through the stuff of life is to be guided by the very purposes of God. Through the work stuff, house stuff, and school stuff, God is using us, His image bearers to bring this world to Himself. In the context of genuine, loving community, we remind one another of that with our lives. We get to know one another and carry each other’s burdens. We get to slow down and consider how we are doing and what is weighing on our hearts. We get to partner with one another in the things that matter in a world that really matters.
My prayer is that God in His kindness allows us to walk this well as a church. We aren’t a perfect community, but we are a community trying, especially this year to pursue the gift of discipleship. God can use these groups to shape us more and more into the image of His Son, so that we might reflect what it looks like to be called His people- for His glory, the good of the city, by living out and extending the hope that is ours in the gospel.