Embrace others through Biblical Community – we consider each other more important than ourselves, seeking to love one another and be unified in Christ
Key verse: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Talk about a challenge. Selfishness is at the core of who we are without Christ. How can we possibly consider others more important than ourselves? Paul tells us we have to adopt the attitude of Christ, who suspended his divine rights as God to become a servant, even to the point of death on a cross (Phil 2:5-8). Jesus didn’t value his life over our need for a savior. When we recognize the incredible grace and victory God has given us despite our constant failures, it becomes much easier to humble ourselves for the sake of others.
But what does this look like for a group leader? It means we have to put the needs of the members of our group above our own. While this sounds foolish to our culture, it matches perfectly with God’s upside down economy. C.S. Lewis explains this “principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and the death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.”
Even once we grasp this truth it can be difficult to live out. It’s far too easy to remain unengaged and miss the massive needs all around us. As group leaders it is imperative that we not only consider others more important, but that we also get to know them intimately so that we know their needs. It isn’t enough to pray generic prayers for the people in our group. That means sometimes we will have to get messy, getting deeply involved in the lives of broken and hurting people.
This month spend intentional time trying to get to know your people better. What are their greatest needs? What are they struggling with right now? How can you encourage them and walk through this period of their life with them? Who else in your group can you get to help carry this load? As you begin to embrace others in this more intimate level ask God to open your eyes to see how you can consider others more important than yourself.
Questions for Reflection
- Why did Jesus humble himself to the point of death (Philippians 2:5-8)?
- What would it look like if we began to have that mind of humility?
- Why is it so hard to consider others more important than ourselves?
- How can you begin to know the people in your group more intimately?
- How can you begin to break down the barriers of people who are more closed off emotionally in your group?
- How might your group look different if everyone began to serve one another like Jesus did (Matthew 20:25-28)?