It’s time to start discipleships groups up again at my church. My church that was birthed with blood, sweat, and tears out of our living room. My church that was birthed out of mine and Ryan’s discipleship groups, God be praised! Being in a group of women in a discipling relationship – meaning even as the leader they disciple me too – has been transformative beyond words. And it’s how Jesus called us to live and walk.
I love my group – the groups I’ve had over the years…they change a little each year, because of God’s grace, a couple of women decide most years, “I’m ready – I want to give what we have away to more women and that means I leave this group and start a new one.”
I can share more about that if you’re interested; however, my main point of this post is to talk about something that happened as we lived life together.
We re-named our group “fight club”.
Because we, together, were fighting the powers of darkness and sin and shame and hiddenness.
We, together, were standing in the light.
We, together, were praying for and building each other up.
We, together, were fighting for the light to shine and go forth into the deepest crevices of our hearts and minds and in others too.
We, together, were speaking the truth of scripture into one another’s hearts and minds and stories even when it didn’t “feel good” in the moment.
We have scars.
We are healed and we are healing.
It’s good. It’s a good that isn’t a surface level good. A goodness that transcends into pain and hard and mystery. Good birthed out of something hard…the best kind of good.
So, as we start our groups up again this year, I’ve sent two beautiful women out and brought two new women in and kept four women the same. I’ve been contemplating the name of our group this year. We don’t have one yet, but I can sense that we’re close. Maybe we will call it fight club again. I do love my fight club – made up of more than just the women I meet with in my D-group, but because of my D-group, I am enabled to fight alongside others better…..in fact, because of our longing to love and live for Jesus and be loved by Jesus well, I get to invite others into the brokenness and mess and beauty of being a disciple wherever I go and with whoever I encounter – be it my 4 year old or otherwise, someone who isn’t yet a believer, or a good friend.
It frees me to trust more.
It frees me to be broken more.
Because, really, brokenness and repentance lead to revival.
The messy leads to the beautiful.
The brokenness lets God’s treasure shine through – for we have this treasure in jars of clay (2 For. 4:7) .
I love this quote from Roy Hession from the book, The Calvary Road (get and read it now if you haven’t. it is a gem. Also? His wife’s name is Revel which is ah-mazing.) ….
“Sin always involves us in being unreal, pretending, duplicity, window dressing, excusing ourselves and blaming others–and we can do all that as much by our silence as by saying or doing something. While we are in that condition of darkness, we cannot have true fellowship with our brother either–for we are not real with him, and no one can have fellowship with an unreal person. The only basis for real fellowship with God and man is to live out in the open with both. ‘But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another’….Love will flow from one to another, when each is prepared to be known as the repentant sinner he is at the cross of Jesus. When the barriers are down and the masks are off, God has a chance of making us really one” (Roy Hession)
At the foot of the cross, the barriers are broken, the chains are removed, and the masks are taken off. We are each known as a loved and repentant sinner. And we fight with our brothers and sisters, together.
Confess your sins to each other, and as you get honest about where you really are, others are freed to do the same, and you begin to fight the darkness together. (James 5:16 1 John 1:7)
It’s not easy, but it’s essential to abiding in Christ. You are united to Him as a believer, but you can know deeper communion with Him, and part of that involves community. Our sanctification is a community endeavor. Our sanctification is discipleship.
Bring it on!