“I don’t have any friends.” some have said. We live in a sea of people but can feel adrift without a friend in the world. Yet we are a more connected culture than ever before with cell phones, social media, and TV; but it still happens. We may feel like no one loves us even though there are those who do.
The problem is not so much external but internal. One of my early mentors used to say, “To have a friend be a friend.” Jesus was a friend of tax collectors and sinners. It is up to us to take the first step in being a friend.
The early church was structured in a way to help build lasting friendships. Acts 2 says Peter preached, thousands got saved and the church was born. At first they met in the place of worship, the Temple where larger groups could meet and the apostles preached. Later in the day they also met in homes or small groups for fellowship and food. Act 2:46 describes this exciting time. “Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,”
This is why we have S.A.L.T. groups. We meet in the larger church building on the Lord’s Day for public teaching and worship like the Temple was used for. Then our small groups (S.A.L.T. Groups) meet in various homes in the evenings through the week for fellowship, discussion of the message of the day and a little food too. It is the New Testament model. SALT stand for Saints Applying Living Truth.
An important aspect of these small groups is that we get to know other believers and strengthen relationships. Last week we had nineteen folks gathered in our home for a group. Some of us had met for the first time. It was a friendly environment as we joyfully focused on heaven and on not the tent here but the building of God there as in 2 Cor. 5:1. Our relationships all suddenly became closer as “friends” as we were more aware of this eternal truth. It made us better able to encourage other in word and prayer.
Why not become part of a small group this week? Don’t miss out on fellowship and “friendship” that is eternal. These groups are places to build relationships with others. You may not like them but if you love them as Christ did sinners that can change. Groups are also a place to bring those who are struggling, confused about “religion” but are searching. It can help them understand what it means to be born again. Fall is a good time to join a group. If you avoid it you will be missing out.
Heb 10:24-25 “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Note that true fellowship is others oriented.
Group meetings, days, times and locations are always listed on the front of the bulletin or on the home page of our Community. Three groups meet in the Gig Harbor area plus a group each on Peacock Hill, in Olalla and Key Peninsula. Come with a desire to bless others.