Recently, I have heard countless reports of Christians who have isolated themselves from any type of Christian community. Sadly, this isolation has caused many of them to fall into deep, habitual sin. Some of these individuals have struggled so greatly, they’ve taken their own lives.
For many of these people, once their sin is exposed, everyone around them is completely taken back. They never imagined that person struggled with addiction, depression, or any other sin or symptom. Sadly, all of their friends though they knew them only to find out they had been deceived.
Very few Christians begin their walk with Jesus, anticipating that they will drown in their own sin, lie to everyone they love, and isolate themselves from real community. Unfortunately this is what sin does to us. Some sin, particularly sexual sin, is very shameful, creating guilt and fear in those who struggle with it. The Enemy takes this shame, guilt, and fear and runs with it. Satan lies to us, telling us that everyone we know will no longer love us because of our sin. He deceives us by telling us that the best thing we can do is try and hide our sin. As we hide our sin, typically we crawl deeper into the dark hole of sin, experiencing shame, guilt, and fear, isolating ourselves even more so. This is not the way it’s supposed to be.
While the Enemy might convince us that our sin should drive to isolation, God’s plan is the exact opposite. Regardless of the sin, God desires for us to confess our sin to one another. This is what James says in James 5:12: “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” We were never created to live alone. Once sin came into our world, we definitely were not created to handle our sin alone. Much of our sanctification comes through community.
At Vintage Church, we are always promoting our Community Groups. These are small groups of people who meet throughout the city weekly, gathering for a meal, prayer, Bible study, and community. You can find more info on our Community Groups here. While our Community Groups are incredible opportunities for community, we also recognize that people need more. Because of this, Vintage has begun promoting Life Groups. Life Groups are gender-based groups of three who meet once to twice a month for three reasons: (1) Prayer, (2) Accountability, and (3) Community. As we surveyed our church and the world around us, we recognized that people need closer community where they can be completely vulnerable about their struggles and receive prayer and support as they seek to fight their sin. While Life Groups are something Vintage Church is promoting and facilitating, these are not something we are programming. We are encouraging groups to form out of their Community Groups and existing relationships.
You and I need one another. We all need to experience the freedom that Christ can bring through Christian community. Start or join a Life Group today!