This week we begin our fall gathering of Care Groups at Faith Baptist. These small groups of people meet each week or each month as a way of fulfilling Ephesians 6 – to restore others and to bear one another’s burdens. There are common misconceptions about support group-style ministry. Please know, our Care Groups are not “cry-sessions”, though sometimes emotions come to the surface. These groups don’t exist to “bash” someone who might be caught in sin, though the groups do exist for sin confession and accountability. The unique experience in these small support groups exists in the way these groups are truly a form of emotional encouragement and soul-care.
Consider the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19. He had a spiritual “mountain top” experience. God used him mightily to defeat the prophets of Baal. Then, almost like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, Elijah changes from being a confident, trusting follower of God into a scared, running doubter. He just knew he would lose his head at the command of Queen Jezebel. While you read this excerpt, maybe you can relate:
“2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” 3 Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” 5 And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” 6 And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” 8 And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.”
Sadly, our society encourages us to “run until we drop”, pull ourselves up by our boot straps, and pretend like nothing is wrong. The strong amongst us must never show weakness and never let them see you sweat. However, the truth of the gospel is that God loves you and cares for you. No matter what challenge you are facing – sin you have caused or sin that has happened to you – please consider joining a Care Group for the purpose of healing and restoration. In these small groups, you will be encouraged, loved, and prayed for.
Learn more about Care Groups at our website, www.myfaithbaptist.org/caregroups
For more information or to join a group, please call our church office 386-4785 or email Stephen at firstname.lastname@example.org.