As life goes on and the years pass by, there are moments that take us back to our childhood days. Simple things will transport you to your childhood like a drive by the outside of the home you grew up in, a visit to your elementary school, or even the familiar scent of a perfume that your mother used to wear. For me, it is the sound of an old song that reminds me of where I was when it came out. One such song that takes me back is the popular song from 1972 titled Lean On Me. The melody and lyrics remind me of the great childhood friends I shared moments with. Lyrics that say, “You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand. We all need somebody to lean on. I just might have a problem that you’ll understand. We all need somebody to lean on.”
These warm words brought a smile to my face then, and they still do today. The question is, are the words true?
Do we ultimately need others to navigate through life with us, or is our faith in Christ all we need? Did God intend for us to do life alone, or like the songwriter says, do “we all need somebody to lean on”?
The writer of Hebrews tells us to “not neglect meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). Many use this verse to communicate that we should be faithfully coming to worship during weekend services, and that is true. However, the writer of Hebrews adds that the reason we should not neglect in coming together is because we will miss out on encouraging one another. Encouraging one another may happen before and after weekend services, but the primary place this happens is in the context of Small Groups.
We all need the kind of encouragement that comes by way of being part of a Small Group. Here’s why:
When we neglect to meet together, we forfeit the encouragement that comes in studying God’s Word together.
While it is true that we can and should study the Word of God on our own, there is a special dynamic that happens when we study it together. Proverbs 27:17 says that “iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” As we devote ourselves to the study of God’s Word collectively in the context of Small Groups, we are encouraged by others in confessing, praying and sharing Truth with one another during the teaching. It is when everyone shares that a truly great Small Groups meeting takes place.
When we neglect to meet together, we forfeit the encouragement that comes from the fellowship that happens at Small Groups.
One of the greatest benefits of being in a Small Group is that we are building vital relationships with other believers. In 1 Corinthians 5:33, the Apostle Paul reminds us to “not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals.” God desires for us to do life together with other believers, and the best place to nurture those relationships is in Small Groups.
When we neglect to meet together, we forfeit the encouragement that comes from collectively serving outside the church walls.
While we can and should personally serve others that are far from God, there is something special about coming together as a group and reaching out to our community. It is in Small Groups that we can effectively fulfill the mandate that the Lord Himself gives us when He says “let your light therefore shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God.”
God never intended for us to live the Christian life alone. God calls us to be in community with His people, that we may “spur one another on to love and good works,” as the writer of Hebrews says (Hebrews 10:24).
It has been my experience in life that, as the song goes, we all need somebody to lean on.
Ray Perez serves as the Director of Small Groups at Christ Fellowship. He has a passion for seeing people grow closer to Christ. For more information on Small Groups, or to find one near you, visit cfmiami.org/groups.