To Belong

A message by Pastor Tony Ojamiren

1 Corinthians 12:25-26 “This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. Verse 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” (NLT).

John Donne (1572-1631). English Poet said “No one is an Island”. How true! The idea is that human being do badly when isolated from others and need to be part of a community in order to strive.

We are better together. We lost a dear friend, father and member of our church recently. He was 91. I saw him every day for more than 3 years. His death though a great gain to our Lord Jesus Christ, created a big vacuum in our Church especially to myself and those that are closed to him.

Looking back, I realized that my coming to know Max. intimately started not in the Sunday Church but in the home.  As I reflected on the life of my friend, it reminds me of what happened when we belong to a small group in the home. There is always a sense of community. It is the best place to establish relationships.

Belonging to a small groups in the church helps build relationships and give you a sense of interdependence.

It’s important for everyone to gather together for worship. But it’s equally as important for our church members to live life together throughout the rest of the week.

When God created us, He had community in mind. Though He created man in His image, He did not want us to live in isolation. He said: “it is not good for man to live alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” - Gen 2:18. Though spoken in the context with regards to husband and wife, God’s desire is for each and every one to connect and have a closer relationship with each other. The Triune God: Father, Son and The Holy Spirit- all three operate in perfectly eternal community. Though they are three Persons in One God, they do not operate in isolation.

We can relate better when we belong to a small group in our Church. Small Group is:

•    A place to establish and maintain closer relationship with one another.

•    A place to share your needs and problems with others without being intimidated

•    A none threatening environment to invite your relatives, friends and neighbours.

•    A place where members will come along side you to support you.

God’s finger upon me for ministry started in the small group.

Some of my long and enduring friends today started in the home group.

Your value is priceless: You are of more value to God than you think because you were purchased by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ.

Those who isolate themselves do so because they feel they are not important. It is also very easy to be in a crowd and yet live a life of loneliness. But where we are concerned, you are very important to us and to help us minister to you effectively, you need to plug into one of the small groups in our Church because God put you in the Church (His Body) in such a way that extra honour and care are given to those parts (you are one of them) that might otherwise seem less important (v24). This will makes for happiness amongest the parts (makes you happy with others), so that the parts have the same care for each other that they do for themselves (v25). If one part suffers, all parts suffer with it, and if one part is honoured, all the parts are glad. (V26 The Living Bible, TLB).

All these can only be done in the context of a small group. Your Pastor might be great but he can only effectively take care of you through other leaders he has raised up for that purpose.

I encourage you to get connected into one of the small groups (Friendship Group). Connecting to our friendship group will help your Pastor to watch over your souls through his leaders (Heb. 13:17).

Have a Blessed week.

Your friend Tony.

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